10 BEST things to do in Westmeath in 2024 (we tried them all)

Westmeath is full of amazing things to do so we’re here to help. Here are the top ten best things to do in Westmeath!

County Westmeath lies in the heart of Ireland. A beauty spot in the midlands, it has so much to offer visitors.

Splendid countryside, exciting waterways, and historical landmarks can all be found in Westmeath with lots of fun activities for all.

In the 14th century, the Kingdom of Meath became divided leaving Meath ruled by the English and the west of the county a Gaeltacht area.

Westmeath remained a county on its own, developing a unique vibe and an economic structure around the main town of Mullingar.

With plenty to do in this midland county, it is a great place to stop during an Irish road trip or weekend getaway.

Our top tips for visiting County Westmeath:

  • The best way to explore Ireland is by car. If you need information on renting a car in Ireland, check out our handy guide.
  • The weather in Ireland is unpredictable. Always check the forecast (and bring a raincoat anyway, just in case!).
  • Hotels in Westmeath get snapped up quickly. Always book in advance for the best deals.
  • Download maps when connected to Wi-Fi as phone signal can be unreliable, particularly in rural areas.

10. The River Shannon – follow the winding river

The River Shannon touches on many counties, including Westmeath.

The Shannon is the longest river in Ireland and divides the west from the east and south of the country.

It runs from the Shannon Pot in Co. Cavan down the middle of Ireland before heading west towards Limerick where it meets the Atlantic Ocean via the Shannon Estuary.

Westmeath is one of the counties the Shannon runs through, and there are many beauty spots to view it from.

A range of boats (including Viking boats!) can be hired in Athlone and taken along the Shannon River.

It is a fantastic way to take in the sights and enjoy County Westmeath from the water.

9. Tullynally Castle – full of folklore

Tullynally Castle is another great adventure waiting to be had.
Credit: @dan.stenson / Instagram

Tullynally Castle is an example of Irish history meeting Irish folklore. The name derives from the Gaelic words Tulaigh an Eallaigh, meaning the Hill of the Swan.

Legend has it that Lake Derravaragh that sits beneath the castle is the lake that appears in The Children of Lir, an Irish myth about four children who were turned into swans by their evil stepmother.

The castle grounds are beautiful for an afternoon stroll with the tearooms perfect for a tasty treat with a pot of tea.

For castle enthusiasts, Tullynally is rich in history and poses incredible Gothic-style architecture with over 120 rooms.

8. Mullaghmeen Forest – get lost in the beauty

Looking a breath of fresh air, check out Mullaghmeen Forest.
Credit: @chrispynugget / Instagram

Spanning a massive 400 hectares, Mullaghmeen is the largest planted beech forest in the country.

It has beautiful walking trails, is perfect for hiking, and has stunning views of counties Westmeath and Cavan from the top.

Like a lot of places in Ireland, Mullaghmeen is an ideal spot for a picnic… when the sun comes out, that is!

But our advice is to pack for all weathers so you can still enjoy the day when the rain does eventually arrive.

7. Mollie Moo’s Pet Farm – make some furry friends

Mollie Moo's Pet Farm is one of the top things to check out in the county too.

Most children love a pet farm, with family-run Mollie Moo’s in Mullingar the perfect spot for some wholesome fun.

Ponies, goats, bunnies, ducks, and pigs are some of the residents with the cute factor.

Winners of the Best Leisure Attraction at the Midlands 103 Hospitality Awards last year, Mollie Moo’s Pet Farm is a super safe site for young explorers.

Children are given a bag of snacks for the animals when they go in and get the chance to feed them as well as learn about their different needs and behaviour.

READ: The Ireland Before You Die guide to the best farm parks and petting zoos in Ireland.

6. Lilliput Adventure Centre – for the adrenaline rush

Looking a rush, visit Lilliput Adventure Centre.

For some adrenaline-boosting activities head to the Lilliput Adventure Centre in Jonathan Swift Park, Co. Westmeath.

There’s plenty to do for people of all abilities and comfortable accommodation and food should you want to make a weekend of it.

For a more personal challenge, there is a chance to gain an accredited skill in kayaking or canoeing, and it is an excellent place for team building groups or school trips.

Lilliput adventure centre is definitely among the top ten best things to do in Westmeath while coming away with new life-skills and treasured memories.

