Enjoy a one and a half hour driving tour around one of Europe’s finest examples of a glacial valley.
County Leitrim is home to one of Europe’s finest glacial valleys, surrounded by majestic mountains, stunning lakes, rushing waterfalls, and forests.
Breathe in the clean air and enjoy the peace and quiet as you make driving stops in this magical location.
The driving tour will take you approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, but we suggest you allow extra time to visit some of our recommended stops and perhaps enjoy at least one of our three suggested walks.
Whether you are interested in the great outdoors, history and heritage, or arts and culture, our recommendations of attractions, walks, heritage and more will help you plan your next adventure. The route is suitable for anyone including families, couples, groups. Some stops are wheelchair accessible and are dog friendly.
1 The Rainbow Ballow of Romance; 2 The Sean MacDiarmada Homestead; 3 Fowley’s Falls; 4 The Organic Centre; 5 Lough Melvin Eco Park Stop; 6 Glenade Lake and Valley
Walking trails: Milltown Wood, Glenfarne Looped Forest Walk, Arroo Linear Trail Walk
Your driving route itinerary
Stop 1: The Rainbow Ballroom of Romance and Glenfarne Looped Forest Walk
Take a Step Back in Time at The Rainbow Ballroom of Romance and Showband Exhibition in Glenfarne.
Enjoy the permanent exhibition which transports you back to the days of the show bands. The Ballroom also hosts regular concerts, classes and events.
Open: Mon – Fri 9 am – 5 pm and the exhibition takes approx. 1 hour
Features and Facilities: Car Park
Nearby Walk : Glenfarne Looped Forest Walk
The Glenfarne Looped Forest Walk has panoramic views of Lough MacNean and Northern Ireland. There is a family friendly cycle trail too. Keep a look out for the Lough MacNean sculpture trail where there a pieces of art located throughout the forest
Time: Approx 2 hours Length: 4km (looped walk) Grade: Easy
Features and Facilities: Panoramic views, Car Park, Picnic Area, Dogs are allowed.
Stop 2: Homestead of Seán MacDiarmada
Seán MacDiarmada was one of the seven signatories of the Irish proclamation which proclaimed Irish independence in 1916.
This homstead, in Kiltyclogher, is the only remaining cottage of any signatory that has been preserved in its orignal condition. Please note that tours must be booked through the heritage centre.
Booked guided tours are available: 10 am – 2 and 3 pm, Closed Saturday (unless by appointment). The tour takes 1 hour.
Features and Facilities: Car Park
Stop 3: Fowley’s Falls
Enjoy a forest walk to Fowley’s Cascading Waterfalls, Rossinver, one of the most stunning waterfalls in the area.
Fowley’s Falls is an excellent photo opportunity not to missed. You can also book a guided walk of the area with Leitrim’s Landscape Walks, who specialise in foraging walks around Fowley’s Falls.
Time: Approx 1.5 hours Length: 3km (linear walk) Grade: Easy
Features and Facilities: Stunning views, Picnic Area, walk to Organic Centre.
Stop 4: The Organic Centre
Take a stroll around the beautiful organic gardens at The Organic Centre, Rossinver and visit their shop for locally made produce, organic seed and lots of special gifts.
If you are interested in learning more check out their website for a variety of courses and workshops.
Their courses include: Organic Gardening, Construction, Willow Domes, Biodiversity, Bees, Tunnel Growing, Pest Control, Composts, and Fertilizers, Climate Change and Renewable Energy, Willow Basket Weaving, Cheese Making, Sourdough Baking, Foraging, Dry Stone Wall Building.
Open: Mon – Sun 10am – 5 pm and a visit takes approx. 1 hour
Features and Facilities: Wheelchair friendly, Car Park, 3km walking trail to Fowley’s Falls
Stop 5: Lough Melvin Eco Park and Arroo Linear Trail Walk
Enjoy this stunning site on the shores of Lough Melvin where there are walking trails around the woodland and along the lake shore.
There is also a picnic area, car parking and a play area. Keep a look out for the various species of wildlife who inhabit the park. There are Various Looped Walks to enjoy that feature Bee Hives, Heritage Orchard, Wildlife, Allotments and Fairy Doors.
Features and Facilities: Playground, Car Park, Picnic Area, Stunning Views
Nearby Walk: Arroo Linear Trail Walk
Enjoy a breathtaking walk in Glenade, with stunning mountain views of Keelogeyboy, and Truskmore and out to Mullaghmore Head. This walk requires a good level of fitness. Depending on the season you will see heather, bog cotton and more. Guided walks with Leitrim Landscape Walks are also available.
Starting/finishing point: Aghlanlish Community Centre in Glenade, 8 min from Kinlough 6.3 km via R280 on your way to Manorhamilton
Time: Approx 2 hours Ascent: 250m Length: 8km (linear walk)
Grade: Moderate to Difficult Dogs: No
Stop 6: Glenade Lake and Milltown Wood Looped Forest Walk
Glenade Valley was formed during the last Great Ice Age almost 14,000 years ago. It sits between the Dartry Mountains and Arroo Mountain range.
Follow the valley and stop at Glenade Lake viewing area. Here you will discover the story of the mysterious legend and monster called the Dobhar Chu, Ireland’s equivilant of the Lough Ness Monster. In the nearby graveyard you can see a carving of the Dobhar Chu on the gravestone of its victim.
Nearby Walk: Milltown Wood Looped Forest Walk
Milltown Wood at Lurganboy is a quiet place to walk where you can relax and unwind while listening to the sounds of running water from the banks of the River Bonet. There is a great variety of trees on the eastern side of the river with oak, ash, holly, sycamore, hazel, birch and beech to be found here. Once you cross the Green Bridge the trees change to evergreen species. The land here was originally part of the Wynne Estate which also owned Hazelwood in Sligo. As the name suggests, a water-driven mill was located here and the mill race, where the water was diverted from the river can still be seen on the western bank. Parts of the walk have a steep incline and give elevated views over the surrounding countryside
Start/finishing point: at Milltown Woods car park. Not far from Lurganboy Village
Time: Approx 2 hours Ascent: 50m Length: 5km (looped walk)
Grade: Easy Dogs: No
Features and Facilities: Car Park, Picnic Area, Dogs are allowed.
Stop 7: Manorhamilton
Enjoy a warm welcome in this historic market town as you enjoy a spot of shopping or a bite to eat.
Explore the heritage trail in Manorhamilton, which starts at Manorhamilton Castle, a 17th century plantation castle which was built by Sir Frederick Hamilton between 1634 and 1638 and walk around the historical sites in town, including Manorhamilton Workhouse and The Famine Graveyard. If you are interested in art the Leitrim Sculpture Centre is a must visit, regular exhibitions are held throughout the year.
There’s also a chance to explore your creative side by booking one of their many courses on their calendar. Advance booking is required.
Finish off the day with a trip to The Glens Centre. This is an intimate venue housed in a converted church where they have a programme of concerts, theatre events and more. Check out their website for up and coming performances.