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7 Secret Adventures You’ll Love in Leitrim

We look at 7 Secret Adventures You’ll Love in Leitrim. From the curious mind of spirit genius PJ Rigney at The Shed Distillery to river exploring on a kayak at The Paddle Shack.

Paddle Boarding With The Paddle Shack

What Is Leitrim Known For?

Leitrim is for adventurers and explorers of Ireland. An idyllic and landscape-rich region found relaxing in the North West of Ireland. Leitrim offers a plethora of cultural experiences for exploring families, curious loved ones, and adventurous friends. At the heart of Leitrim is the impressive Sliabh an Iarainn mountain range. This towering landscape links to stories of the mystical folk of the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Smith God Goibniu. It’s this combination of beautiful Irish scenery and mysterious folk tales that draw people from all over the world to County Leitrim.

Coming back down to earth, Leitrim offers a vast range of interesting towns and villages to visit. From the historic county town of Carrick-on-Shannon to the picturesque village of Drumshanbo, with its roots in traditional Irish music.

County Leitrim is part of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Beautiful landscapes, riverside villages, and a slower pace of life—full of rich Irish history.

Explore Kayaking With The Paddle Shack

Experience Kayaking With The Paddle Shack

Pull up your wetsuit, grab a paddle, and take to the River Shannon with watersport adventure company, The Paddle Shack. Owned and curated by husband and wife team Rory and Aoife. The Paddle Shack offers kayaking and SUP expeditions along the tranquil River Shannon.

Where Is The Paddle Shack Located?

You’ll start in the friendly historic town of Carrick-On-Shannon. Before being guided by one or both experts along Shannon’s beautiful landscape. Enjoy breathtaking views, river stories, and a peaceful trip along one of Leitrim’s hidden gems. The bewitching scenery of the River Shannon will draw you in and take you to another world. You’ll learn first-hand how to work a Sit-on-top Kayak or Stand-up Paddleboard.

Instructed by seasoned guides, Rory and Aoife, you’ll soon become one with your craft. Master of the boat. Captain of your ship. You’ll then be able to sit back and allow the Irish countryside to wash over you like summer rain. Floating like driftwood downstream. 

Need the personal touch? Then private sessions are available. Or if you’re a large group of say Stag or Hens. Then The Paddle Shack can cater for you too. Whichever way you want your adventure, you’ll be sure to make memorable connections as you float along the curves of the River Shannon.

Click here today to book your river adventure.

Watch Traditional Sport with Leitrim GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association)

Watch Traditional Sport with Leitrim GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association)

For those of you that love sports. Especially team sports. You can take in a traditional and exciting game of Gaelic football. Combining the best parts of football and rugby, Gaelic football is Ireland’s best team game export. Offering something a bit different for the regular sports fan. With two teams of 15 a side, you can score by either punching or kicking the ball over the net, like rugby, or kicking the ball into the net, like football. It’s fast, skilful, and tough.

How many GAA clubs are in Leitrim?

The Leitrim GAA features 24 clubs, situated right across the region. If you’re lucky, you can catch a Leitrim county football team match. Made up of the top talent right across Leitrim GAA’s 24 clubs, guaranteeing you an exciting match. 

Visit the website of Leitrim GAA where you’ll find out all the information about where and when the league games are being held. 

Discover the Magic of Glencar Waterfall, Co. Leitrim

Discover The Magic Of Glencar Waterfall

As you travel through the rolling countryside of County Leitrim, one local landmark you should go to and see is Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall sits in the middle of a forest like something out of Irish folklore. Flowing out of the trees, and rippling into a picturesque pool below.

This magical setting inspired Ireland’s most famous poet, William Butler Yeats. His poem ‘The Stolen Child’ mentions Glencar Waterfall.

‘Where the wandering water gushes

From the hills above Glen-Car,

In pools among the rushes

That scarce could bathe a star,’

WB Yeats

How High Is Glencar Waterfall?

The location of the 50ft high waterfall is at Glencar Lough. Where a short weaving wooded walk adds to the romanticism of the area. You can take in the waterfall from various viewing platforms along the way and there are more waterfalls to view from the road to Glencar.

It’s free, with a picnic area, car park, public toilets, children’s playground and a Tourist Information point. And fine for wheelchairs. 

