The Midlands: Places to Explore

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  • Abbeyleix

    One of the most elegant small towns in Ireland, Abbeyleix has retained its Georgian ambience and its broad main street, which is lined with well-appointed stone-cut buildings and original shop fronts in... Read more

  • Antony Trollope Trail

  • Athlone

    The mighty Shannon flows majestically through the heart of Athlone, yet for years it seemed as if the town was happy to turn its back on one of Europe's great waterways. That trend has been well and truly... Read more

  • Banagher

    "Well, that beats Banagher!" This small Shannon-side town is best known in Ireland because of this common phrase, which dates from the 19th century when the town was the very worst example of a "rotten... Read more

  • Birr

    Beautifully reminiscent of an English country town with its tree-lined malls and well-preserved houses, the heritage town of Birr has roots that date to the 6th century. Still, the mid-18th-century Georgian... Read more

  • Castlepollard

    A pretty village of multihued 18th- and 19th-century houses laid out around a large, triangular green, Castlepollard is also home to Tullynally Castle and Gardens, the largest castle in Ireland that still... Read more

  • Cavan

    Like all the larger towns of the region, Cavan is growing and prosperous. It is perhaps best known for its crystal factory. But as one of the main transportation hubs of the Midlands, Cavan has also attracted... Read more

  • Clonmacnoise

    Many ancient sites dot the River Shannon, but Clonmacnoise is early Christian Ireland's foremost monastic settlement and, like Chartres, a royal site. The monastery was founded by St. Ciaran between 543... Read more

  • Fore

    You've heard of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but here in the heart of the Irish Midlands is a tiny village with seven wonders all to itself! According to Irish myth, this is the place where... Read more

  • Kilbeggan

  • Longford Town

    Longford, the seat of County Longford and a typical small market-town community, is rich in literary associations, though after Oliver Goldsmith, the names in the county's pantheon of writers may draw a... Read more

  • Mullingar

    The Irish are great ones for wrapping an insult up in a lyrical turn of phrase. Rather than describe a woman as overweight they'll say with a wink she's "beef to the ankle, like a Mullingar heifer." Of... Read more

  • Portarlington

    Built on the River Barrow in the late 17th century, Portarlington was originally an English settlement. Later, a Huguenot colony developed here, and French surnames are still common in the area. Some good... Read more

  • Portlaoise

    Near the heart of County Laois, the rich farmland south and west of Portlaoise is one of Ireland's undiscovered gems. Golf, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding are traditional sports here, and the development... Read more

  • Roscrea

    Every corner you turn in this charming town will offer reminders of its rich and sometimes turbulent past. Ancient castles, towers, and churches dot the skyline, proof of a heritage that dates to the 7th... Read more

  • Tullamore

    The county seat of Offaly, Tullamore is a bustling market town that thrived during Ireland's Celtic Tiger boom in the mid-1990s and, like many parts of Ireland, has suffered in the economic downturn. The... Read more

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