Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Is Yours to Discover


Where lush green land meets lough and secret spots

Athlone is one beautiful gem in the wealth of beauty that is Ireland’s Hidden Heartland: a stunning unspoilt part of the country that stretches across eleven counties. Here, life moves a little slower to the rhythm of nature and is set against the beautiful backdrop of wonderful waterways, magical forests, verdant green pastures and charming villages. Let Athlone give you the perfect opportunity to go a little further and explore all that this majestic region has to offer.


Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands encompasses eleven counties that hug the mighty River Shannon and the Beara Breifne Way. It stretches from Leitrim to Cork, with its soft green fields rolling on through Cavan, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly and parts of Galway, Tipperary, Clare and Limerick. From trickling streams and twisting trails to panoramic views of rich rural landscapes – you’re treated to relaxation, activity and tranquillity in equal measure.

  • It’s a short way from home, but a whole world away, close to all the major cities of Ireland but with that wonderful ‘getting away from it all’ feeling. Here, a traditional and restorative way of life continues to thrive.
  • This is a region full of surprises and contrasts. Rugged hills, soft bogs, peaceful lakes, dense deciduous forests and colourful townscapes come together in beautiful harmony.
  • This land of fascinating culture and immense historical significance was made for exploring and discovering.
  • There’s so much to see, do and enjoy. The region is proud of its abundance of golf courses across nine counties, a delicious local food culture, vibrant arts communities and intrepid outdoor adventure.
  • Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is an absolute haven for hikers and walkers, birders and water sport enthusiasts. The water offers leisurely boat trips, fishing and water sports while cycle and pony-trekking trails let you explore this quiet, untouched part of the country at your own pace.

Plan an Adventure You’ll Never Forget

As a destination, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has long been a much-loved secret among many local Irish people, who enjoy the natural beauty and expansive panoramic views of its calm lake waters, inland waterways, rolling hills, vibrant green pastures and vast woodlands.

Check out some of our curated guides for more information.


Around Athlone

Did you know that when you are in Athlone you are at the very centre of Ireland – the heart of the island of Ireland that’s yours to uncover. This is a region bursting with truly breath-taking sights and scenery, secret places full of charm, captivating stories and vibrant towns.

The area is also the heart of Ireland’s excellence, where the very best in beauty, historical splendour, outdoor lifestyle and a buzzing, happening town life come together to create unforgettable holidays. Whether you love life on the water, exploring local culture or sampling excellent foodie experiences – you’re at the heart of it all.

Things to Do

Eat & Drink

Where to stay


Uncover Carrick On Shannon

Carrick On Shannon is a region of intriguing castles, lakeside trails, endless blueways. and panoramic views of the beautiful countryside. If you’re looking for a short getaway out in nature but that’s not too far from home, the waterways of this area are a haven of tranquillity and give you the ideal way to explore a world of wildlife and stunning scenery.

The forests and open moorland offer a huge choice of outdoor adventures, while Carrick On Shannon has a fascinating history and heritage you’ll love to explore.


Uncover Lough Derg

This legendary lake kisses the sides of Clare, Galway and Tipperary before spilling into the Shannon – and it’s all about finding a solitary spot to lap up the quiet, cast out a line or enjoy a lazy picnic lunch. You may be only 90 minutes from the country’s main cities, but once you connect to the serene and scenic network of lakes and rivers, you could be a million miles away. Here, rural roads wind their way around stone-walled pastures, bogs and woodlands, historic towns and the seat of Ireland’s most notorious High King.

Boat hire, mooring and leisure facilities are plentiful, and there’s a spread of restaurants and pubs to choose from – many with live traditional music sessions. Whatever you choose, a visit to magical Lough Derg will leave you relaxed, inspired and re-energised.


Your Journey is Just Beginning

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