This county town in the centre of Ireland has much to be admired. It is one-third of the Midlands Gateway and is easily accessible from any corner of this Fair Isle.
Whether it be by road, rail or water you can be sure you’re never more than a couple of hours from the iconic town.
New developments and investments have seen the locality thrive. It now boasts a gorgeous and scenic Greenway linking it to neighbouring town Athlone. The 42km stretch along the old railway tracks is bound to entice both avid athletes and nonchalant strollers alike.
So whichever method of transportation tickles your fancy, here are 10 reasons you should take the time to travel to Mullingar.
10 – Music runs through Mullingar’s veins
We’ve all heard of the phrase homegrown talent, this is especially true of Mullingar. The mass of talent being exported from this small town, leads one to question, whether there is more than fluoride in the towns water supply.
You can be sure the music from this town has fallen upon your ears at one stage in your life; young or old, man or woman, Irish or not, it is a certainty. Believe it or not, dancing to the “Best Song Ever” in a nightclub and listening to your Granny sing “Oh me oh my you make me smile” for the umpteenth time at a family gathering, have something in common. Both artists were born and bred in Mullingar.
This town has produced the likes of Joe Dolan, Niall Breslin (The Blizzards), Niall Horan (One Direction) and The Academic to name a few. These talented Mullingar natives have reached recognition on a global level. Despite all the fame and stardom, they haven’t forgotten where they came from. Does that not make you wonder what is so special about this little town?
The tribute statue to Joe Dolan in the centre of town, or, Niall Horan’s Brit awards on display in the Greville Arms Hotel is a great place to start off your quest of sightseeing in this town.
9 – A Place with Cultural Flair
This quaint town flaunts some cultural gems. Mullingar’s appreciation for the arts is obvious. For those of you who adore the arts be sure to check out The Mullingar Arts Centre. Opened in 1998 this auditorium was housed in the newly renovated County Hall.
This stage school showcases a fabulous stage, perfect for watching an outstanding theatre performance. The likes of PJ Gallagher, Keith Barry, Christy Moore and Des Bishop have had the honour of gracing the stage. However, if silence is more your style there is also the option of the Chimera Art Gallery. Your eyes are guaranteed to be aesthetically pleased with the vast array of masterpieces on display, created by immensely talented artists.
Conveniently located in the centre of town, both local and international artists exhibit their work in the unpretentious surroundings. The town also commemorates Irish history with some exquisite sculptures. Right in the centre of town at Dominick Place stands a Famine Memorial Fountain. This striking feature constructed of lavatorial millstone symbolises the towns own origins (An Muileann gCearr – “The Lefthandwise Mill”).
There is also a park dedicated to the 1916 rising, it contains actual granite from the GPO where the rising took place. The 1916 Centenary Memorial Park officially opened on Easter Monday 2016 on the 100th anniversary of becoming a sovereign nation.
8 – Excellent for Shopping
If history was never your favourite subject in school fear not, Mullingar has its fair share of retail outlets, so you can shop ‘til you drop. In addition to main street shopping, Mullingar also possesses not one, but two shopping centres, Harbour Place Shopping Centre and Fair Green Shopping Centre. Not to mention the staple of Irish fashion, a very large Penneys store. Whatever your hearts desire you can be sure to find it on the streets of Mullingar.
Whether you’re on the hunt for some new GAA gear (Elverys, Lifestyle Sports), want the next best high street trend (New Look, TK Maxx, Dorothy Perkins), are following the latest health craze (Boots, Holland & Barretts), are shopping on a budget (Dealz, Euro Giant) or anything in between it can all be found within close proximity to each other. Less time to get around, of course, means more time for shopping. Better get raiding those Piggy Banks!
7 – Class Pubs
Perhaps what the Irish are best known for is their pubs. There is not a tourist location across the world that does not sport an Irish Bar, and Mullingar is no exception to this.
It goes without saying that the best Irish bars are found within Ireland. This is where the real craic is had, and the best pint of Guinness is poured. Mullingar would be the perfect place to engage in a Pub crawl due to its vast splay of public houses.
