Your 2-day Athlone Itinerary

If you’re looking for an authentic Irish experience, Athlone should top your list. With plenty to do and see and attractions to suit all ages, it’s the perfect weekend getaway for those looking to escape for just a little while. Explore at your own pace in your car to get the most out of your Hidden Heartlands adventure–book now to get started!

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Athlone Castle

Athlone CastleWhether you’re in Athlone for a history tour or outdoor adventures, a stop at Athlone Castle is still a “must-do.” Dating back to 1210, the castle’s walls tell a long, fascinating tale that features widely throughout Irish history. It was built as a structure to defend the crossing point of the river Shannon as well as a gateway to Connaught for the Normans.

Today, the Keep of the castle is a national monument and guided tours provide visitors with a comprehensive experience of the ancient castle. You’ll want to spend between 60-80 minutes at the castle for a complete visit, so it’s a great way to start off your Athlone holiday!

Be a Viking for a Day

Viking TourIreland’s viking past takes centre stage on an Athlone Viking Tour. Hop onboard a longship sail along Lough Ree all the way to the River Shannon toward Clonmacnoise. You’ll learn about Viking hoards, high kings, huge battles, and scholars while soaking up the natural untouched beauty of the Shannon banks.

Tours run from April to the winter months, so make sure to book your Athlone trip in the spring or summer if you’re keen on enjoying this special experience!

Enjoy the History of Sean’s Bar

Sean’s BarYou can’t leave Athlone without paying a visit to Sean’s Bar. Established around the year 900, Sean’s Bar boasts the title of the Oldest Pub in the World. It’s been serving Athlone residents and travellers for over 1,000 years, delighting each patron with a food, drink, and music. You’ll join the ranks of countless visitors who have entered the building at 13 Main Street, becoming a part of the pub’s storied history that will continue to grow.

Sean’s is a great place to stop for a rest before an evening of activity or some pre-dinner drinks and entertainment!

Have Dinner at Wineport Lodge

Wineport LodgeAfter a long day of exploring and sightseeing, you’ll need a hearty meal to replenish your energy. Wineport Lodge has a renowned restaurant with a fresh, seasonal menu that caters to all tastes. With a range of options including lamb shoulder, asian-style vegetables, and fresh salmon, Wineport Lodge sources their ingredients locally and prepares everything fresh. Plus, the extensive wine list and selection of craft beers won’t disappoint.

You’ll enjoy your meal as you overlook an inlet of Lough Ree, where you can observe lazy boats and a glorious sunset. It’s the perfect end to a long and eventful day!

Start Your Day with a Lowe & Co Breakfast

Lowe & CoGet your day off to a good start with breakfast at Lowe & Co in the Heart of Athlone. This artsy general store and cafe has a cosy country feel and a selection of fresh food, all ethically sourced and local. Enjoy organic breads, cakes, and sandwiches as well as fresh juice and coffee.

Take a Walk Down the Shannon Banks Nature Trail

Shannon Banks Nature TrailAfter having your fill of delicious food, head toward the back of Athlone Castle to enjoy a walk along the Shannon Banks Nature Trail. The marked trail takes in about 5 kilometres of a circled walk along the diverse west bank of the Shannon and the Old Athlone Canal. All along the route, you can learn about the various fish, wildlife, and flora and fauna of the region by a series of boards and plaques, helping you take in more of the natural wonders of this lovely space.

It’s an easy and leisurely stroll, suitable for all fitness levels and interests.

Shop and Browse in Ballinahown Craft Village

Ballinahown Craft VillageJust 15 minutes away from the heart of Athlone is the quaint country village of Ballinahown. Ballinahown is known as a hub of for crafts and creativity, with plenty of shops and galleries showcasing works by Irish designers and artisans. The Celtic Roots Studio is a great place to start, a stunning shop renowned for its collection of sculptures and jewelry carved from authentic Irish bogwood. It’s a wonderful place to stock up on gifts and souvenirs for your loved ones...or yourself! Take a break in the Tea Rooms for lunch. Re-opened in April 2018, the Ballinahown Tea Rooms serves light bites and pastries in a cosy setting, which will help you recharge after a busy day.