So last week we visited my favorite county in Ireland which borders with this week’s lesser known star of the north west, Lovely Leitrim. This county is something of a hidden gem as far as I’m concerned. It is the least populated of all the counties in Ireland and here you will find the source of the mighty River Shannon. It’s coastline is only 2.5km long but what it lacks in seascape, it more than makes up for with a stunning landscape of mountain valleys, rolling hills, tranquil lakes and gentle waterways.
1. A Cruise on The Shannon
Carrick-on Shannon, Leitrim’s county town is the perfect starting point for a Shannon cruise. Take the Shannon-Erne canal north-eastwards or head south and sail through the heart of Ireland on Ireland’s largest river. There’s lots to take in along the way-medieval churches, quaint Irish villages and of course welcoming pubs. If time is limited, take the 1 hour Moon River Cruise at Carrick-on-Shannon with a bar, commentary and entertainment on board!
2. Glencar Waterfall
“where the wandering water gushes from the hills above Glencar” W.B Yeats
Ireland’s highest waterfall is a must see on any trip to Leitrim. Best to catch it after a healthy Irish downpour of rain which shouldn’t be that much of a tall order in our lovely country! It also shares it’s name with one of my absolute favorites from The Irish Store summer collection.
The Glencar Waterfall wrap is the perfect summer layer and falls and flows beautifully to give a stylish layered look.
3. Parkes Castle
It wouldn’t be the same without a trip to a castle and Leitrim doesn’t disappoint. Parkes Castle perches on the edge of Lough Gill and dates back to the 15th century. Take the tour, roam around the ancient battlements and enjoy breathtaking views across the lake.
4. Glenade Lake
There’s so many lakes in Leitrim that we have to visit at least one more before we leave the county. The Glenade Valley is one of the finest examples of a glacial valley in the world and it’s lake holds an old Irish myth. In 1722, local girl Grace Connolly was killed by a monster that lived in the lake which went by the name of the Dobharchu. When her husband found the body he slayed the beast but woke it’s companion in the lake who then chased the man and his brother to Cashelgarron at the foot of Benbulben in Sligo. There, the men finally managed to overcome the monster and you can still see Grace’s tomb in the nearby ancient graveyard where a staue of the Dobharchu stands.
5. Fenagh Abbey
Let’s stay in ancient Ireland on our final stop in Leitrim. Feangh Abbey is one of Ireland’s oldest monastic sites. A monastery was founded here in the 6th century by St.Caillin. The Gothic ruins that remain today are from the 16th century. Other prehistoric remains can be discovered in the nearby area including a portal tomb at the north of Fenagh Village.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Looking forward to catching up next week.
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Slán go fóill!
The Irish Store Founder