Famous for its rivers and lakes, from the Shannon and Lough Ree to the
Mullingar lakes and Royal Canal, Westmeath with rich pastureland offers
remarkable beauty and diversity. An ideal location for those interested
in a wide selection of visitor entertainment, activities and quality
Athlone owes its existence to its situation as the principle crossing
point on the middle Shannon. The town links the east of Ireland with
the west and the river provides an artery of communications with north
Munster and the north Midlands. It is a thriving town at the geographical
centre of Ireland and has the social and economic hub of a large hinterland.
The history of Athlone is very much the history of its castles and bridges
and because of its strategic location it has been of great military
importance from the earliest times. Its most famous siege was in 1691
when the town was attacked by the Williamite army.
Moate on the main Dublin/Galway road is an important market town in
the centre of a rich cattle raising area. The town derives its name
from the remarkable mound of Mota Grainne Oige, which rises beside it.
Grainne Og was the wife of O'Melaghlin, chief of the district, who had
his residence here.
Kilbeggan is a pleasant little town on the River Brosna situated on
the main Galway/Athlone road. Its name is derived from Saint Bacan who
founded a monastery in the town in the 6th century. Famous for Lockes
Distillery, the oldest distillery in Ireland founded 1757, now a museum.
Mullingar, county town of Westmeath is a thriving business, administrative
and industrial centre. It is located on the River Brosna and midway
between Loughs Ennell, Owel and Derravaragh, which service the amenity
needs of the town and is encircled by the Royal Canal which with its
locks links Dublin with the River Shannon. A market town, Mullingar's
heritage dates back to Norman times. Its imposing Renaissance style
Cathedral dominates the townscape and should not be missed.
Ballinlough Castle Garden Demesne, Clonmellon
This 17th century castle is the home of Sir John and Lady Nugent. The
walled garden covers 1.2ha and is divided into four walled sections.
On view are herbaceous borders, grass tennis courts, lily pond, rose
garden, a herb and soft fruit garden and a well stocked orchard. From
the walled gardens a white door leads to lakeside walks with a charming
water garden and its rustic summerhouse.
Dun na Si Cultural & Heritage Park, Moate
In the heart of Ireland Dun na Si is a microcosm of Irish culture. Explore
the folk park: a picture of by-gone days with preserved farm machinery.
Trace your family roots with the assistance of qualified researchers.
Enjoy music, song, dance and story-telling at a folklore show, seisium
Fore Abbey, Fore
Founded originally in 630AD by St. Fechin and set in the rolling hills
of Westmeath, this site is now home to the remains of a 13th century
Benedictine Priory, an anchorite cell and St. Fechins Church. Also discover
the seven wonders of fore, including "the water that won't boil"
and "the tree that won't burn".
Moate Museum, Moate
Over 1,000 artefacts covering the folk history of the town in the 18th
and 19th century.
Mullingar Bronze and Pewter Visitor Centre, Mullingar
Two of Irelands finest craft studios Mullingar Pewter and Genesis Fine
Arts built on an open plan basis with the visitor in mind. Here you
can learn some of the hidden secrets, skills and magic blended together
to create products which date back over 800 years.
Rockfield House and Gardens, Mullingar
Rockfield is a classical Georgian residence with delicate and ornate
plaster work, offering traditional character and charm. It stands secluded
among mature trees in natures wonderland garden and woods with wandering
wildlife and farm animals.
Tullynally Castle and Gardens, Castlepollard
Romantic woodland and walled gardens laid out in early 19th century
and recently extended and replanted in particular with collections of
maples, magnolias and plants collected in Western China. The pleasure
grounds include a grotto, two ornamental lakes, a Chinese and Tibetan
garden and a woodland walk of 2 miles around the park.
Tyrrellspass Castle & Museum, Tyrrellspass
13th century tower house originally home to the Tyrrell family who were
cousins of William the Conqueror. Facilities include: museum, gift shop
and licensed restaurant.
Lockes Distillery was licensed in 1757 and produced whiskey for over
200 years. Now open as a museum, it is the only sample left in Ireland
of a typical small pot distillery.
Built in the 13th century to command the ford on the Shannon. Athlone
Castle now includes audio-visual presentations on the flora, fauna and
the power resources of the Shannon, Count John McCormack and the siege
of 1691. There is also a museum, coffee shop and tourist office.
Belvedere House, Gardens & Park
This, the newest attraction in the Irish Midlands opened in April 2000
at Mullingar just 1 hours drive from Dublin. The magnificent early 18th
century stately home of Robert Rochfort, Earl of Belvedere, stands in
160 acres of parkland on the shores of Lough Ennell. A multi media experience
tells the story of Rochfort's cruel imprisonment of his second wife
and the creation of Ireland's largest man - made folly - the Jealous
Westmeath is an anglers paradise with an abundance of rivers and lakes.
Top class fishing is available throughout Westmeath with all species
of coarse fish and brown trout.
Golf courses are located in some of the most scenic areas of this county,
with an abundance of both 18 hole and 9 hole parkland championship courses
to chose from.
This area offers a horse riding experience to suit both novice and experienced
Most of the midland lakes are suitable for sailing and slipways are
provided. The Shannon also boasts Lough Ree Sailing Club which is the
second oldest club in the world.
This is available in Mullingar, the county town of Westmeath and also
proves to be a popular spectator sport.
Horse racing at Kilbeggan is an action packed spectator sport and on
racing nights the quiet midland town is transformed into a festival,
social and sporting pleasure.
A cruising holiday on the waterways of Westmeath offers peace, tranquillity
and unspoiled pleasure to the visitor on a modern well equipped boat.