Roscommon Castle, Roscommon, Ireland

Roscommon Castle

After recently moving to Roscommon, we thought we should get out and explore. Me and my son set of for wander round the new neighborhood. And what we came across was the ruins of the Roscommon Castle and Loughnaneane Park.

As soon as I heard of the castle I wanted to visit. I have often loved visiting ruins it’s really a place to let the imagination flow and wander what these sorts of structures where once like when operational.

Location

Set about 2 minute drive from the town center, best access and parking is just off Castle Street and down Castle Lane. Exact location can be found on Google maps below.

Roscommon has a town center train station located 3 minute drive to Roscommon Castle. Busus are available also via Bus Eireann

A Brief History Of The Castle

The castle now in ruins, this large and striking 13th-century Norman castle was once of Hugh O’Connor, the King of Connaught. It features a quadrangular plan with rounded bastions at the corners and a double-towered entrance gate.

The castles 7 Norman structure, built back in 1269 by then Robert de Ufford, on lands which were taken from an Augustinian priory.

The castle was laid to siege by the Connacht King Aodh O’Connor in 1272. Eight years on, and then again in the possession of the English garrison and fully restored. 1340 came around and the O’Connors had regained possession and held it until 1569, to which it then fell to Sir Henry Sidney, who at the time was the Lord Deputy.

Our Visit To The Castle

The Roscommon Castle ruins is free to visit and is its surrounding walking tracks and play areas. Open all year round with no opening or closing times.

The castle from across Loughnaneane park looks beautiful and as you can see the structure is largely still well visible. Currently a few restoration projects are also ongoing helping to keep this site as well maintained as possible.

The Castle

The entrance to the castle through the stone arch is grand and very well maintained. A bridge at the front of the castle is not the original but is there for access to all visitors, With easy ramps and railings for elderly or wheelchair access.

Once inside the ruins become more visible and you can see where the castle fell into decay and you can see where it all once stood. The extremely high walls and stunning windows show the formation of the former 3 floored castle.

I do love to sit back and absorb places like this and try to imagine what it once was like when it was operational. I think imagination is great could you imagine the people who once resided here and how they went about there lives.

The stairwell access still remains but due to the ruins lead to nowhere. They are gated shut due to safety, and the obvious ruins of the site. But these would of been access to the other levels of the castle.

One of my favourite shots from the back of the castle. Luckily I managed to capture the glaring sunlight through the windows and gate. This back gate leads out onto a grassed area which would of once been part of the castles gardens and courtyard.

Another shot, and this time of one of the bastions. This would of been built so to allow defense fire in several directions. Again the obvious signs of ruins and what once was a castle. It’s easy to see here the former castle was over 3 floors with the still present window frames.

The Park

A very well maintained walking track adjacent to the castle and a lake situated perfectly in the center of Loughnaneane park. Full of ducks, which we now regularly enjoy going to with the kids to feed them. Very friendly and always welcome for some bread if those magpies don’t sweep in to quickly.

Walking tracks around the pond to enjoy and to stretch the legs. There is also a outer walking track for longer walks. Al very well maintained as is the whole area.

Also situated in this park is a good quality well equipped playground. With lots of climbing and adventures for the kids again extremely well maintained and like new. Plenty of space for kids with an array of features for all ages.

This place is great way to kill an hour or so in the morning and would be a perfect picnic spot in the summer and somewhere to bring the family to enjoyed a great bit of fresh air.

Fitness Machines

Loughnaneane park is well equipped with street fitness machines, this is great way for people to keep fit whilst out for a walk. Again very well maintained and never to crowded. Machines for different parts of the body.

Local Refreshments

A favourite spot of ours and somewhere we like to pick up a coffee to bring for our walks is Rogue and Co in Roscommon Town Centre.

Only a 5 – 6 minute walk from the castle and situated on the high street in Roscommon is Rogue & Co is a trendy cafe offering great food and beverages.

High recommendations the double smash burger and the haloumi burger, or for early risers the smashed avo on sourdough topped with siracha is always a winner.

Equally as mention, a pre walk stop take away coffees and homemade scones are always a hit.

