WHERE TO EAT
Opportunities to eat high quality food which is locally produced have been steadily growing in recent years. Some of the most exciting developments in the production, preparation and cooking of good food are occuring in the west and north-west of Ireland. Heaven & Connacht can direct you to good places to eat and it can also provide access to partners who can cook a special meal wherever you are staying or help you develop your cooking skills.
Drumanilra Organic Farm
The Drumanilra Farm Kitchen is owned and run by Liam and Justina Gavin of Drumanilra Organic Farm. which iis on the shores of Loch Cé. They aim to generate a sustainable and independent income for the farm by supplying produce directly to customers and have developed an amazing network of organic food supply and places to eat across the North-West. You can read more about their pioneering efforts at www.drumanilra.ie
The Purple Onion
This renowned restaurant and pub is situated right beside the river Shannon at Tarmonbarry.
The Bush Hotel
The Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon is one of the great institutions of the area.
One of Ireland’s finest pub and just one of many reasons to visit Sligo. Established in 1868 it is genuinely traditional in look and feel but modern in every other way. Lunch in one of the small snugs that fit no more than four people is a real pleasure.
Blake's of the Hollow
This wonder ful olf pub and restaurant is one of the gems of the town of Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh. The author John McGahern was a regular visitor and wrote lovingly about it.
Cryan's Hotel and Bar
Attending a traditional Irish music session and Bluegrass gig in Cryan’s Old Bar – which is known as the “Matt Molloys” of Carrick-on-Shannon – is a must for any visitor to the town. Cryan’s have live music four nights a week – Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – all year round. The bar is located across the courtyard from the hotel, so you don’t have to worry about it interrupting your sleep, if you do decide on an early night.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a few larger hotels in the Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo area but there are a growing number of high quality guest houses, bed and breakfasts, self-catering and short term room rentals. There are a also few castles that you can stay in but you can also camp, glamp or park up your mobile home. Heaven & Connacht will assist you in organising accomodation which best suits your tour plans.
Lough Key House
Lough Key House is a small but beautiful 200 year old Georgian Period house beside the entrance to Lough Key Forest Park near Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. It is run by Frances McDonagh who offers six bedrooms to warmly welcome guests.
Riverhaven Log Cabins
The Burke family provide wonderful log cabin accomodation beside Loch Cé. Enquiries & bookings should be made directly HERE
Tawnylust Lodge is the perfect escape from the stresses and strains of the modern world. This tranquil, eco-friendly retreat is ideal for solo travellers, working couples, writers, artists, or anyone wishing to take time out and relax. It’s the perfect choice for Irish people looking for a staycation, or for international travellers seeking an authentic experience of rural Ireland.
The Lodge has been designed to be wheelchair friendly. Best of all, with just one apartment, you’ll have the place to yourself!
Ard Nahoo Eco Cabins
Ard Nahoo award winning Eco Cabins, near Dromahair Co. Sligo, are self-catering facilities built with eco principles in mind. ‘The perfect place to escape the world’.
Lough Arrow Cottage
Luxury self catering cottage in Sligo.
This restored 100 year old stone cottage is not just a place to come. It is a place to return to. Its light and privacy allow deep peace and dream-time on the shore of Lough Arrow, one of the most beautiful lakes in the west of Ireland. Nestled in a valley between Bricklieve and Curlew Mountains, Lough Arrow is approximately 4 miles long with several islands, bays and peninsulas. It lies at a distance of 4 miles north of Boyle and approx 15 miles from Sligo. This is one of Ireland’s renowned brown trout lakes with late evening fishing being of particular interest. The Mayfly season is especially well known and begins approx 17th May and continues normally until the second week in June. Fishing is free and boats and ghillies are available on request.
Situated in a quiet and discrete area beside the Boyle river and Clarendon Lock at Knockvicar. This is a good base for exploring the natural heritage of the area with a number of organic farms and an alpaca farm nearby,
Lough Allen Hotel
The Landmark Hotel
YThe largest hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.
The Bush Hotel
The Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon is one of the great institutions of the area.
WHERE TO VISIT
Heaven & Connacht provides personalised tours to places of particular interest to you. Some of these are exciting, not just because they are less well known and therefore less visited, but also because their importance is not yet fully appreciated. There are so many ancient sites in the area that Co. Sligo is seeking UNESCO world heritage status for them collectively. Here are some more conventional facilities you could include in your tour.