Danny Byrnes has been a popular stop on a night out. Its large floor, beer garden and live music make for a great night out. They have even been known to host the odd mini-festival or two. The Old Stand, another lively well-reviewed venue. This site has more of a homely feel to it. Perfect if you just want to sit and chat over a beverage. Other establishments include; Druids Chair, Con’s, The Chambers, Clarkes Bar to name a few.
6 – Endless Sports
Mullingar is home to some outstanding sporting stadiums. The Mullingar Greyhound Stadium offers a great night. Whether you want to place some bets, have a drink, a bite to eat or just watch the races, all are on offer here. Not only is individual admission tendered, but corporate parties, stags and hens are also catered for.
If this all sounds too lively for your taste, then why not check out Mullingar Golf Club. This gorgeous course is kept in pristine condition all year round. Whether you are a member, a spectator or a once off player you can be sure you are felt very welcome here. When you’re done teeing off there is also a restaurant on site with some mouth-watering options.
5 – Beautiful Rivers
Sitting on the banks of the River Brosna and neighbouring Lough Ennell, Lough Owel and Lough Derravaragh there are plenty of water activities available. There are a plethora of scenic angling locations for the enthusiastic fisherman. In fact, the locals in the fishing tackle shops are more than happy to offer their expert knowledge on these areas based on your preference of fish or rod. Why not take a boat out on the tranquil waters? Your options are limitless.
Derrymore Springs, a water adventure centre helps you to decide on how best to splash in the sun. You can partake in rafting, kayaking, peddle boating, aqua golf and much more. The friendly experienced staff only enhance the experience. However, if you are less athletically inclined there a number of boat tours and cruises available, or of course, a good old-fashioned stroll by the water may entice you.
4 – Amazing Food
They say the key to the heart is through the stomach. No visit to any town would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. In additional the normal fast food chains, there are some delightful restaurants to tingle your taste buds.
The Red Earth is an amazing spot for those of you who adore fine dining. Their interior décor is fabulous, and the outside seating area is reminiscent of being on an exotic holiday in the sunshine. You will be happy to know that the food lives up to the same standard as the design.
Another unique eatery would be The Church Restaurant. Set up inside an old church the structure will leave you as much in awe as the menu will. Other notable suggestions include; The Old House Restaurant, Pasta Bella, JP’s Steak House, The Silver Oak and Lotus Garden, among many others.
3 – Adventure Time
If you’re looking for a jam-packed action-filled time, then you have come to the right place. In addition to a paintball and shooting range, there are several establishments that specialise in having a good time.
Lilliput Adventure Centre has activities that appeal to kids and adults alike. Whether you want team building exercises, a school tour, a family day out or a hen/stag weekend, every scenario is catered for. From abseiling to rock climbing and everything in between your adrenaline is sure to be pumping. Be sure to pack versatile however as you can go from dry land to bogland to water to forests in a matter of hours.
2 – A Great Family Day Out
If you are looking to entertain the children Mollie Moo’s Fun & Adventure Pet Farm & Playground will be right up your street. Pigs, goats, alpacas are just some of the animals kept. Children are provided with food if they would like to feed the animals. Not only is there a petting farm but there are plenty of other activities for the little tikes such as a playground, go-karts and crazy golf, which is all included in the admission fee.
There are plenty of picnic areas available to refuel throughout the day also. If farming isn’t your style, there are other activities in Mullingar that are perfect for a family day out. Why not try out the bowling alley or the pitch n putt course or the equestrian centre for some horse riding?
1 – Belvedere House and Gardens
In what was once a landmark in Winning Streak, Belvedere House is conceivably Mullingar’s most well-known tourist attraction. This stunning estate has an intriguing history. This can be experienced through one of the tours on offer.
Exploration can take you from the house to the follies of the walled garden to the woodlands and lakeshore and then to the fairy gardens. It is truly an enchanting place bursting with beauty. This is one experience that certainly cannot be missed. Words cannot describe the sensation of being immersed in a charming estate that is a part of history.