Kaceymni: Westmeath is one of those lesser explored counties which is very beautiful.
Just a few places off the top of my head which you should make an effort to visit are.......
1. The monastic site of Fore Abbey. Sarniagirl (one of the other regulars on here) should be able to give you some more info on it, as she visited there last summer. It is only a bout a half hour drive from Mullingar and is real Ireland at it's best. Completely off the tourist radar.
Here is a link to a blog on Fore.
2. Locke's Distillery in Kilbeggan.
3. The monastic site of Clonmacnoise in Co.Offaly.
Very near Athlone in Co. Westmeath.
4. If you pass through the town of Moate. There is a well known pub called Egan's which is featured on a well known postcard. A nice place to stop off at!
Here is a further list of places to see in County Westmeath and a forum about Athlone and Co Westmeath!
Fore is a beautiful, peaceful place. We liked it so much, we visited twice!
There's a little pub in Fore village, which looks quite friendly :-)
Loughcrew Gardens and Loughcrew Cairns are near Oldcastle, which is approx. 1hrs drive from Mullingar. During the winter months, the key for Loughcrew Cairns can be obtained from Loughcrew House or Gardens:
And here are details of opening hours etc; I'd recommend phoning ahead of visiting, just in case things have changed:
Belvedere House should be open, according to its web-site. The food in the cafe was disappointing, but we enjoyed walking through the gardens and visiting the house:
Ballymahon is probably closer to Athlone and there certainly are plenty of places here that you can visit. Apart from those mentioned earlier I think that you will find Tullamore a most interesting town to visit. The Bridge House Hotel is very popular and serves up wholesome food throughout the day. You can also visit the Tullamore Dew whiskey heritage centre, located in the town at an original bonded warehouse and is well worth a visit.
Thanks all for your suggestions! I'll also be going off to Galway for a day or 2. This will be my 4th time to beautiful Ireland.
hi kaceymi you should try skellys pub ballymahon. its in the middle of town and has a lovely bar that serves food as well.
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