In our TravelTuesday blog this week we are taking you to the heart of Ireland with a look at three counties across the Hidden Heartlands and parts of Irelands Ancient East and looking at Things to Do and where you can stay along the way. With 400 hotels and guesthouses in Ireland now accepting the Go Anywhere Gift Card you will never be far from a cosy hotel when travelling around Ireland.
Tip: Remember to book early and most importantly to book directly with our partner hotels. Weekends are often the popular times to stay but amazing bargains and packages can often be had with a midweek getaway, especially Mondays and Tuesdays.
Within a 90min drive of Dublin, Galway and Sligo, Westmeath’s ease of access for many makes it a great destination of family breaks. While getting there is one thing, keeping everyone entertained can be a different challenge and thankfully Westmeath stands up to the challenge.
Things to do in Westmeath
Kilbeggan Distillery is not only one of the country’s many famed distilleries it is also the oldest. A past mixed with both tragedy and triumph, Kilbeggan Distillery tells the story of tradition, innovation and indeed community. Take a tour of the distillery with and learn of its proud history. Visit https://www.kilbegganwhiskey.com/
A visit to Belvedere House and Gardens in Mullingar may be the perfect way to feast on what the Spring has to offer. Woodland walks, fairy gardens, walled gardens, historical follies and indeed Belvedere House itself are all on offer to future visitors, just make sure to have a camera ready to go.
Officially opened in March 2021, the Royal Canal Greenway connects Maynooth in Kildare to Longford along a 200-year-old, 130 km, Canal. Start from one of 14 access points and walk, run or cycle along the countries longest greenway. www.belvedere-house.ie
Places to Stay in Westmeath
Westmeath offers a range of luxury three and four star hotels perfect for family breaks, spa breaks or romantic breaks. With hotels in Athlone and Mullingar town, plus locations on both Lough Enell and Lough Ree you can choose to be hidden away or in the middle of these lively town when you stay.
Try: The classy four star Glasson Lakehouse close to Lough Enell offers an onsite golf course as well as being a dog friendly hotel. Click Here to visit
Similarly, to Westmeath, Offaly boasts a number of historical and natural beauty spots along with a famous distillery.
Things to do in Offaly
If you’re a self-professed Whiskey aficionado and want to carry on from Kilbeggan Distillery while not visit Tullamore Dew right on the edge on Tullamore town. They now even offer virtual snugs until they can fully open again.
The unique experience of Lough Boora Discovery Park is an ideal way to spend a day with the family or even on your own. From a selection of distinctive sculptures to discover around the park to the fairy garden and walking and cycling routes, this old bog is now breathing a new life and helping people and nature to connect once again. For more info: www.loughboora.com
A visit to Birr Castle Demesne will allow you to see that size is everything. Birr Castle has the unique distinction of hosting the world’s largest telescope dating back to the 1840s. As such, the Castle also offers a Science centre to visit along with its 50 hectares of garden to explore.
Places to Stay in Offaly
Try – Stay in the heart of Tullamore town with a break in The Bridge House Hotel Tullamore. A four-star hotel with comfortable outdoor seating, spa and swimming pool. This midlands hotel is offering a number of packages and deals this summer including many free cancelation options. Visit the Bridge House Hotel Tullamore Here.
Although Co Laois has, in recent years, become synonymous with music through the Electric Picnic festival, is also boasts a number of distinctive historical points of interest.
Things to Do in Laois
The Rock of Dunamase is one of the county’s most popular tourist attractions. Like a scene from Lord of the Rings, this Celtic stone formation, which watches over the Valley of the O’ Moore’s, has significant ties to the Vikings and the Norman invasions.
For the those that like the great outdoors, the Slieve Bloom mountains, which stretch through Laois into Offaly offer a selection of walking trails from loop walks to a full 3-day 84 km hike.
Where to Stay in Laois
The Go Anywhere Gift Card is accepted in three county Laois hotels, including a three, four and five-star hotel.
Try - The 4 star Midlands Park Hotel in the centre of Portlaoise town, within walking distance of the Portlaoise train station. The hotel offers a selection of dining options as well as modern rooms, gym, spa and pool facilities. A popular choice for couples, groups and families all year round. Visit the Midlands Park Hotel Here
The Go Anywhere gift card offers the opportunity of a getaway in one of 400 wonderful hotels around Ireland. With a selection of 5-star luxury resorts to family owned guesthouses the gift card will offer someone you love the chance to find their perfect getaway. The gift card also offers recipients to ability book directly with hotels in order to avail of all the best packages and deals on offer while also giving the opportunity to spend the card while at the hotel. With an expiry of at least 5 years it also removes any pressure on booking, use the Go Anywhere gift card where and when you please. With values starting at €50 it is the ideal gift for any occasion.
(Please visit all visit tourist attraction website for the most up to date information before you travel. Please adhere to current Covid-19 government travel guidelines.)