County Roscommon, Ireland located in the midwest. It makes up 1 part of 5 counties of the province of Connaught, alongside Sligo, Galway, Leitrim and Mayo. With the 3 County Roscommon towns, Boyle and Castlerea. The county is the 11th largest of the 32 at 2548 sq metres, however 27th largest in regards to population.
History Of Roscommon
County Roscommon Ireland was named after the main town Roscommon. With the word Ros meaning a wooded, gentle height and Comán, the first abbot and bishop of Roscommon.
Roscommon was officially established as a county in 1585
This county borders 7 other counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, westmeath, Longford and Offaly.
Roscommon is home to one of very few famine based museums in the world. And with castle ruins, monestery and the renowned Rathcroghan which is is a collection of 240 identified archaeological sites. Roscommon is steeped in history and a hidden heartland within Ireland.
Top 5 Things To Do In Roscommon
So here we go the the top things to do in Roscommon
1.Lough Key Forest Park
Lough Key Forest Park. a huge 800 hectare park with a whole host of things to do from. Zip lines, boat rides, segways, look out towers and not to mention the stunning walkways a perfect day out for the family.
Catch a glimpse of the stunning McDermots castle nestled on its very own island. Take a boat ride to get up close to this stunning site one of the best in Ireland.
Cafe on site and ample parking makes this one of Roscommon’s premium destinations.
Photo below courtesy of Mark The Wateredge Carrick
2.Strokestown House & Famine Museum
A grade 1 listed building steeped in history.
Daily guided tours around this 300 year old manor house which is still as unique as it ever was.
Also home to the national famine museum. Learn about the history of famine in Ireland in Ireland’s only dedicated famine museum.
The grounds also have a garden walk and there very own walled gardens.
This also the start of the National famine walk. (see our walking guides below for more.
Arigna Mines was an active coal mine from 1700’s until as recent as 1990.
In 2003 the mine inspired by a community driven initiative was reopened as a visitor attraction. which since has seen just shy of half million visitors.
The experience documents the countries first and last coal mine. The tours are taken with ex miners so the knowledge is first class.
You can access the mine itself as well as video tours, and writing exhibits, the official name is the Arigna Mining Experience.
At the end the a cafe is on site for any refreshments.
Please make sure you spend a bit of time outside as the locality of the mine has unprecedented views of the Roscommon / Leitrim countryside.
4.Roscommon Castle Ruins & Loughnaneane Park
One of our favourite spots is Roscommon castle, built in 1269 this once castle now in ruins, lies proudly in the heart of Roscommon town.
Its free to roam around and the many signs document the castles past.
The Loughnaneane park is beautiful with, walking tracks, lake and playground a great spot for any family.
Rathcroghan is known as Connaughts ancient capital. known as being the largest and largest unexcavated royal site in europe.
This impressive landscape boasts 240 archeological sites, of which 60 are protected. The site spans an incredible 5,500 human years.
Many references here are said to be in early Irish medieval manuscripts.
A great place for any history and especially medieval fan. The Rathcroghan Visitor centre also has it owns cafe area to enjoy after the visit.
Walks & Parks
One of the best things to do in Roscommon is to take in some of the great walks around the county. Her are the best below.
Mote Park, situated 5 minute drive outside the town of Roscommon. A stunning spot for the family to come with many a walking track, forest, fairy garden track and the perfect picnic spot. Easy walking conditions as its all pathed a great morning out for all.
The beautiful bluebell walk comes to life in the spring with a sea of bright blue bluebells.
The Famine Way Walk
The famine way walk, starting at Strokestown House and continuing a mammoth 165 km to the Dublin Quay.
The walk is a tribute to those 1490 men, women and children who made the walk during the Irish famine in 1847.
The walk is mainly flat and well pathed, is best taken in sections due to the length of it. The first stage keeping you in the county of Roscommon Strokestown to Tarmonbarry before meandering through Ireland.
Suck Valley Way
The impressive Suck Valley way is an impressive 105km loop walk, forming part of the famous 500km Breifne Beara Way.
The loop takes you through all sorts of terrains, through woodlands, riverbanks and farmland.
Discover derelict building, castle ruins and unprecedented views of this beautiful country side
For Kids Around Roscommon
Situated in Roscommon town Sensory Me brings, Sensory Rooms and soft play areas. featuring a colour changing ball pool, sensory lights and sound room, cinema room and interactive floors and walls.
