Things to Do Around Longford
Experience the best of the Irish Midlands.
Longford – a hidden gem in the heart of Ireland. Surrounded by some of Ireland’s best fishing lakes and rivers, not to mention some of the best golf courses, Longford town has all of the amenities you’ll need for a stay in Ireland – banks, cinemas, theatres, shopping centres to mention but a few. Some of the activities available near Melview Lodge Bed and Breakfast Accommodation are listed below.
Angling & Fishing
An Anglers Paradise
At the heart of the Lakelands of Ireland, Longford is host to some of the best coarse fishing available in the country. The county boasts many excellent lakes, rivers and canals, including the longest county shoreline of the River Shannon. The River Inny, the River Camlin, Lough Gowna and Lough Ree are some of the more well known angling locations. Good fishing can be enjoyed from the shore in all locations with expert local angling information available on the most productive sites.
Rivers of Longford
Game fishing is also a popular activity in the region, with numerous locations where excellent catches can be taken. The Shannon, one of the finest fisheries in Ireland, and also the longest river, is famed for catches along its length. It carves its way through Longford, from Rooskey to Lanesborough (the renowned hot water stretch).It holds excellent stocks of pike in its weedy inlets and wider stretches at the entrance of the Camlin and Feorish rivers. It is particularly noted for its pike around the eastern shore from Killeenmore right through to Poolagh Point and the shore north of Elfeet Bay to Lanesborough.The Inny River flowing into Lough Ree is a magnificent pike fishery and can be fished at numerous locations for other species including roach, bream, perch and tench.
Lake of the Kings
The bays of Lough Ree have many bags of large bream taken each year, with roach and tench also widely available. Lough Gowna, one of the crown jewels of Ireland’s coarse fisheries, is a series of interconnecting lakes that form the headwaters of Lough Erne. The numerous weedy bays and inlets of the main lake and smaller waters are all top class for pike, bream, roach and trout fishing. Lough Forbes, one of the smaller lakes on the Shannon, is one of the best locations on this stretch while Lough Ree at 30km long is the second biggest lake on the Shannon and a renowned angling site.
Cruising & Boating
History & Info
After many years of laying derelict, The Royal Canal, which was built between 1789 and 1817 and then closed in the 1961, is now mainly restored to its former glory. It was officially re-opened on September 30th 2010 at Richmond Harbour in Clondra and is navigable from Spencer Dock in Dublin to Richmond Harbour in Clondra in Co Longford. Clondra is the point where the Canal meets the River Shannon. Its magnificent cut stone harbour make it a particularly attractive village, full of reminders of canal life with pubs offering traditional music, excellent food and drink, and Fáilte Ireland registered accommodation.
The Royal Canal Way is a 90 mile long publicly owned right of way crosses through counties Dublin, Kildare Meath and Westmeath before entering county Longford at Abbeyshrule. Travelling by boat along ‘The Royal Canal’ brings visitors through a wild and beautiful landscape that remains largely unspoilt and untamed. It is a tranquil journey that introduces travellers to a variety of wild flora and fauna they would perhaps otherwise never see. It allows the visitor to meander at their own pace through County Longford from the village of Abbeyshrule, then Ballymahon, kenagh, Killashee, and on to Clondra village. A branch of the Canal links the main line with the county town of Longford. Those walking ‘The Royal Canal Way’ have the choice of branching off into Longford town or continuing on to Clondra, whichever they prefer.Those travelling by water will have to remain on the main line as the Longford stretch is still in the process of being restored for navigation.
Villages,Canal Folk and Festivals
Much of the canal paths close to the villages have been enhanced in recent years so it is possible at most harbours to dock your boat and enjoy a short sojourn into the local shops to stock up on supplies or chat with the locals. A wide variety of events and festivals take place in the towns and villages along the banks of the canal throughout the year. These events bring an eclectic group of visitors to the county. Those with a love of canal cruising are joined by those with a love of music, dance, cultural and heritage weekends, canoeing, water polo, angling, walking and cycling. Added to the changing calendar of events is the annual canal rally and the heritage boat cruise. Those living along or near the canal are a distinct type of people; open, friendly, curious and ready to help out the visitors travelling by boat with local information or locally produced vegetables and baked goods etc. Whichever it is, visitors along the Royal Canal in Longford can be assured of a welcome and warm hospitality. It is these types of experience which make travelling the Royal Canal a joy from start to finish. For further information on boat hire and cruising The Royal Canal please contact: Waterways Ireland or Shannon River
Outdoor & Adventure Activities
Outdoor Adventure Centre Ballymahon
The Outdoor Discovery Adventure Company in Ballymahon is the place where Ireland comes to play! The adventurous in spirit can enjoy water sporting activities such as Canoeing, Kayaking, White Water Rafting and River Tubing, White Water Body Boarding, Zorbing, and Aqua Spheres. The expert staff also conduct events/classes in Archery, Orienteering, Treasure Hunting, and much more. Alex himself runs kayaking Skills Courses Level 1 – 4 as well as River Safety and Rescue Skills Courses. Booking for these courses and all other activities is required.For further information contact:
Tel: 00353 (0)90 6400111 / 00353 (0)87 2721245
Shannon River Adventure
Experience adventure on the banks of the scenic River Shannon. Located beside scenic Lough Bofin, close to the villages of Rooskey and Dromod, our adventure centre offers many fun-filled water and land based activities which include Kayaking, Canoeing, Archery, Mudslide, Orienteering, Pier-jumping, Raft-building & Raft trips, Island trips & camps, Team-building games – there is something to challenge and reward all ages and abilities.
