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Family-friendly: Why Roscommon is the perfect place for a summer break

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When it comes to booking a holiday for the whole family, there are a lot of things to consider. How long will it take to get there, is there appropriate accommodation and will there be enough activities to keep everyone from grandma to tiny tots entertained.

It’s enough to make your head spin. But, if you’re looking for a holiday that you’ll remember forever, look no further than lovely Roscommon. Just two hours drive from Dublin, this fantastic county has got everything from water sports to luxury spa breaks.

Here’s why it’s the perfect place for a summer break.

Great accommodation

When planning your dream summer holiday, accommodation will be at the top of your wish list. Thankfully, Roscommon has got plenty of options to suit every taste (and every budget).

For a truly decadent stay, check in to Kilronan Castle. This luxury four-star hotel and spa was once the ancestral home of the Tennison family. Today, it’s a great place to stay with kids or on a romantic weekend break for two.

If you’re searching for somewhere more modern, Hodson Bay Hotel on the shores of Lough Ree is another excellent hotel choice. The hotel has everything you could need for a family break with fine dining and casual restaurants, large bedrooms and a state of the art leisure centre.

Another great option is the family-run Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town. This well-known hotel has a fantastic track record of excellent hospitality and they offer some really great family rates.

If you want to try somewhere a little bit different this year, Willowbrook Glamping and Hideaways is a great spot for families who want to enjoy the fun of camping while also having all the important amenities to hand. Their hilariously named ‘Yurt Cobain’ sleeps a family of four comfortably.

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Another great self-catering option is Riverhaven log cabins. These eco-friendly Scandinavian cabins nestled into the shores of Lough Key look like they have been lifted straight from a fairy tale. There is even a private playground on site and families are free to roam the family farm and meet Misty the Connemara pony. Honestly, what could be better?

Outdoor activities

Roscommon is an adventure haven with plenty of outdoor activities for children (and big kids too).

Situated just outside Boyle , Lough Key Forest and Activity Park is a natural amusement park that’s packed with things to do. With Zipit Forest Adventures, you can fly through the trees on zip lines, ride a BMX on a treetop bridge or swing through the forest like Tarzan. Other amenities on site include boat hire, speedboat tours, segway tours through the forest, biking and some lovely walking routes.

If you want to make a splash, head to Shannon River Adventure in Roosky where you can try kayaking, canoeing or pier jumping. If you prefer dry land or are looking to keep the fun going, there is also a mudslide, archery and a climbing wall to try.

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Roscommon is also home to Ireland’s largest inflatable waterpark. Located just outside Athlone, Baysports has a huge selection of floating slides, rockers and challenges that will provide some great fun (and a bit of healthy competition) for the whole family.

Historic sites

If you’re looking to add a bit of culture to your trip, Roscommon has plenty of interesting historical sites to visit, starting with Rathcroghan.

The home of the legendary Queen Medb, Rathcroghan is a special place that has an incredible 240 archaeological sites and 60 protected national monuments in its surroundings. Known as the Sacred Capital of Connacht, the exhibitions at the Rathcroghan visitor centre uncover its history and place in Irish mythology.

Next up we have Boyle Abbey. Dating back to the 12 century, the abbey has endured many sieges and occupations over the years but its ruins remain a well-preserved example of Cistercian architecture. It’s a great place to visit while driving through the town.

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Finally, no trip to Roscommon would be complete without stopping off at Strokestown House, the home of the first landlord to be assassinated during the Great Famine. Strokestown House also has a National Famine Museum on its grounds as well as its beautiful gardens.

Wonderful restaurants

After a year of takeaways and dining in, the prospect of dining out during your staycation is an exciting one. Roscommon has plenty of great restaurants to choose from.

The Purple Onion is a cosy restaurant and bar with art gallery based in Tarmonbarry. The bar serves food seven days a week and the gallery can be opened for curious visitors at any time. This place has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and a warm welcome is always guaranteed.

Another family-run business in the area is Gleeson’s Townhouse. Eamonn and Mary along with their daughter Cáit have been running this business for decades. Today it is comprised of a popular restaurant, café and even accommodation if you want to stay the night. The food is always top notch with a focus on local ingredients throughout the menu.

Peaceful trails

If you feel like stretching your legs on your holiday, Roscommon will not disappoint. This little county has an abundance of great trails to explore.

The Loughnaneane Sculpture Trail is a great route for any art buff. The Sculpture Trail, located throughout Loughnaneane Park, informs you of its rich heritage. The Nature Chair set along the banks of the pond is the perfect place to stop and take it all in.

Or, if you’d prefer a family cycle, saddle up and ride the 8km route from Boyle Marina along the banks of the Boyle Canal, through scenic woodland until you reach the magnificent Lough Key. Don’t forget a picnic!

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If you want to take on a real challenge during your trip, the Suck Valley Way is a fantastic walking route that meanders along the banks of the River Suck, with its numerous lakes and drainage channels. This circular walking route is 105km in length, takes about five days to complete and passes through counties Roscommon and Galway.

Explore Roscommon for your summer staycation - Check out the Visit Roscommon website.


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