Leitrim is well known for its luscious landscapes, mountains and lakes. It is a popular place among hikers, anglers and those who just need to head for the hills for some well-earned R&R and fresh, clean air.
The locals are friendly and very proud of their Connacht countryside and culture, with a wealth of beautiful surroundings and traditional events on offer in the small villages across the county.
So before you plan your next great escape, take a look at some of the best spots to get away from it all, soak up the atmosphere (and sink a few pints) in Ireland’s lovely North-West.
5. Gurns Milestone Pub, Manorhamilton
Stop the lights! Gurns Milestone pub is not hard to find. It is on a corner of Main Street at the only set of traffic lights in county Leitrim. Like a beacon of welcome to anyone visiting, staying or passing through, Gurns is an excellent place for a drink and a big feed.
All the food is home-cooked and definitely among some of the best in town. They have an impressive gluten-free menu for us fussy types and the helpings are generous with delicious desserts too. And what’s more, they serve a great pint of Guinness!
You will find many a local in Gurns with all major sporting events shown on the big screen. They have a pool table, an outdoor area and live music most weekends, so it’s a great spot to plot up for a mighty session. They even offer a free taxi service on Saturday nights to make sure you get home in one piece.
4. Conway’s Bar, Drumshanbo
The town of Drumshanbo sits in the very heart of Leitrim and hosts the award-winning Joe Mooney Summer School during the third week of July every year. It is a fantastic chance to give traditional Irish music and dance a try in an idyllic location.
All the pubs in Drumshanbo get involved in the festival with Conway’s one of the best spots to soak up the energy only a live Irish music session can provide. With some of the friendliest people in the country and a relaxed summer vibe, it is one of the best times to visit Leitrim.
A classic Irish pub at its best, Conway is sure to give you the true traditional experience on your travels. It is a warm place that will stay in your heart long after you leave.
3. The Barrelstore, Carrick on Shannon
If you are a craft beer connoisseur with a passion for old-fashioned sweets, then The Barrelstore is the place for you. I have never come across a pub where you can wash down a pot noodle with local ale and a refresher chaser.
Perhaps not the best spot for anyone with a sensitive tummy, it is somewhere different with a generous dollop of Irish charm for good measure. With food served from a somewhat alternate menu and a place to stay upstairs for visitors, it could be said it has everything you need for a weekend away.
As far as watering holes go, the choice of drinks is exceptional, the live music great and the staff are friendly and local. It is also in the heart of town so could make an excellent base to explore from.
2. Wynne’s Market Bar, Drumkeeran
You will have no doubt you’re in Ireland if you find yourself in Wynne’s in Drumkerrin village. It is a classic Irish pub with the best pint of Guinness, an endless flow of mighty craic and some sound advice from the barman. It is also a petrol station!
This pretty little pub is an award-winning spot, and the locals are proud to have it on their doorstep. And so they should be! Wynne’s Market Bar is everything a pub should be in Ireland and always looks immaculate inside and out.
We highly recommend you visit during their annual tractor run, usually in March but it ran later this year due to the bad weather. Keep an eye out for next year’s race for some good old-fashioned fun at an excellent traditional event. It is usually followed by live music by some local talent to round off the day.
1. Stanford Village Inn, Dromahair
A favourite among locals, this village Inn epitomises rural Ireland. In the business for more than 200 years and the same clan for an impressive six generations, Stanford’s knows a thing or two about keeping the punters happy.
It is the perfect spot for visitors to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of unspoiled Connacht and an ideal place to stay for anyone on a walking holiday or on the way to nearby Sligo. Set in the quaint village of Dromahair, Stanford Village Inn is nestled among stunning mountains and lakes.
They serve some deliciously wholesome food, and the restored slate floors and charming décor create a real sense of tradition. The rural setting and log fire make it a gorgeous getaway spot over Christmas when the menu offers all the festive favourites. A highly recommended hideaway!