Tucked away in the heart of Ireland, the enchanting town of Roscommon is steeped in rich history, captivating culture, and natural beauty. It’s a region known for its picturesque landscapes, vibrant arts scene, and warm-hearted locals. Roscommon is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. As someone who has spent considerable time exploring the nooks and crannies of this beguiling town, allow me to introduce you to some “must do things in Roscommon” and let’s embark on this magical journey together.
Popular Tourist Attractions in Roscommon
Standing majestically amidst the greenery, the Roscommon Castle is a 13th-century marvel that has withstood the ravages of time. A walk around this well-preserved ruin gives one a glimpse into Ireland’s historical richness. With interpretive boards scattered around the grounds, you can embark on a self-guided tour and immerse yourself in the castle’s intriguing past.
Sacred Heart Church
The Sacred Heart Church, famed for its intricate architecture, is an absolute must-visit. With its breathtaking mosaic work and awe-inspiring stained glass windows, the church offers a serene space for reflection amidst its magnificent beauty.
Loughnaneane Park and Playground
Offering an expansive 14-acre space, Loughnaneane Park and Playground is perfect for a day of family fun. It’s a verdant paradise where kids can explore the playground while adults enjoy a leisurely stroll or a picnic by the lake.
Roscommon Equestrian Centre
For the horse lovers, a visit to the Roscommon Equestrian Centre is a must. The centre provides a range of activities, from horse-riding lessons for beginners to cross-country trails for the more experienced riders.
Top Things to Do in Roscommon
Exploring the Drumanone Dolmen
Witness a mesmerizing sunset at the Drumanone Dolmen, a prehistoric portal tomb that dates back to 2000 B.C. The eerie beauty of the dolmen against the backdrop of the setting sun creates an unforgettable experience.
Angling at River Suck
Roscommon is a haven for angling enthusiasts. The River Suck, teeming with a variety of fish species, offers excellent opportunities for a tranquil day of fishing.
Biking on the Lough Key Forest Park Trails
Rent a bike and head to Lough Key Forest Park, where winding trails through verdant forests await. It’s a perfect way to explore the area’s flora and fauna while enjoying a bit of exercise.
Visit Strokestown Park House
A visit to Strokestown Park House, with its preserved Georgian Palladian architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens, offers an enriching insight into Irish heritage.
Must-See Places in Roscommon
The Cistercian Boyle Abbey is a captivating site where the past and present collide. With its impressive arches and intricately carved details, it stands as a testament to the artistic abilities of the medieval monks.
An architectural gem in the heart of Boyle town, the King House is a magnificent mansion built in the 18th century. Now a museum, it hosts a fascinating exhibition of life in the house over the centuries.
Rathcroghan Royal Site
Considered one of the oldest and largest unexcavated royal sites in Europe, Rathcroghan is steeped in ancient lore. It’s believed to be the ancient capital of Connacht, home to the famous warrior queen Medb.
Arigna Mining Experience
An interactive experience that brings the history of coal mining to life. Descend into an underground mine with a former miner as your guide and get a feel of the harsh working conditions miners endured.
Best Places to Visit in Roscommon for First-Time Visitors
Roscommon County Museum
The perfect starting point for any first-time visitor, the Roscommon County Museum showcases an array of historical artifacts. It offers a wonderful snapshot of the region’s history, culture, and heritage.
Gleeson’s Townhouse & Restaurant
A multi-award-winning establishment, Gleeson’s Townhouse & Restaurant in Roscommon town serves delectable local cuisine. It’s also a great place to sample some of the best Irish whiskey.
Just a short drive from Roscommon town, Lough Ree offers picturesque views, boating activities, and a chance to spot some wildlife.
An iconic feature on the Roscommon landscape, the Elphin Windmill is a unique, fully restored windmill that dates back to the 18th century. It’s a striking monument that offers an insight into Ireland’s agrarian past.
