The top 10 best things to do in Roscommon, Ireland (County Guide)

Heading to the west coast from Dublin and fancy a stop in between? Check out our bucket list of the best things to do in Roscommon. 

Ruins, castles, lakes, forests, Ireland’s largest floating waterpark, and the birthplace of Halloween – there are tons of reasons to visit Roscommon in central Ireland.

And, while the county ranks lower on most visitors’ lists than the likes of Dublin, Galway, or Kerry, we do believe everyone should come to Roscommon at least once in their lives.

Curious? That’s the spirit!

Before you pack your bags and jump into the car (or book your flight), have a look at the best things to do in Roscommon for inspiration. 

10. Tullyboy Farm – cuddle animals at a family-run farm

Tullyboy Farm is the perfect spot to cuddle some animals and make furry friends.
Credit: tullyboyfarm.com

This farm between Boyle and Carrick-on-Shannon has been welcoming families for over 20 years and makes a great day out with the kids. 

There’re tons of animals to see, feed, and cuddle, a mini tractor barrel train to explore the whole farm, picnic spots, and a playground.

Other popular activities include straw diving for hidden goodies and horse riding.

Check out their website for special events such as Easter egg hunts and Halloween parties. 

More info: HERE 

Address: Tullyboy Farm, Tullyboy, Croghan, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

9. Roscommon Castle – visit impressive ruins in a gorgeous park for free

Roscommon Castle is a visit to impressive ruins.

Built in 1269, this castle was almost immediately partly destroyed by Irish forces and burned down to the ground in 1690. However, it continues to impress in ruins to date.

Once owned by Hugh O’Connor, King of Connaught, the fortress features a quadrangular plan with rounded bastions and a double-towered gate.

It is located just next to Loughnaneane Park, a 14-acre recreational area boasting a turlough, a visitor deck, and a wildlife conservation area. 

What’s more: This is one of the best things to do in Roscommon that doesn’t cost you a penny!

Address: Castle Ln, Cloonbrackna, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

8. Boyle Arts Festival – enjoy ten days of music, performances, and literature events 

The Boyle Arts Festival a greta place to enjoy music and performances.
Credit: boylearts.com

The fun ten-day-festival features music, theatre, storytelling, and contemporary Irish art exhibitions and is a must-visit when in Roscommon in summer (or a good excuse to visit the county for the first time!).

The focus lies on young and emerging Irish artists, so keep your eyes peeled for fresh new talent that might soon make headlines in the art world.

The next festival is scheduled to take place in Mid-July 2021. 

More info: HERE

Address: Knocknashee, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

7. Strokestown Park House – learn about the Great Famine in a Georgian family home

Strokestown Park House is a great place to learn about the Great Famine.
Co Roscommon-Strokestown Park

This stunning Georgian mansion was the home of the Pakenham Mahon family. It was built on the site of the 16th-century castle, owned by the O’Conor Roe Gaelic Chieftains. 

Its first landlord, Major Denis Mahon, was assassinated at the height of the Great Famine in 1847 which makes it fit that it now houses the National Famine Museum. 

A 50-minute tour takes you through the mansion as well as the museum, while the six-acre pleasure gardens can be visited without a guide. 

More info: HERE 

Address: Vesnoy, Co. Roscommon, F42 H282, Ireland

6. Baysports – splash into Ireland’s largest inflatable waterpark 

Baysports is another of the top best things to do in Roscommon.
Credit: baysports.ie

Ready to get yourself wet? An action-packed trip to Baysports is one of the best things to do in Roscommon if you have kids in tow. 

The massive waterpark at Hodson Bay has award-winning floating slides, rockers, a multifunctional jumping platform, and even its own mini waterpark for children from four years old. 

Visits are limited to one hour, but if you crave more, you can always book another session after a 30-minute rest. 

More info: HERE

Address: Hodson Bay, Barry More, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 KH72, Ireland

5. King House Historic & Cultural Centre – brush up your history knowledge and visit a market

King House is another of the best things to do in Roscommon.
Credit: visitkinghouse.ie

King House is a restored Georgian mansion, built in 1730 as a home for the King Family. It was later turned into a military barracks and a recruiting depot for the Irish regiment of the British army, the Connaught Rangers. 

These days, it houses a history museum as well as an art collection. If you are around on a Saturday, make sure to visit their famous farmer’s market before or after checking out the interiors.  

More info: HERE

Address: Military Rd, Knocknashee, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

4. Lough Key Forest Park – enjoy a fun and outdoorsy family day 

Looking another of the best things to do in Roscommon, check out Lough key Forest Park.

Visiting Lough Key Forest Park is one of the best things to do in Roscommon, Ireland, for families.

Originally founded in the 19th century, the 800-hectare-park, 40 kms south-east of Sligo, was part of the Rockingham Estate and is now a public forest and adventure park perfect for a day out with kids.

Fun things to do, include a panoramic, 300-metre long treetop canopy walk with stunning lake views, an adventure playground, zip-lining, electric bikes, boat and Segway rentals, as well as an indoor game centre called Boda Borg for unexpected rain bursts. 

More info: HERE

Address: Boyle, Co. Roscommon, F52 PY66, Ireland

3. Rathcroghan – tour Europe’s oldest and largest Celtic royal sight

Rathcroghan is one of the top best things to do in Roscommon.

For anyone with interest in Celtic mythology, Rathcroghan near Tulsk must go on the bucket list it is known as the Sacred Capital of Connacht and, according to legend, the location where Halloween originated. 

Rathcroghan has over 240 identified archaeological sites, ranging in date from the Neolithic Period to the late-medieval period, including more than 60 ancient national monuments, 28 burial mounds as well as standing stones, cairns, and monumental fortresses. 

Guides and the excellent visitor centre introduce you to the sights and legends. 

More info: HERE 

Address: Tulsk, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, F45 HH51, Ireland 

2. Arigna Mining Experience – learn about the hard life of miners and explore the caves

Another of the top best things to do in Roscommon is Arigna Mining Experience.

Fancy going underground? The Arigna Mining Experience takes you into a former coal mine that was in operation since the1700s and until 1990.

The 45-minute-tour led by ex-miners gives a unique insight into mining and the lives of the locals that had worked at Arigna while covering the history of mining and its impact on the local community. 

Keep in mind that the temperature below the surface is just 10ºC, so bring a thick jumper or jacket even when visiting in summer. 

More info: HERE

Address: Derreenavoggy, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

1. Boyle Abbey – dive into Ireland’s monastic past

Credit: Boyle Abbey Instagram @youngboyle

Founded in the 12th century by monks from Mellifont Abbey, this fortress has endured many sieges and occupations over the years. However, its ruins remain one of the best-preserved examples of Cistercian architecture.

Make sure to look up, so you don’t miss the original stone carvings that survived the abbey’s time as an English garrison bass!

The abbey is a national monument and one of the best things to do in Roscommon. A restored gatehouse of the 16th/17th century has been turned into a permanent exhibition where you can learn more about the abbey’s fascinating past. 

More info: HERE

Address: 12 Sycamore Cres, Knocknashee, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, F52 PF90, Ireland 

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Astrid Hofer works as a freelance journalist for media outlets around the world, mainly writing about travel, lifestyle, and pop culture. When she is not busy listening to live music in one of her favourite pubs, taking cheesy sunset pictures at the beach, or cliff walking, she can usually be found over a mug of hot chocolate planning her next trip.