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Friday, 11 June 2021

5 Museums to Visit and Explore during your Landmark Hotel Staycation

king house boyle andmark hotel

Feel like going for short spin to see other sites, perhaps a bit of culture to break up the day as you wander from lakes to mountains and back to town again? There is so much history to explore in the region, and the following are all within 25km of Carrick-on-Shannon and The Landmark Hotel.


1. The McGahern Barracks

Take a spin out the N4 towards Boyle and you can make a detour to the little village of Cootehall, the childhood home of the writer and national treasure, John McGahern. The Barracks where McGahern spent a number of years as a child, has recently been restored by a volunteer community group as a museum and community space. Focusing on the life of the country Garda from yesteryear, and the life and writings of John McGahern, this brand new museum has only very recently opened its doors to the public. Because of the voluntary nature of the organisation, you will need to book your tour in advance, and you will be greeted with great enthusiasm by any one of the number of enthusiastic local tour guides who will talk you through the items on display and chat to you about the great man himself. A short film of, until now, unseen footage from a recent documentary can be watched at your leisure and afterwards you can stroll along by the shores of Oakport lake, or the kids can have endless fun in the community playground, which is right next door to the museum.

For further information take a look at www.mcgahernbarracks.ie


2. King House

Returning back to the main N4 you can continue on to Boyle and the stunning King House. At one point destined for demolition, King House has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Built between 1720 and 1740 it is one of the earliest surviving substantial townhouses in the province of Connacht. It was home to two generations of the King family who subsequently moved to a grander house on the grounds of Rockingham estate, or Lough Key Forest Park as it is known to many now. The house in Boyle became an army barracks and maintained a military connection ever since. Today, it houses a military museum which the kids will love! and a number of permanent art collections, including the Boyle Civic Art Collection, a collection of paintings and sculptures by the very best of contemporary Irish artists. The acquisition of works commenced in 1990, and the ever-expanding collection now is in excess of 150 paintings and sculptures. It also houses a collection of state gifts kindly donated by former President McAleese , from her time as President of Ireland. https://www.visitkinghouse.ie/

In the grounds you will find the Úna Bhán Tourism and Craft Shop where you are likely to pick up more information about further attractions in the region. https://unabhan.ie/     


3. Arigna Mining Experience

From Boyle you can continue on to the scenic village of Arigna and to the Arigna Mining Experience. Due to the fact that the tours take place in the old mines where social distancing is limited, the Mines are currently closed, but keep an eye on their website as they hope to open up very soon. The location itself is breathtaking – even for that you could make the trip. At the Centre, when open, you can take a tour of the mines and see the extensive display of historic documents, photographs and mining equipment of from years gone by. There is also a gift shop and tea rooms. Well worth a visit! https://www.arignaminingexperience.ie/

4. Glenview Folk Museum

Back in Co. Leitrim again, take a visit to Ballinamore, to the Glenview Folk Museum located just outside the town.  This family run museum was set up in the year 2000 as a response to the loss of rural memory and identity and a recognition of the importance of preserving the past for the future.

The museum consists of many different attractions from old household & farm items to vehicles and a full street scene which has been fully reconstructed to really give you a feel for 1930s Ireland. And for the kiddies, it will be a glimpse into a world nearly forgotten. http://glenviewmuseum.ie/

5. Strokestown House and Gardens

Unfortunately closed for the moment but hoping to open soon, Strokestown House and Gardens is located just a short walk from the town’s Main St. The stunning Gardens and parkland are open to visitors and the coffee shop is open for take-away. Once restrictions are lifted further, the House and Famine Museum will re-open. There are 6 acres of walled gardens to be explored with the restored croquet lawn and summer house, pleasure garden and fruit and vegetable garden. There is also a garden trail for the little ones to explore.

On re-opening, tours of the House can be booked and this is a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours, stepping back in time to see this old family, left as if the family have just stepped out for a walk, with family photos, children’s toys and the beds made up. A Famine Museum there traces the story of so many Irish people during the famine and specifically tells a history of the house and its inhabitants at the time.

Keep an eye on the website for the announcement of opening times, which should be very soon: https://www.strokestownpark.ie/        

If you are planning of heading off for the afternoon and need to be pointed in the right direction, your Reception Team will happily assist you with directions and recommendations. Whether you are looking for outdoor or indoor activities, many of these historic destinations offer a little of both. Happy exploring!


Planning your Staycation? Looking for accommodation with access to a choice of activities and amenities? The Landmark Hotel, ticks all the boxes. We invite you to check out our Special Offers or call our team at +353 (0)71 96 22 222. We look forward to welcoming you!