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Visitor Attractions in Athlone
Athlone Castle & Visitors Centre
Steeped in history going back to the 13th Century and located on the town bridge, the gateway to the West, the Castle dominates the town. In 1691 it was was the scene of the Siege of Athlone, the story of which is told in an audio visual presentation . The Castle also houses our celebrated Tenor ‘John Count McCormack’s gramophone and items of personal memorabilia.
Clonmacnoise Monastic Settlement
Just 40 minutes by car or a little over one hour by boat from Athlone, Clonmacnoise dates back to 1500. Monks from all over Europe studied here and helped to build it after St Ciaran founded this settlement. It was destroyed many times over the years by the Vikings, The Anglo Normans and the Irish. Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland’s most valuable and spectacular heritage sites today, thanks to the excellent work carried out by Duchas, our National Heritage Service on this site over the years. During his visit to Ireland in 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Clonmacnoise.
Blackwater Railway Bog Tour
This is a 9km trip through Blackwater Bog near Shannonbridge, Co Offaly. Blackwater Bog is part of The Bog of Allen consisting of 20,000 acres over 4 counties. Enjoy a demonstration of traditional turf making and have a go yourself!!
Locke’s Distillery, Kilbeggan
Located just 20 minutes East of Athlone on the N6, Locke’s Distillery is the last remaining example of a small pot still whiskey distillery in Ireland. Established in 1757 it continued to produce whiskey for over 200 years. Restoration work by the locals commenced in 1982 and today the site consists of 90% of the original machinery, restored to working order. Guided Tours and a little tipple of the produce before you leave makes Locke’s Distillery a great place to visit.
Glendeer Pet Farm
Just 2 miles West of Athlone on the N6, Glendeer Pet Farm is a popular family outing. Feed the pet animals that include deer, Vietnamese pot belly pigs, ponies, donkeys, Jersey cows, sheep and goats etc. While the children enjoy the playground, the adults can enjoy a coffee and fresh homemade scone in the coffee shop. Relive the Christmas experience for the month of December when Glendeer Pet Farm is transformed into Lapland with Santa and his real reindeers, Dancer and Prancer.
Dun na Si heritage and Cultural Park, Moate
Located just 8 miles East of Athlone on the N6, Dun na Si was opened in 1985. It is the centre for all Comhaltas activities including traditional Irish Sessions with regular sessions in the summer months and every Friday night during the year. Situated on a 6.5ha site Dun na Si offers structures and preserved machinery taking the visitor back in time to experience aspects of rural Ireland through the ages. It also houses a genealogical centre with access to over 750,000 records.
Other places worth seeing;
An Dun Transport Museum
Birr Castle Demesne
Strokestown House & Gardens
Belvedere House & Gardens
Claypipe Visitors Centre, Knockcroghery