In Athlone we tend to agree – which is why the town and the entire Hidden Heartlands is full of so many different things to do, experience and love! Endless choices so you can live your best life and celebrate who YOU are! The exciting and adventurous, the serene and saintly, the beauty and the bold, the quirky or just plain fun!
So, here’s our (not) definitive ‘great outdoors in Athlone’ list – giving you a little bit of
everything for a lot of great times…
A for All Adventure
Grab a bike and head for the Mullingar to Athlone Greenway – a dedicated cycle path that follows the journey of the old rail track.
Hop on and off at various exit points as you go. Buckley Cycles Bike Hire will sort you out with the bike that’s right for you.
C is for Cute Cuddles
What heart isn’t lifted by a visit to Glendeer Pet Farm, with over 50 species of animals to see and experience – from goats, geese and donkeys, to monkeys, wallabies and deer?
Hold the cute chicks, cuddle the bunnies – and just love seeing the kids enjoying their best day ever.
E is for Equestrian Experiences
Saddle up at Athlone Equestrian Centre – the best equestrian facilities in the midlands and situated in a beautiful country setting, only 4.8 km from Athlone town.
It’s a safe and fun learning experience for everyone in the family and welcomes all levels of riders. Children and adult lessons are available with expert tuition and there is both a sand arena and cross- country course.
G is for Great Golf
Get your golf fix at Glasson Golf Course – designed by Ryder Cup Hero Christy O’Connor Jnr. A Mecca of feature holes and both challenging and satisfying, it’s been described as “One of the most scenic pieces of land I’ve ever seen in my life, with the first nine overlooking Lough Ree and the second nine Killinure Bay. Nothing I’ve seen comes close to that.”
Athlone Golf Club is a magnificent 18-hole course set in beautiful parkland with the most beautiful views of the lakes and its islands. To complete the trio, there’s Mount Temple, 20 minutes away from Athlone in the beautiful village of Mount Temple, loved for its large links-type greens and folding fairways.
I is for Inspirational Nature
The whimsy of wooded glades and rolling farmlands, views across Lough Ree that feed the soul and lift the heart, and the beautiful wonder of earthy trails and dense forest – this is Portlick Forest Walk.
Walk through woodland of hazel, ash, beech and sycamore, picnic on the lakeside, and let nature do its work – reviving and rejuvenating mind and body.
K is Kayaking and More
Bay Sports is also ‘water sport central!’
Bringing you the very best of Lough Ree waterway action, the park offers your choice of quality kayaking, thrilling powerboating, fun pedal boating, lazy boat trips and magnificent sailing. And the Bay Café will keep you fed and watered.
M is for Medieval Magic
Lots of people will talk about ‘hidden gems’ – but THIS really IS! Situated on the western shores of Lough Ree just 20 minutes from Athlone, is the abandoned medieval town of Rindoon and one of a kind in Ireland.
Here you can take a wonderful walk in the great outdoors and discover a special place that dates to the first half of the 13th century. A town wall, castle, medieval hospital, church and mill are some of the fascinating features you’ll discover.
O is for Outdoor Gymming
Here’s your open invitation to get active in nature – at Lough Key Forest and Activity Park. There’s a whole world of activities and amenities here!
The Outdoor Gym is free to use and just like a normal gym, features an impressive range of equipment – including weight machines, bars to hang from, specially adapted step-master type equipment and a variety of lower limb exercisers.
Q is for Quality Camping
Love camping but want the best spots, quality amenities and great facilities? Athlone!
The camping park at Galey Bay is beautifully located on the shores of Lough Ree, a short hop from Athlone and features top facilities such as a TV lounge, pool room, kitchen and children’s play area. The camping park at Lough Key comprises 46 landscaped secluded pitches, with lots of privacy, electrical and water points, while there are also 3 separate tenting areas in a woodland setting. And you’re just a walk through a gate to all the Park’s incredible features and activities – from walking trails to ziplining.
S is for Skating Action
The all-round-excellent Athlone Regional Sports Centre has a brilliant outdoor Skate Park specially developed for skateboarders, in line skates and BMXers.
Anyone over 10 may use the Park and you can rent a safety helmet for a small fee.
U is for Urban Discovery
Take an Athlone Guided Tour around the town – getting outside and active while learning about the town and its history.
You’ll be led by the informed and enthusiastic tour guide, with stop-offs including Athlone Castle, Sean’s Bar and the Custume Barracks.
W is for Wetland Wonder
Dún na Sí invites you to walk through planted parklands and a beautiful wetland reserve which will treat you to a wealth of native wildlife species.
There’s even a special ‘hide’ where you can observe the birds in their natural habitat on the lake, without disturbing them.
Y is for Yes to Yachting
The Lough Ree Yacht Club gives you direct access to superb sailing on Lough Ree and the River Shannon.
The Club dates to 1770 and is rich with tradition – but is very progressive with an enthusiastic sense of fun and a welcoming energy. The setting is just perfection itself, and there are excellent berthing and boathouse facilities.