September Travel: Carrick on Shannon and Lough Key

When we think of taking a weekend break in either Northern of the Republic of Ireland, our thoughts invariably travel towards the great cities of Dublin and Belfast, with their rich mixture of history, culture and heritage. But the sum of Ireland is so much more than the two capital cities and so this post is focusing on two more amazing and beautiful places that are well worth a look.

Carrick-On-Shannon

If you want to take a look at the real Ireland in a vibrant lively place that is within two hours drive of both Dublin and Belfast, then look no further than Carrick-On-Shannon. Once a rather sleepy riverside town, in recent years it has become a bit of a party capital, attracting groups looking to celebrate birthdays and stag and hen nights. But if you are worried that a place that attracts pleasure seekers may not be for you, then then think again.

Carrick-On-Shannon has both a great music and arts scene, but is also full of wonderful culture and history that make it interesting and diverse. I mean, how could you not be interested in a town that has a chapel known as the Irish Taj Mahal, a symbol of love and also the smallest chapel in Ireland (the Costello Chapel fact fans.)

The town also boasts a castle, a Friary, and a host of interesting historic buildings that have been renovated for modern use, like the County Court building that is now the Dock Arts Centre.

Lively, vibrant, cultured and historic, all in all a perfect town with something for everyone.

Lough Key

Lough Key is the place for those who love the mysterious, the mystical, the legends and lores of Ireland. Dominated by the beautiful lake, it is a place that will be adored by those who love the great outdoors, with paths and trails that are great for those who love to walk, hike or cycle.

Lough Key is a home to a range of wildlife and flora and fauna which you can enjoy in the most leisurely way. As it is just 12 miles from Carrick-On-Shannon, you could combine a two centre stay, or just pay a visit to enjoy the piece and tranquility after the bustle of Carrick.

Have you ever visited Lough Key or Carrick-On-Shannon?