Ireland's Hidden Heartlands Yours to Uncover

Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is close to all main cities of Ireland; yet feels far away from it all. Dip your toe into not only the lakes of this region but also culture, immense historical significance and, most importantly, the spectacular nature on offer.

Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and its rural communities are as far from fast-paced living as you can get, yet right on your doorstep, often an hour’s drive, or less, away. With its rich mix of beautiful landscapes, rugged hills, soft bogs, peaceful lakes and vibrant townscapes, welcome to one of the most surprising and unspoilt part of Ireland. 

Clonalis House

When you are visiting Roscommon make sure you get to visit Clonalis House, an elegant Victorian residence owned by the O'Conor family who are direct descendants of the last High Kings in Ireland.

Rathcroghan Visitor Centre Clonalis House Derryglad Folk & Heritage Museum National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre

Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

Rathcroghan Visitor Centre interprets the rich archaeology and mythology of a prehistoric royal site, which was home to fearsome Iron Age Warrior Queen Medb (Maeve), and starting place for the Tain Bo Cuailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley), the oldest vernacular epic in European Literature.

Clonalis House

When you are visiting Roscommon make sure you get to visit Clonalis House, an elegant Victorian residence owned by the O'Conor family who are direct descendants of the last High Kings in Ireland.

Derryglad Folk & Heritage Museum

The family-run  Derryglad Folk & Heritage Museum in Roscommon is full of quirky memorabilia, from old butter-making equipment ti gramophones and vintage camera collection.

National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park

The stable yards of an elegant Georgian Palladian Mansion owned by the first landlord to be assassinated during the height of the Great Famine of Ireland the 1840s are a potential into darkest period of Irish live, with its harrowing collection of documents and objects relating to the mass starvation that occurred in Ireland  in the 19th century. It's  a sobering, but revelatory, museum, that coveys the tragic devastation that caused so many Irish people to emigrate.

The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre

The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre interprets the significance of a monumental roadway that was built in 148 B.C. across the boglands of Longford, close to the River Shannon. The oak road is the largest of its kind to have been uncovered in Europe.

Tullynally Castle

A 25min drive from Edgeworthstown will bring you to Tullynally Castle, also known as Pakenham Hall. The Gothic-style building has over 120 rooms and has been home to the Pakenham family for over 350 years. Although the Castle is still lived in as a family home, you can enjoy a special guided tour of some of the historic rooms. Hear stories and scandals of the family at Tullynally, and tales of life below stairs. Also experience the peace of a glorious landscaped garden, while wandering through the extensive woodland and walled garden.

The Edgeworths have been close friends with the Pakenhams in the past and we are proud to keep the connection alive – book a tour in the Maria Edgeworth Centre and receive a discount code for your visit to Tullynally on your booking confirmation.

Cloughan Farm & Cookery School

Just a short 15-minute drive from Edgeworthstown, Cloughan Farm & Cookery School is run by husband & wife team, Fiona & Michael.
Expect to get your hands dirty, either with feeding animals (depending on the time of year), in the kitchen gardens or while enjoying hands on cookery & baking classes.
From Plot to Pot, embrace the full cycle of a traditional Irish working farm and enjoy creating seasonal dishes in the cookery school kitchen with ingredients grown in the rich lands of their farm and the local community. Situated in the heart of the South County Longford countryside in the village of Abbeyshrule, they are approximately a 20-minute drive off the N4 from both Longford & Mullingar town, and off the N6 from Athlone town.
Many workshops and invited guests, from willow weaving, seed sowing, wreath making and art, to name but a few, enhance the experience during the year.

Knights & Conquests

Knights & Conquests

Knights and Conquest Granard – Experience a time of Knights & Conquests in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Don the clothes of our Norman ancestors and walk on an interactive journey through time. See what it feels like to be a king or queen in your own game of thrones. Have a fun and unique experience with your family and friends. 

Uncover Athlone

Hidden lanscapes, a ‘subtropical paradise’, captivating stories and vibrant towns; the central area of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is ready to uncover.

Uncover Lough Derg

The gentle shrug of water across the surface of Lough Derg makes you want to put down anchor and just float for a few hours. The legendary lake kisses the sides of Clare, Galway and Tipperary before spills into the Shannon, so it’s easy to find a solitary spot to lap up the quiet, cast out line, or unbuckle your picnic basket for lazy lunch.

Your journey is just beginning

Discover more of what Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has to offer.

Looking to stay longer?

With so much to see and do in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands why not extend your trip, and stay in one of the many hotels, guesthouses, or B&Bs in the area. 

Where to eat and drink?

Feeling thirsty or peckish? Whether you’re a consummate carnivore or a vegan, you’ll find plenty of foodie delights in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.  Check out our list of recommended places for your visit.

Irish Hidden Heartlands Brochure

Click on the image to read the online brochure

Beyond Ireland’s famous coastline lies a vibrant core of peaceful lakes, dense forests, alluring peatlands, rich pasture-land and richly wooded islands. Known as the Hidden Heartlands, this lesser-known realm is liberally scattered with castles, prehistoric monuments and sacred places. It’s a magical water-world, with myriad walking trails through pastoral beauty, vibrant communities,  rare ecological biospheres, and great opportunities for getting off the beaten track, slowing down and reconnecting with nature.
The Hidden Heartlands extend through Ireland’s central plains, from Cavan and Leitrim in the north, encompassing Longford, Roscommon, Westmeath, Offaly, southwards to Lough Derg with shores in parts of Clare, Galway, Tipperary; and stretching to the Ballyhoura region of east Limerick and north Cork. So far, this area has mostly been a secret sanctuary for anglers and artists, and those seeking a quieter pace, far from the coach traffic of the more renowned tourist hubs. Long ago, this was an area of some commerce and light  industry, but today it runs at a quieter pace. Much of it is now a sanctuary for nature lovers and fishermen, and those keen to get away from it all. Its forgotten charms await rediscovery.

New Online Brochure here