A visit to King House in Boyle, Co. Roscommon, is a great starting point for visitors to the area. This sensitively restored Georgian Mansion was once one of the finest town houses in Connacht. Originally built in 1720 as the main residence of the powerful King Family, the house later became a military barracks for the Connaught Rangers. It is now a museum and cultural centre and houses one of the finest civic art collections outside Dublin.
The story of King House is the story of the ending of the Gaelic Kingdom of Moylurg, the supression of the monasteries and the rise of soldier / adventurers who eventually became the landlord class of ‘The Big House’; in this case the Stafford-King-Harmon’s of Rockingham House the remains of which now form the base for the Lough Key Forest Park Adventure Centre.
The Barracks (John McGahern)
‘Everything interesting begins with one person and one place’.
The barracks has a unique place in Irish history. Through the writings of John McGahern, it has become one of the best-known houses in Ireland. Through his writings, particularly The Barracks (1963) and Memoir (2004) we gain an insight into family life, the life of policemen, and everyday life in and around the village of Cootehall in the middle of the last century.
Using quotations from his writings along with photos, a documentary video of McGahern, sound recordings and a variety of artefacts from the middle of the last century, the exhibition tells the story of how a young boy went on to become one of Ireland’s most famous writers.
Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre
Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Cruachan Aí, at Tulsk in Co. Roscommon was one of the royal complexes of ancient Ireland associated with the legendary Queen Maebh and the epic Irish saga, the Táin Bó Cuailgne (Cattle Raid of Cooley). It is one of the oldest and largest unexcavated royal complexes in Europe and is sometimes referred to the ‘Tara of Connacht’.
Dr Douglas Hyde Interpretative Centre
Doughlas Hyde was the first President of an independent Irish state and co-founder of Conradh na Gaelige (Gaelic League) a major movement to revive the Irish language established in 1893. His scholarship, writings and gathering of folklore were a major source of influence on the Irish Literary Renaissance and he later joined with WB Yeats, Lady Gregory and John Millington Synge to create an Irish theatre.
National Famine Museum
The irish National Famine Museum is located in what was once the stable yards of Strokestown Park, an estate owned by the Mahon family from the late 17th century until 1979. When what remained of the original property was purchased, an archive of papers relating to the management of the estate came to light. This collection is now regarded as the single best, private archive on the Great Irish Famine in the world. The house can only be seen by guided tour and this tour can be combined with a tour of the gardens and the National Famine Museum.
Arigna Mining Experience & Wind Turbines.
This underground visitor centre, situated in beautiful scenery, tells the story of the 400 year old coal mining heritage of the area and provides visitors with an insight into coal mining life as it was in the Arigna Valley for centuries. The tour down the mine is led by people from the area and is a visit to remember. Following the trip down the mine it is possible to travel over Arigna mountain to see wind turbines in action. In 2018 wind provided 85% of Ireland’s renewable electricity and 30% of our total electricity demand. It is the second greatest source of electricity generation in Ireland after natural gas.
The Shed Distillery
A creator of new recipes, an inventor, an experimenter – PJ Rigney dreamed of building his own distillery, but not just any distillery. The location was crucial – it had to be wild, un-manicured, in the heart of rural Ireland. A place of curiosity & inspiration, surrounded by nature, immersed in rich history. He discovered the beautiful village of Drumshanbo, on the shores of Lough Allen, at the foothills of Sliabh an Iarainn (The Iron Mountain), and PJ knew he had found the location for his distillery. The distillery makes Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey and Sausage Tree, Pure Irish Vodka.
Anthony Trollope Trail
Cavan Burren Park opened to the public in May 2014. But the site itself goes back a little longer…probably around 340 million years to the Carboniferous period when this whole area was covered in a shallow tropical sea. In the park you can experience a wonderful interpretative centre and five amazing walking trails around Cavan Burren Park, all highlighting the spectacular prehistoric tombs, fantastic geology and special stories that make this such a unique environment.
Carefully placed interpretation throughout this site explains all the features as you take in the 360° views. Stories of Giants and moving glaciers come to life with every step you take in this breathtaking prehistoric park.