5. Dún na Sí Heritage Park – step back in time

Dún na Sí Heritage Park is another of the top best things to do in Westmeath.
Credit: @DunNaSiPark / Facebook

Heritage trails, nature walks, tearooms, music sessions, and art are all part of the wonderful experience at Dún Na Sí Heritage Park.

Heritage trails, nature walks, tearooms, music sessions, and art are all part of the wonderful experience at Dún Na Sí Heritage Park.

It has a wealth of educational aspects with the opportunity to learn about Irish folklore, 19th-century rural life, and Celtic musical traditions.

The Westmeath Genealogical Centre is also based at Dún Na Sí Heritage Park.

It offers the opportunity to delve into Irish ancestry and family links under the expert guidance of the Irish Family History Foundation.

4. Hill of Uisneach – a site of ancient history

The Hill of Uisneach is another of the top best things to do in Westmeath.
C: Thin Places Tours

Many ancient spots around the country play intricate roles in Irish heritage. Still, the Hill of Uisneach in Westmeath is celebrated as the sacred centre of Ireland.

Standing almost 600ft above sea level, the summit of the hill offers stunning views of the county’s landscape.

There are so many elements to the ancient history of Uisneach, but the earliest findings record evidence back to Neolithic times.

It is believed to be the burial site of the Earth Goddess, Ériu, and Sun God, Lugh, with remains of the Hill Fort revealing its links to Irish royalty.

There is also a path leading to the ancient Hill of Tara where the High Kings of Ireland sat.

3. Athlone Castle – chock-full of history

Athlone Castle us another of the top best things to do in Westmeath.

Ireland has some of the most beautiful castles in the world with Athlone castle firmly on the list of top ten best things to do in Westmeath.

It dates back to the 12th century and holds a wealth of history within its walls.

The tour of the castle is fascinating and well presented with 3D figures and interactive exhibitions perfect for educating all age groups.

Athlone Castle lies on the banks of the Shannon River and is an essential part of Irish history.

The visitor centre offers so much information and a great day out for families and small groups. It is well worth a visit during a trip to Westmeath.

READ MORE: our guide to visiting Athlone Castle

2. Baysports – for wet and wild adventures

Another of the top best things to do in Westmeath is Baysports.
Credit: baysports.ie

Ireland’s largest inflatable waterpark is in Athlone and one of the best things to do in Westmeath. The Round Tower slide is the biggest floating, inflated slide in the world.

At the same time, the Isle of Saints and Scholars is a lot more fun than it sounds with five super fun slides appearing from all angles.

There are junior slides for smaller visitors, with hiring pedal boats or kayaks another option.

Sailing, rafting and dragon boat racing are some of the other fantastic water sports on offer, making a day out truly memorable.

Tickets for the waterpark can be booked online, and we advise to plan your trip well in advance to avoid disappointment.

LEARN MORE: Our top reasons to visit Baysports.

1. Sean’s Bar – Ireland’s oldest pub

Sean's Bar is one of the top best things to do in Westmeath.

It is fair to say a lot of people visit Ireland for the Guinness, and where better to sample a pint of the black stuff than in Ireland’s oldest pub?

Sean’s Bar in Athlone dates back to 900AD with some of the earliest artefacts found at the site still on display.

Merely walking into the bar takes you back to another time, with sawdust on the floor and turf on the fire, it offers a real ‘old Irish’ experience.

The atmosphere is fantastic at Sean’s, and, although closed due to COVID restrictions at the moment, we can’t wait to visit again later this year. It almost feels natural to go back to the beginning and start again.

READ MORE: The IB4UD guide to Sean’s Bar.

Your questions answered about the best things to do in County Westmeath

If you still have some burning questions about this topic, don’t worry! We’ve compiled some of our readers’ frequently asked questions as well as questions that are often asked online.

What is Westmeath most famous for?

What makes Westmeath stand out are its lakes. Lough Derravaragh is an important place in Irish mythology, while Lough Owel and Lough Ennell are excellent spots for watersports.

What is the main town of Westmeath?

The biggest town in Westmeath is Athlone.

What is the nickname for Westmeath?

Given its fame for its lakes, the unsurprising nickname for Westmeath is ‘The Lake County’.

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