Phone: 00353 (0)71 9638300
Mobile: 00353 (0)87 2077559
Midland Go-Karting & Paintball
The Midland karting race track facility consists of 1100 meters of the highest quality asphalt track. It is often regarded as the finest karting track the country has to offer and is the venue for the Karting Championships which take place annually. The Midland Paintballing site is located in a 20 acre wooded area near Edgeworthstown in Co.Longford. The grounds are also floodlit so the game can be played at night time or throughout the autumn and winter. Midland Karting & Paintball is truly a wonderful facility and a day or evening spent here provides an exhilarating experience. For further information contact:
Mr. Tom McLoughlin
Midland Karting, Cranleymore, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford.
Phone: 00353 (0)43-6671308 /087-2748266
Horse Riding & Trekking
There are three equestrian centres in the Longford area. Mosstown Stables in Kenagh, Mount Cashel Stables in Kilrooskey, and Haydens Equestrain Centre in Bornacoola. Mosstown Stables is a facility run by the Harrison Family in County Longford, Ireland. It is the home of young Irish rider Robert Harrison. The family’s core business is producing show jumping horses and ponies, to great success. The Stables comprises an all-weather facility enabling riding classes, showjumping practice and events that can be held at any time of day and at any time of year. The arena has been approved by the Association of Irish Riding Establishments (AIRE) and the facility is also Bord Failte approved, with highly experienced full-time and part-time instructors employed. Horses are also available for hire and the facility can be rented for show jumping competitions and practice. There is also an outdoor arena available.For further information contact:
Mosstown Stables, Keenagh, Co.Longford
Tel: 00353 (0)43 3322414
Walking & Hiking
County Longford is graced with some of Irelands most remote, unique and unspoilt landscape. The entire county offers underexplored, lowlying countryside for the walker, cyclist and nature lover. Derrycassin Woodland Walk is located in Dring and hugs the shoreline of Lough Gowna. The Commons North Woodland Walk is located in Lanesborough on the banks of Lough Ree, while Newcastle Woods is located in Ballymahon and extends to both sides of the River Inny. Walkers on any of these trails can meander at a leisurely pace through the diverse ecological woodland, enjoying the tranquillity and wilderness effect of the forest canopy.
There are many other wonderful trails and walkways around the county, in Kenagh, Newtowncashel, Abbeyshrule, Ballinamuck, and of course the climb to the summit of Corn Hill (Cairn Hill), the highest point in the county. The Mall Park, situated in the centre of Longford town, is a beautifully landscaped community space on the banks of the river Camlin. There are also large stretches of raised bogland around the county, some in relatively pristine condition and quite distinct to the midlands of Ireland. Boglands are a habitat which have become increasingly rare throughout Europe. These biodiverse places offer the walker/explorer the opportunity to see a range of specialised plants and animals. Edenmore Bogwalk in North Longford is a pristine bogland trail, which introduces the walker to the biodiversity of County Longford.
The Royal Route
The most impressive trail within the county is of course The Royal Canal Way. This is a 90 mile long publicly owned right of way which links Spencer Dock in Dublin to Clondra in Co.Longford. Richmond Harbour in Clondra is the point at which The Royal Canal links up with the River Shannon. The pathway crosses through counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath before entering County Longford. Walkers can meander at their own pace through County Longford from Abbeyshrule, to Ballymahon, kenagh, Killashee, and on to Clondra village. There is a choice of branching off into Longford town or continuing on to Clondra. Walking the Royal Canal Way is possible either as a long distance walk or as a series of short walks.
Footsteps of Heroes
Longford also forms part of The Tain Trail , The Goldsmith Trail and The Humbert Trail, all hugely important in Irish history and mythology. Walking any or all of Longford trails offers the opportunity to stop off in the villages and towns of County Longford, chat with the locals, enjoy a pint or a well made Irish coffee, sample some fine food and take in the beautiful Lakeland scenery and culture of this most midland of counties. Visitors can expect an authentic glimpse of the real Ireland that is fast disappearing elsewhere.
The Backstage Theatre
Backstage Theatre is a purpose built state of the art theatre located in the Slashers GAA Complex, Farnehoogan, which is on the outskirts of Longford town. The auditorium accommodates 214 persons (including disabled access for 6). Its lavishly appointed interior features plush pullman seating, deep carpets, warm wall colours, heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems which ensure the utmost in audience comfort. The Canal Studio at Backstage Theatre is ideal for conferences, seminars, courses, workshops & meetings. It accommodates up to 150 people.
Address : Backstage Theatre, Farnehoogan, Longford.
Tel: 00353 (0)43 3347888
Longford Omniplex Cinema
The Longford Omniplex cinema is located in the town and has four screens showing the latest movies