Rogue and Co Cafe Roscommon

County Roscommon Things To Do

Roscommon is a county steeped in history, we have had the priveledge to be here for 3 years now and in that time have seen what this county has to offer. And we are now delighted to offer our ultimate guide to County Roscommon.

Our guide includes our top 5 musts, walk, hotels, restaurants and a few little extras. Make sure to check it out.

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Mote Park Roscommon

Mote Park Roscommon

Towards the back end of 2020 we had bought a house just outside the town of Roscommon and during these days of limited travel we decided to explore what was available to us on our doorstep. After some advice we were delighted to find a Roscommon Park like Mote Park, which was said to be one of best Roscommon walks.

Being in such a rural destination we knew there would be some hidden gems and this was certainly one of them

Location

Situated a 5 minute drive from Roscommon town centre and 35 minutes from the town of Athlone.

Travelling to Roscommon, train and bus links are available in the area

A lovely little forest with a couple of walking track options and picnic benches. A great spot to get out with the family and get some fresh air. Plenty of trails and to keep you going and enjoy some peaceful time.

A bit of Mote Park history

Mote Park, was traditionally the seat of the Crofton Family all the way from the 16th century and for as long as to the 1940s. Located in the heart of County Roscommon, it is perfect for outdoor activities for children and people of all ages.


Widely known for its forests, which are a important amenity for Roscommon town and surrounding areas. In total the park cover some 650 acres and is home to many species of wildlife. The walking tracks make this so good for many forms of outdoor pursuits including hiking, walking and animal or bird-watching.

Our trip to Mote Park Roscommon

The Start

On entering a map of all the tracks and trails you can take through Mote Park. A great idea to get a start at where you will head on one of the finest walks in Roscommon.

There is a couple of shorter loop walk tracks and for the more adventurous a few bigger loop walk tracks, with the biggest being the 11km round trip. All these walks integrating with each, saving you the trouble of getting lost. Unless you go rogue as I had to with my 2 year old a couple times and headed through the dense forest itself.

Mote Park Map

A beautiful long stretch looking straight into the forest is you first view. A well paved walkway which was most surprising and very welcomed. The paved way making much easier access for everyone especially for bringing young children.

The Start

Another pathway through the forest. A beautiful time of the year with the autumn leaves and the crisp fresh air my son was fascinated with the leaves all over the ground. The sun peers through the trees picking up all those beautiful colours.

Forest Floor

The Trails

The first of two trails was the Bluebell walk taking you off to the side and through the dense forest, leading back down the side past fields and looping back to the beginning entrance.

When the bluebells are in bloom it is a joy to be seen a sea of bright bluebells line the forest

The second trail we came across was the Crofton trail again another trail this time off to the other side of the forest and again leading down to the beginning and the entrance of the forest. This trail is slightly longer than the first and slopes down into the forest and certainly a lot more to see

Derrydonnell Wood And The Fairy Garden

North of these trails and you get to Derrydonnell wood a similar tracks to the rest of Mote Park. With picnic benches and great tracks.

The most impressive part is the newly built fairy garden a great place for the kids to wander. A well maintained loop track leading through the forest. See the garden below.

Taking A Break

The forest is perfect for a family outing with as seen below one of many picnic benches along the way and with small tracks behind into the forest the kids would be entertained for a while.

Picnic Benches
Picnic bench by the fairy garden

And Finally

The forest is well maintained and very easily accessible for anyone.

We have done all the trails, but past the Crofton trail the forest went on and on and and it connects up to the 11km walking track loop around this impressive 650 acre forest, making it one of the longest walks in Roscommon.

But all in all a perfect spot for a morning walk and get out amongst nature and the crisp fresh air.

Local Tips

Restaurant Tip

All that walking would work up a thirst and set you up nicely for a nice homemade lunch, well look no further than Roscommon’s Rogue & Co.

Situated on the high street in Roscommon Rogue & Co is a trendy cafe offering great food and beverages.

High recommendations the double smash burger and the haloumi burger, or for early risers the smashed avo on sourdough topped with siracha is always a winner.

Equally as a pre walk stop take away coffees and homemade scones are always a hit.

Rogue & Co

Roscommon Guide

Want something else to do in Roscommon well never fear catch our Roscommon Guide with all this town and county has to offer. Places like Roscommon Castle and Lough Key Forest and activity park feature in this guide.

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