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Touring Leitrim

Shannon-Erne waterway by Suse Leitrim courtesy Geograph Ireland Leitrim is, unlike many of Ireland’s other counties, short of coastline with only two miles of it found at Tulloghan. An ancient high cross is nearby. The county has lakes and rivers to balance its lack of seaside attractions.

photo Lough Allen canal bridge by Suse courtesy Geograph Ireland Leitrim mooring by Alan Murray-Rust courtesy Geograph Ireland Boglands, mountains, and pastureland make up much of the geography of the county. Lough Allen and Lough Gill are the two largest lakes. The Shannon-Erne Waterway runs through the county connecting lakes and rivers and providing canal activities. Hill walking is another popular county activity and a number of trails are provided. They include Slí Liatroma and the Historical Trail of the north Leitrim glens.

 Cavan and Leitrim Railway train by P L Chadwick courtesy Geograph Ireland In the far south of the county Tidy Towns winner Dromod is a fishing village with an attractive harbour. The Cavan and Leitrim Steam Railway is available for rides. By Mohill is the Lough Rynn estate, offering woodland, three walled gardens, an arboretum, a restaurant, a craft shop, nature trails, and guided tours of the estate’s historic 19th century buildings including the home once belonging to the earls of Leitrim. In the estate are the remains of a Neolithic burial site. By the entrance to the ruined 12th century Cloonmorris church graveyard is an Ogham stone.

Carrick on Shannon Arts Centre by Brian Shaw courtesy Geograph Ireland Carrick on Shannon bridge by Brian Shaw courtesy Geograph Ireland Leitrim’s county town is Carrick-on-Shannon. At the marina cruises are available, and boats can be hired. Fishing is another local activity. The Leitrim Design House at Market Yard Centre is where to go for local art and craft purchases. The Costello mortuary chapel on Bridge Street was built in 1877 as a memorial and is said to be the smallest in Europe. A clock dated 1905 is at the east end of the street. An 1821 courthouse and 1830 manor house are other historic buildings. If you take the Arigna Scenic Drive from the town, be aware the roads are in poor condition and are narrow and steep.

7Drumshanbo High St by Oliver Dixon courtesy Geograph Ireland Drumshanbo, at the southern end of Lough Allen, is known for its coarse fishing and music. The Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre tells the local history story with displays and an AV show. There are walking trails in the area.

Ballinamore Main Street by Oliver Dixon courtesy Geograph Ireland Shannon-Erne Waterway by John M courtesy Geograph Ireland Ballinamore, east of Drumshanbo, sits on the Yellow River and is part of the Shannon-Erne waterway. All kinds of water craft can be rented, and the area is also a popular fishing venue, with 40 lakes within a few miles. The Swan Island Open Farm, in addition to animals has a marina and restaurant.

Keshcarrigan quay by Susan Bolus courtesy Geograph Ireland Keshcarrigan is a scenic village on the Shannon-Erne waterway. The pubs have traditional music sessions. Many historical sites are nearby.

Lough Allen by Oliver Dixon courtesy Geograph Ireland Drumkeerin, on the west side of Lough Allen, has a Heritage Centre where you can learn about the local history and visit a typical Irish cottage and farmyard, complete with pig sty and garden. There is a collection of artefacts and a craft shop. At Tarmon are the ruins of a medieval abbey.

Glencar waterfall by John M courtesy Geograph Ireland Glencar Lough cliffs by Willie Duffin courtesy Geograph Ireland North-west of Lough Allen in the north of the county, near the village of Manorhamilton, is an area of great beauty. The North Leitrim Glens Visitor Centre gives information on the valleys, hills, woodland walks, and the small 50-foot waterfall of Glencar in the limestone Glencar mountain area.

Parkes Castle by John Darcy courtesy Geograph Ireland Close to the west coast, Parkes Castle, near Leckaun at Lough Gill, is a 17th century fortified manor house offering guided tours of its restored interior. From the castle a waterbus goes to Innishfree.

Creevelea Franciscan friary by Willie Duffin courtesy Geograph Ireland Creevelea Franciscan friary by Willie Duffin courtesy Geograph Ireland Near the castle is Creevelea Franciscan friary, the last Franciscan abbey founded in Ireland before the monasteries were suppressed. The friary can be reached by riverside walks from Dromahair village on the river Bonet. The ruins of a nave, tower, transept, chancel, west door, and east and west windows can be viewed along with tombs. Kilargue, a small village in a scenic area, has a holy well and other historical ruins nearby. From the summit of O’Donnell’s Rock are views over the countryside.

Rossinver and Ballagh River by Kenneth Allen courtesy Geograph Ireland From Rossinver on the south shore of Lough Melvin, you can walk to Fowley Falls on the Glenaniff River or take in some fishing. There’s a local organic centre with demonstration gardens, training courses, animals, and a shop.

Lough Melvin by Dr Charles Nelson courtesy Geograph Ireland At the top of Lough Melvin near Tullaghan is Kinlough. Its Folk Museum is an example of a traditional old house. The area is noted for its salmon and trout fishing.

Leitrim Attractions

Cavan and Leitrim Steam Railway
Tel. 0 71 963 8599
Web: Cavan and Leitrim Steam Railway

Drumkeerin Heritage Centre
Resource Centre, Lisgaveen, Drumkeerin, on Manorhamilton/Sligo road beside the village
Tel. 0 71 96 48353

Fenagh Abbey
3km from Ballinamore

Fenagh Visitor Centre
Fenaghbeg, Co Leitrim
Tel. 0 71 964 5590
Web: Fenagh Visitor Centre

Glenview House B and B Museum
Aughoo Bridge, Ballinamore
Tel. 0 71 964 4157
Web: Glenview House Museum

Glencar Waterfall
Glencar Lough
11km west of Manorhamilton

Kilmore Waterbus to Isle of Innishfree
Tel. 0 71 916 4266, Mobile: 0 87 259 8869

Kinlough Folk Museum
Barrack Street, Kinlough
Tel. 0 71 916 6296

Leitrim Design House
Market Yard Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon
Tel. 0 71 962 2255

Lough Rynn Estate
Tel. 0 71 96 31427

Parkes Castle
Lough Gill, Fivemile Bourne
Tel. 0 71 916 4149

Prince Connall’s Grave

Organic Centre
Tel. 0 71 98 54338
Web: Organic Centre

Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre
Tel. 0 71 964 1522

St George’s Heritage and Visitor Centre
Carrick on Shannon
Tel. 0 71 962 1757

Swan Island Open Farm
Tel. 0 49 433 3065

County Leitrim Tourist Information Centre

Leitrim Tourism
The Barrel Store, Carrick on Shannon
Tel. 071 9620170

County Leitrim Official Website: Leitrim Tourism

Photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
Shannon-Erne Waterway, Keshcarrigan quay, Lough Allen canal bridge by Suse; Parkes Castle by John Darcy; Lough Melvin by Dr Charles Nelson; Carrick on Shannon Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon bridge by Brian Shaw; Leitrim mooring by Alan Murray-Rust; Dromod Cavan and Leitrim Railway train by P L Chadwick; Drumshanbo High St, Ballinamore Main Street, Lough Allen by Oliver Dixon; Shannon-Erne Waterway, Glencar waterfall by John M; Glencar Lough cliffs, two images of Creevelea Franciscan friary by Willie Duffin; Rossinver and Ballagh River by Kenneth Allen

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