Get active in nature in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Ireland’s beautiful rural heartlands provide a wonderful setting for activities that will bring you closer to nature and nurture body and soul.

Stretching from Leitrim in the north to Tipperary in the south, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands are a picture-perfect outdoor playground.

From hiking and biking to canoeing, cruising, climbing, horse riding and more – you will find endless, fun ways to enjoy being active in nature.

With the River Shannon forming the backbone of the Heartlands, it’s no surprise that water-based activities abound.

At Cavan Adventure Centre in Lough Oughter, you can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or just have fun in the extensive Water Park.

Or why not have a go at hydro-biking along the Shannon-Erne waterway or take a deep breath and plunge into some wild swimming from a lakeside beach such as Mount Shannon at Lough Derg?

If you prefer to remain on land, a cycle, run or walk along a traffic-free greenway is a delight. The Old Rail Trail Greenway, which stretches 42 km from Athlone to Mullingar, traces the historic Midlands Great Western Railway track past restored station houses and under stone arched bridges.

Part of the Royal Canal Greenway also meanders through the Heartlands, ending its 130km path in County Longford. It follows a former towpath for horse‐drawn barges past old bridges, locks and stone-walled fields.

To make sure everyone can enjoy cycling through the scenic Heartlands, electric bikes are readily available for hire.

For hikers, there are many great waymarked trails. Among these is the 64km Lough Derg Way. It follows a mix of riverbank, canal bank, forest track and road and passes important heritage sites such as Portumna Castle and Holy Island.

The charming town of Nenagh is near to Lough Derg and is worth a visit to see its impressive thirteenth-century castle, which has a wonderful crenellated keep and a five-sided courtyard.

The Lough Derg and Shannon Blueways are stunning trails running on and alongside idyllic lakes, canals and rivers, providing more great opportunities for enjoying this unique landscape on or off the water.

Running through the lush pastureland of the Golden Vale is the Ballyhoura Way, which has a number of trails to hike or enjoy on horseback. With four upland stretches, it rewards the climb with great views over the surrounding countryside.

The Hidden Heartlands are also a great place to find eco accommodation meaning that your contact with nature does not end when the day’s activity is done. Rent an off-grid cabin at Crann Óg Eco Farm in County Galway, go glamping in a woodland hideaway in County Leitrim or choose a lakeside setting in County Westmeath.

Wherever you decide to stay and whichever activities you decide to do, you cannot fail to be enchanted by the natural beauty and the restful rhythm of the Hidden Heartlands.  

Get active in Ireland.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



Press release by www.ireland.com

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



Get featured on Ireland Before You Die

Do you want to get your Irish business more online exposure? Especially to those interested in travelling the best places in Ireland? Then why not get a dedicated feature on Ireland Before You Die. Find out more here.

Related Posts

Disclosure

Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Send this to a friend