And for those of you that need to pause for a moment. Overlooking Glencar Lake is TeaSHED Café. Sit down, take in a view and sample a refreshing tea or coffee with a traditional scone or hearty sandwich.

Explore Parke's Castle

Explore Parke’s Castle

Down the road from Sligo town is Parke’s Castle. An impressive structure that stands tall on the northern shores of Lough Gill. 

Originally built on the site, was a tower house owned by Sir Brian O’Rourke, lord of West Breifne. Resistant to crown rule, O’Rourke escaped from Ireland to Scotland. He tried and failed to raise an army of gallowglass soldiers to reclaim his kingdom. His luck eventually ran out. Arrested by King James VI’s army and thrown into the Tower of London. O’Rourke met charges of high treason and was tried without audience. Meeting a grisly fate by being hung, drawn, and quartered. Grim.


When Was Parke’s Castle Built?

In 1628, English planter Robert Parke acquired the estate. He demolished O’Rourke’s tower house and reused the bricks to build the gate tower. Robert Parke married Ann Povey from Roscommon, bearing three children. Tragedy struck when Robert died followed soon by his wife. Two out of their three children drowned while boating on Lough Gill. The last daughter left the castle where it fell into disrepair. 

Parke’s Castle is now state-owned with a full restoration. Thanks to an intervention by the Office of Public Works in 1980. You can pretend to be a Lady or Lord while exploring the walls, rooms, and towers of your new domain. Allow yourself to be engulfed in the rich history of the castle and its previous owners. All while taking in the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. You might even meet the ghost of Robert Parke. 

For more information on Parke’s Castle visit Heritage Ireland’s website.

Discover Walks In Leitrim

Tour Leitrim’s Countryside

For those of you that love to don your boots, strap on a backpack, and pack your favourite sandwich. Leitrim has plenty of walks and trails where you can get lost in the County’s enchanting scenery. Metaphorically of course. Nobody wants to be lost.

Which Leitrim Walks Should I Try?

Discover the Manorhamilton heritage trail that is centred in the North Leitrim Glens. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and lakes, that is perfect for hillwalkers. Along the way, you’ll find Manorhamilton Castle, a 17th Century fort plus an Old Protestant Church and Graveyard from the same era. 

Or for those of you that are more adventurous, check out the Crummy Loop Walk. A long but gentle 12 Km hike that takes you round and about the townland of Crummy. You’ll explore forests and boglands, with cafés, pubs and accommodation along the way.

For those that love enchantment, then take the Milltown Wood Forest Walk. A set of 3 easy loop walks. With a combined distance of 8km, these Leitrim walks wind and weave through Milltown Wood. All paired with some steep inclines and far-reaching views.

You can find out more and discover all the walks in Leitrim

Costello Memorial Chapel in Carrick-On-Shannon. The smallest chapel in the world.

Small Historic Structures

If you’re into tiny buildings then the Costello Memorial Chapel is for you. Located in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon, the chapel was built by Edward Costello for his beloved and recently deceased wife. He had her embalmed while the chapel was built. This tiny bit of history shows a person’s complete dedication and love for their spouse. And you can be part of it.


Is The Costello Memorial Chapel The Smallest In The World?

The Costello Memorial Chapel is the smallest in Europe and the second smallest in the world. Measuring 16 by 12 foot, this tiny chapel is worth a visit while you’re checking out the town of Carrick-on-Shannon. You can find out more about your chapel visit here.

For more information on Parke’s Castle visit Heritage Ireland’s website.

Try a Tipple at The Shed Distillery

Try A Tipple At The Shed Distillery

No top list would be complete without a distillery visit. And what a distillery it is. Young in life with authentic stilling values, The Shed Distillery was born from the curious mind of PJ Rigney in 2014.

Location was everything. Surrounded by Leitrim’s rural landscape. PJ settled on a site near the village of Drumshanbo which is located on the shores of Lough Allen. Presented at the base of Sliabh an Iarainn. Perfect.


What Spirits does The Shed Distillery Produce?

PJ experimented with local and far-reaching botanicals, grains, and produce. Using medieval copper pot stills, PJ created not just premium single-malt whiskey but experimental gin and vodka.

Like Willy Wonka of the alcoholic spirit world, PJ’s Shed Distillery is one for a visit. You can book your extraordinary tour here.

Contact us.

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