Best Places to Visit in Roscommon for Families
Lough Key Forest and Activity Park
From adventure play kingdoms to tree-canopy walks, Lough Key Forest and Activity Park offers an array of fun-filled activities that guarantee a day of family delight.
Mote Park, with its scenic walking trails and vast play areas, is an excellent location for family picnics. Kids can enjoy the playground, while adults soak in the beautiful surroundings.
Tullyboy Animal Farm
Tullyboy Animal Farm provides kids with a wonderful opportunity to interact with a variety of farm animals. It’s a delightful place where children can learn about the countryside life in a fun and interactive way.
Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum
A trip to Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum is not only an enjoyable day out but also a learning experience for children, as they gain insights into a significant part of Irish history.
Night-Life in Roscommon
Roscommon’s nightlife may not rival Dublin’s in scale, but it offers its own unique charm. From cozy pubs like PJ’s Bar where you can enjoy traditional Irish music, to lively venues like Regan’s Gastro Pub & Restaurant where the local crowd mingles, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re in the mood for a quieter evening, a leisurely walk along the River Suck is the perfect way to enjoy Roscommon’s tranquil beauty.
Wrapping up, there’s a wealth of things to do in Roscommon. This town, though small in size, is bursting with charm and personality. From its historical attractions and beautiful landscapes to its friendly locals and delicious food, Roscommon offers an unforgettable experience for any traveler. So, whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, Roscommon is a destination that deserves a spot on your bucket list.
Frequently Asked Questions about Things to Do in Roscommon
Q1: How can I explore Roscommon’s history?
A: Roscommon is rich in historical sites. Visit places like the Roscommon Castle, Boyle Abbey, and Rathcroghan Royal Site for a deep dive into the town’s history. Don’t miss the Roscommon County Museum, which has a great collection of local historical artifacts.
Q2: What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Roscommon?
A: Roscommon offers numerous outdoor activities. You can enjoy angling at River Suck, horse-riding at the Roscommon Equestrian Centre, biking at Lough Key Forest Park, or simply walking through the beautiful Mote Park.
Q3: What are the options for dining in Roscommon?
A: Roscommon has a range of dining options, from quaint cafes to elegant restaurants. Gleeson’s Townhouse & Restaurant is an award-winning spot known for its delicious local fare. For a hearty pub meal, Regan’s Gastro Pub & Restaurant is a great choice.
Q4: What’s unique about Roscommon’s nightlife?
A: While not as bustling as larger cities, Roscommon offers a relaxed, friendly nightlife scene. Local pubs often have live traditional Irish music, and a leisurely walk along the River Suck can be a beautiful way to spend an evening.
Q5: Are there any family-friendly attractions in Roscommon?
A: Yes, there are many attractions in Roscommon that are perfect for families. Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Mote Park, and Tullyboy Animal Farm are popular spots for a family day out.
Q6: What can couples do in Roscommon?
A: Roscommon offers plenty of romantic experiences for couples. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the beautiful Loughnaneane Park, witness a mesmerizing sunset at the Drumanone Dolmen, or have a picnic by the lake at Lough Ree.
Q7: What are some hidden gems in Roscommon?
A: Beyond its popular attractions, Roscommon has many lesser-known spots waiting to be discovered. The Elphin Windmill, the Arigna Mining Experience, and the ancient Drumanone Dolmen are worth a visit.
Q8: Are there budget-friendly things to do in Roscommon?
A: Many of Roscommon’s attractions are budget-friendly or free. Exploring the Roscommon Castle, walking through the Mote Park, or biking around Lough Key Forest Park are some great affordable options.
Q9: What’s the best way to get around in Roscommon?
A: Roscommon town is compact and easy to explore on foot. For wider county exploration, you can rent a bike or car. Public transportation, including buses and taxis, are also available.
Q10: Can I shop locally in Roscommon?
A: Yes, Roscommon has several local shops where you can buy Irish crafts, local produce, and souvenirs. The Farmer’s Market, held every Friday, is a great place to explore local products.