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Westmeath

Bed and Breakfast in Westmeath Self Catering in Westmeath

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 restaurants.

Explore

Athlone
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
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
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
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.

Attractions

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 or ceili.

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
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.

Athlone Castle
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 Wall.

Activities

Angling
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
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.

Horse Riding
This area offers a horse riding experience to suit both novice and experienced riders.

Sailing
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.

Greyhound Racing
This is available in Mullingar, the county town of Westmeath and also proves to be a popular spectator sport.

Horse Racing
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.

Cruising
A cruising holiday on the waterways of Westmeath offers peace, tranquillity and unspoiled pleasure to the visitor on a modern well equipped boat.

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