Catering for all ages even babies sensory me offers something different to the normal play centres.
Specialist classes and workshops are also run on site.
A list of some good playgrounds
Here is a run down on a few of our top playgrounds around county Roscommon.
Loughnaneane Park, Roscommon Town
This playground lies next to the Roscommon castle, a well equipped and large playground which is regularly looked after. Loughnaneane Park also has a great little lake in for the kids to see ducks.
Castlerea Demense Playground, Somers Park
A high quality playground with a large selection of climbing frames, slides, roundabout and many more.
Situated on the same site as the Castlerea swimming pool which is open throughout the summer months, and joins on to the walking tracks of the Demense.
Boyle Playground, Pleasure Grounds
located quite centrally in the town of Boyle this playground doesn’t have as much variety as the other two but is as equally as good. And like the others well maintained and look after.
A Hidden Gem
We have picked one place that normally doesn’t get a mention but are worth while visiting.
With it’s tiny gated entrance at the square in the town of Castlerea. You would be forgiven for not given it a second look.
But enter and 50 metres in the Demense opens up into this wonderful and surprising park.
A well maintained walking track along the Suck Valley river and meandering through the forest.
Along the way lies a fairy garden, musical area and at the end of the way the local swimming pool and childrens playground.
Moving further a field is a track leading through the dense forest a great peaceful retreat.
Places To Stay Around Roscommon
We have picked our top 3 hotels in Co Roscommon. The 3 we have picked are spread across the county. Click on pictures for more and to have a look direct at these great stays.
Hudson Bay Hotel
Hudson Bay is a 4 star hotel and spa located 10 mins outside Athlone and 20 from Roscommon. Set on the beautiful Lough Ree, with unbelievable views and walks.
Abbey Hotel, Roscommon Town
The Abbey hotel is ideally located in the heart of Roscommon town center. With indoor pool, sports center and restaurant making the Abbey a perfect spot for a weekend away.
The Abbey is lucky to be in close proximity to the train station and local bus routes.
Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon
A stunning castle hotel, spa and grounds make Kilronan one of the most popular destinations in the area.
Some of the best quality food in Roscommon is available in the main restaurant and the drawing also available providing snacks and bar food. Newly opened underground cafe also offers a different option.
Kilronan is also known as one of Ireland’s premium wedding venues.
Restaurants and Cafes
Roscommon has a ever growing food scene with some good food Ireland can be proud of. Here below are a few of our favourites.
The Old Stonehouse Ballinlough
Set in the heart of this little quaint village lies the Old Stonehouse. One of the most impressive visually aspiring restaurants around and add to that it’s top quality food makes the Old Stonehouse a must.
Advice would be to book 094 964 0332 or Facebook
Rogue & Co
The first name on the list when you think of lunch or breakfast in Roscommon is Rogue & Co.
Offering something a little different to the normal but not forgetting there roots and a host of classics also.
In the heart of Roscommon town and a big hit with the locals.
To Call 090 6630077 or Facebook
A cafe running since 1981, that’s 30 years says it all. Freshly baked breads, cakes, pastries and much more, a deli counter serving great snacks. Benny’s also has its own restaurant serving homely food with breakfast and lunch menus available.
There latest addition is the fantastic shop selling local and national pantry and fridge items. With a large focus on organically produced goods.
Lets hope benny’s is around for another 30 years.
Call ahead or to place orders call 094 9620575, or place a online order Website
The Purple Onion
Situated in the lovely little town of Tarmonbarry. The purple Onion is a food destination of high quality.
Fresh locally sourced food with a warm atmosphere. Even its very own art gallery on site.
A destination restaurant with people travelling to visit this resataurant.
To Book 043 3359919
Ireland West Airport is the closet airport in Roscommon Ireland and the main airport in the north west of Ireland.
Alternatively Ireland’s main airport being Dublin.
Roscommon and Castlerea train stations serve on the Dublin Heuston to Westport line. While Boyle runs the Sligo to Dublin Connolly line. All train lines are available and are available for pre booking.
For a list of all the best taxis in the certain Roscommon areas check taxi directories for any lists.
Bus Eirean operates runs within county Roscommon. With stops found in most towns.
