Plan your Staycation with an escape to Athlone
Instead of taking a holiday away this year, why not stay in Ireland and explore all the exciting staycation spots the county has to offer. You don’t need to travel too far to relax and experience something new. So, plan your staycation and make a weekend of it in Athlone, the heart of Ireland, with a 48-hour mini break. Award winning restaurants, a whiskey tour like no other, the oldest pub in Ireland and a shopaholics heaven on your doorstep.
Start on Friday night with dinner in Thyme Restaurant, winner of Best Restaurant and Best Emerging Irish Cuisine in the recent Restaurant Association of Ireland regional Awards where Athlone swept the boards winning 14 of 16 categories. Or try a tipple at Dead Centre Brewing on Custume Quay, winner of the Best Gastropub award and brewer of some interesting beers.
Saturday morning is time for some retail therapy. The medieval town centre has fabulous stores like Burgess’s Department Store, part of the fabric of Athlone for 180 years. Or check out the top brands at Athlone Towncentre or Golden Island Shopping Centre.
What could be better on a Saturday afternoon than a whiskey tour? Athlone Whiskey Walking Tour is one of the very best delving into 270 years of whiskey heritage coupled with a dash of humour and a splash of whiskey. You’ll enjoy tastings of the three local whiskeys, one of which comes with handmade chocolates specially produced for the tour. It takes an hour and a half, costs €29 and remember to dress appropriately for whatever weather might arrive. Remember though, today’s rain is tomorrows whiskey!
If you come to Athlone, Sean’s Bar, the oldest in the country is a place to visit. They have music every night along with a great atmosphere and friendly faces. Listed in both “25 of the Most Incredible Bars in the World” and “50 Bars to Blow Your Mind” by Lonely Planet, a visit to Sean’s is a must.
If the kids need a bit of time out, Glendeer Pet Farm ten minutes from town is the answer to your prayers. It has reopened for the season with some exciting new additions along with the fairy trail, play area, zip wire and enough cute and cuddly animals to keep kiddies entertained for hours.
If you are looking for some arts and culture, visit Athlone Castle and Visitor Centre. Here, the family can experience an immersive journey through 5,000 years of history. Athlone Castle was first built to defend the crossing point on the River Shannon and during your visit you can see elements of the original castle. Visit Luan Gallery and immerse yourself in the arts with their eclectic mix of media on display from paintings to sculpture to textiles.
It’s surprising what you’ll find in Athlone, Ireland’s midland medieval town.
Athlone – at the heart of it.