Begin your 3-day adventure in Athlone’s Hidden Heartlands, by exploring the town on foot! One of our favorite walks is the Shannon Walks Nature Trail, you can start off at the rear of Athlone Castle and walk along the Banks of the River Shannon and the old Athlone Canal. This walk is approx. 5km long.
If you want to escape the vibrant town for the morning, we highly recommend visiting Portlick Millenium Forest, which is a short 20-minute drive away, following the shores of beautiful Lough Ree.
When you arrive to Athlone, one of the first things you will notice is the 13th century Athlone Castle. Located along the banks of the River Shannon and only a 5-minutes stroll from the hotel, this must-see visitor attraction brings history to life through modern exhibitions, museum artefacts and multimedia presentations.
Straight across the road from Athlone Castle is the stunning Luan Gallery which contains contemporary and traditional artistic pieces through a variety of media from painting to sculptures to textiles. Admission is free.
Time to sit back, relax, have a drink and cruise in style! With the town situated on the banks of the River Shannon, you can’t possibly visit Athlone and not take to the waters of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. There are a few options to choose from, depending on your interests:
Viking Tour cruise on the River Shannon which is a replica Viking boat. Travel upriver with Viking Mike and his crew, to the majestic Lough Ree (75 mins) or downstream to the famous monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise (90mins one way).
If Vikings aren’t quite your thing, the River Run offers a contemporary alternative. Experience the history, culture and adventures along the River Shannon. River Run provides an all-weather fun experience along with a fully stocked bar, light refreshments and live entertainment.
Athlone is often described as ‘foodies’ destination’ and we have to agree! Here’s our top picks, which are all within walking distance of the hotel. The Left Bank Bistro, which is located on a sunny corner in Athlone’s most vibrant food and drink quarter. Thyme Restaurant, is only a 3-minute walk from the hotel and is lovingly managed by John and Tara Coffey. If your taste buds, fancy modern Mediterranean cuisine, we highly recommend Bacchus Restaurant.
There is no better way to explore Ireland Hidden Heartlands than by hopping on a bike. The Old Rail Trail is a designated cycle path that starts at Garrycastle and continues to the town of Mullingar. For the next 40km you will be in biking heaven! If you don’t have your bikes with you, the great news is that hire one directly from Hotel Reception with our compliments. With lots of entry and exit points, you can hop on and off, to explore the villages and attractions along the way.
Alternatively, you can take a shorter route to Moate, approx. 12.3km. With this route, you can stop off and visit Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park. This park comprises of the Scéal Exhibition in the Comhaltas Teach Cheoil, a Heritage Trail, Vintage Museum, Pet Farm, Walking Trails, Native Irish Woodland, Turlough, Playground and The Pantry Café.
After a busy morning tackling the Greenway, a well-deserved lunch is on the menu! On your way back from the Greenway, take a short detour to Wineport Lodge. Enjoy a delicious lunch, in this peaceful location, which is surrounded by Lough Ree and native woodland. You can definitely get some Instagram worthy shots from here!
You may not know that Athlone was once a bustling hub of distilleries and breweries. This will be a walking tour with a twist! You will visit some historical sites associated with distilling and brewing and enjoy delicious Kilbeggan Handmade Chocolate with some local whiskey samples! We’re drooling just writing about it!
Finish off you day in style, with a visit to the Michelin listed Fatted Calf Restaurant, which is only a 5-minute walk from the Hotel. You will be treated to the best, fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, from Head Chef Julian Pedraza and his team. We highly recommend trying out the mouth–watering Steak- Trust us you won’t be disappointed!
If you fancy a night-cap, a visit to Ireland’s oldest Pub Sean’s Bar is a must! You will be greeted by saw dust on the floor, a friendly and warm atmosphere, plenty of craic and with music 7 nights a week, you will find it hard to leave!
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast, take to the golf course and tee up against your partner! There are two golf courses nearby the hotel to choose from: Athlone Golf Club and Glasson Golf Club. Athlone Golf Club is 18 Holes and only a short 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel. It’s beautifully situated on the shores of Lough Ree. While Glasson Golf Club, is less than a 20-minute drive away, it has earned an international reputation as one of the most challenging and scenic golf courses in Ireland.
From top high street brands to stylish boutiques, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to treating yourself to some retail therapy. The hotel is only a short walk away from the largest shopping center in the Midlands Athlone Towncenter which is home to stores such as Zara, H&M and M&S. Golden Island Shopping Center is also a short walk away and there you will find stores like Penneys, Boots and Diesel. Be sure to stop by Burgess of Athlone, which is Ireland’s longest established department store, opening its doors in 1839.
And…. Relax! Finish off an action packed 3-day trip, with some well-deserved pampering at Utopia Day Spa. Located only a 6-minute walk away from the hotel, it couldn’t be more convenient for you and your partner to visit. The salon’s concept is distinctively South East Asian, both in design and services offered. Choose between a wide variety of professional treatments across massages, tanning, facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures.
Finish up your 3-day trip, by heading back to the hotel and choose to dine in the Hotels Elements restaurant or relax on the decking area, enjoying some delicious food (BBQ subject to availability), cocktails and drinks from Quayside bar.
Fun Fact: Did you know our Executive Head Chef Dean Diplock, who is a native of South Africa, has cooked for none other than Nelson Mandela… so, you are in very safe hands with Dean and his team