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We have given you some of the best things to do in Roscommon Ireland was our starting point for our family trip to Cliffs of Moher and Doolin and our Road Trip. Here we explore historical sites must see attractions and the best things to do for kids.
Take a look at some of the things to do around the west of Ireland like Clifden castle, Diamond Hill Hike or Glencar waterfall.
39 replies on “Things To Do In Roscommon, Ireland”
County Roscommon, Ireland Is beautiful! I would love to check out all the hiking trails and the archeological sites especially.
They are a few of our favourites also 😀
Looks like a really interesting area. Growing up in a mining area, I would love to tour the mine. Hoping to visit Ireland later this year in the MH so might get to check it out.
Arigna is great 👍 hope you get to Ireland 🇮🇪 soon its a beautiful place
Not a place I know anything about but it sounds – and looks – lovely. Plus the ancient capital looks really interesting (as do the mines and the castle…)!
So much history, we are glad to of had some time to explore the area
It seems like an interesting area: I would love to visit the famine museum and stroll in Mote park.
Hudson Bay hotel would definitely be on top of my list for accomodation, the view looks really nice!
We love a stroll through Mote Park at the weekends, so quiet and peaceful there
What a great blog. I’d love to explore the Arigna Mine. We are piecing together a ‘family heritage trip’ which will include Ireland, Finland and Lithuania. THXS for highlighting another area to visit in Ireland.
Tour welcome its great to explore and we never realised so much to do
I have never actually heard of Roscommon before so this post was really interesting. Adding it to my list of places to visit!
Definitely do a lot of history around
Despite Roscommon castle being in ruins it still looks beautiful and I’d enjoy visiting it. I’d also add Arigna Mines and the walking trails to my must do list.
I love a good ruins and those mines are great to see we are very lucky
What a beautiful place to live, so much to see and do! Lough Key Forest Park and lake look stunning, and I’d love to explore the mines too. Also, I’d have to dine at The Purple Onion for the name alone! Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive travel guide 🙂
Thanks for reading 📚 we never knew ourselves there was so much on our doorstep
Great place to explore with beautiful views and history. I love to visit the mines.
The mines are a great experience and a very well run tour
I’d love to visit County Roscommon. I’ve been to Ireland only once and it was more drinking than visiting local areas.
Its great for both of those. We to love a good Guiness or 2 😀
Trails, historic past, rolling hills and sublime open landscape = perfect antidote to from a long lockdown of rest and confinement #flyingbaguette
Was great excuse to get out and explore our area 😀
You have made a complete list of county Roscommon. Roscommon Castle would be a nice place to explore and we’d be interested in the Famine Museum too. Also, Roscommon has plenty of places to roam outdoors.
Its definitely got a lot more than we realised, great to see all our local treasures
I never heard of county Roscommon before but it seems like it’s worth exploring. The Famine Museum, the mine and the ruins of Roscommon castle would be on my list of things to see.
All great choices and full of dome great history 👍
Roscommon Castle looks beautiful – I always find Castle ruins so intriguing! It sounds like the County has so much to see and do, thanks for sharing some great suggestions! Especially the ones for kids!
Thanks it is great. We have kids now its good not to leave them out 😀
Roscommon looks like a beautiful area which I’d love to explore. Roscommon Castle and the archaeological sites appeal to me as well as all the parks.
A place full of history has been great to explore local sites 😀
I’ve never been to Ireland before. It looks like such a beautiful place to visit. Roscommon castle seems right up my street!
The castle is a great place we often head down there. Its a great place full of history
Its well worth the visit especially if you love a bit of history
A lot of history attached to this wonderful place. The list of exciting things to do has simply caught my attention. Vital to mention Roscommon is kids friendly, so that’s a good getaway for everyone!
Lots of really interesting and beautiful sites around your home. I’d never heard of the Famine Way Walk. I ended up reading some more history on that. Rathcroghan looks really interesting too.
[…] 2 years ago we made the move to the Ireland and after a slow couple of years we are finally beginning to explore. Catch some of our adventures already like Glencar Waterfall, Lough Key Forest Park or find all the best things to do in County Roscommon. […]
[…] Roscommon is a rural and one of the smallest counties. Known for its vast amounts of farmland, cattle and beautiful landscape. […]
What a wonderful collection of places to visit and things to do in Roscommon! It sounds like a great area of Ireland!
It is a lovely place to visit thanks for taking the time to check it out