We invited family and lifestyle blogger Eimear Hutchinson to share with us her top tips for the very best of family tips for exploring County Leitrim. Eimear, a native of Sligo, lives in Cork with her husband and four young children.
“For me this summer, Leitrim is a rural haven for families, explorers and slow adventurers who cherish a slower pace of life and spending quality time together in the great outdoors. For anyone with young smallies, the county truly offers the very best for those looking to spend more time outdoors, in safe open spaces, together.
One of the things my daughters really love is a visit the playground at Glencar after visiting the beautiful waterfall; there’s also a great cafe so if you’re in need of coffee, do pop in. We are heading to Leitrim next month and are looking forward to exploring even more of the county.
From lakes to waterfalls, picturesque picnic spots and a great array of adventure and activities, County Leitrim is truly a great choice for family staycations this summer.
Since things are a little different and many of us are seeking more space and safer holiday destinations this summer, Leitrim is just the ticket for those looking to disconnect from it all, and to reconnect with loved ones; from lake supping on the Shannon, to walking trails in lush forests, the very best in local cuisine and idyllic picnic spots, we are very much looking forward to welcoming you this summer.”
In the list below you will find a list of some family things to do in Leitrim, we hope you’ll enjoy them. If you have any other suggestions, make sure to email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it in.
Explore The Great Outdoors
Leitrim Surf Company
Leitrim Surf Company specialise in guided stand-up paddleboarding safari’s on The Shannon Blueway and tours of the Leitrim coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Lough Allen Adventure Centre
Nestled on the shores of Lough Allen, under the backdrop of Sliabh and Iarainn, Lough Allen Adventure offers the perfect escape for all ages. They have an exciting adventure program with activities ranging from fun watersports such as stand-up paddling and kayaking on the Shannon Blueway to Wilderness Therapy which includes an island expedition and bushcrafting skills.
Drumshanbo Outdoor Swimming Pool
Discover one of Ireland’s fewest outdoor swimming pools. Open 12pm – 8pm during July and August.
Across the county, Leitrim County Council maintains 20 equipped playgrounds. The playgrounds are for children of up to 12 years of age and are open all day every day of the year. The most recent additions are Rooskey, Drumsna and Glencar. See here for the full list.
Canadian canoes with Adventure Gently
Adventure Gently welcomes small groups, individuals and families to take a guided trip along one of Ireland’s enchanting waterways in Canadian Canoes. The Canadian Canoe is a safe and stable craft suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels. Canadian canoeing gives the paddler a fresh perspective on nature, their surroundings and even themselves. Half day or full day guided trips can be arranged at a number of locations.
Kayaking with The Paddle Shack
The Paddle Shack is a bespoke kayaking and stand up paddle tour operator in the heart of Carrick-On-Shannon. They cater to all groups, including families. Whether you are an experienced paddler or looking for a new and exciting adventure, they have the right experience for you.
Family Yoga at Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat
Ard Nahoo is the ultimate country escape and the home of yoga and all this eco. Enjoy a family yoga session with Noeleen Tyrell.
Boat trip/cruise on the Shannon
A boat tour is a wonderfully relaxing way to spend an afternoon in Leitrim. From the quayside in Carrick-on-Shannon, Moon River cruises will take you on a lovely one hour round trip along the River Shannon.
Bring all the family fishing on the many lakes, canals and rivers of county Leitrim, learn to fish with a fishtracker.
Hire a Bike
Cycle your way through Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands with Electric Bike Trails who offer manual and electric bikes for all ages – trailers are also available. Available from Leitrim Village and Lough Key Forest Park.
Near to the town of Manorhamilton are three loop walks developed around the village of Lurganboy and Milltown Wood. The loops can either be combined for one long walk or various parts can be followed for shorter less demanding walks.
This is a 1.9km walk located just off the N4 beside Lough Boderg which is 14km south east of Carrick on Shannon. With a flat route, it’s the perfect walk for young adventurers.
Sometimes the weather just doesn’t always to plan. For rainy days, Leitrim has you covered with plenty of family friendly activities indoors.
Glenview Folk Museum
The Glenview Folk Museum in Ballinamore is a hidden gem of Leitrim. Young visitors will love the collection of vintage vehicles on show, especially the vintage motorbikes and tractors.
Cineplex in Carrick on Shannon
No panic! You can bring your kids to watch a movie in the Carrick Cineplex. This award winning 4-Screen boutique cinema also has a lovely wine and coffee bar where you can spend some time before or after the shows. And every Saturday at noon – Cinekidz movies for just €4.20 for all!
Cavan Leitrim Railway
The Cavan and Leitrim Railway in Dromod was one of the most fascinating, and at one time busiest, of Ireland’s narrow-gauge railways. This lovingly restored railway offers you the chance to step back in time and experience the age of steam transport in rural Ireland.
Whether you’re planning a day trip with your family, or are coming with friends, Trampoline Park in Carrick-on- Shannon gives visitors of all ages the chance to enjoy themselves in a fun-filled
With adult karts and kids karts available, make a day of it at Carrick’s Indoor Karting with their 750m track. Open Friday – Sunday.
The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon
From exhibitions to live music gigs, check out what’s happening at The Dock throughout the summer. Plus it’s right next door to Leitrim Design House, a treasure trove of Irish craft and design.
Not To Be Missed
Acres Lake Boardwalk in Drumshanbo
This 600m board walk on Acres Lake has been growing in popularity. The spectacular view over the lake makes it a perfect spot for a picnic or even just to sit for a while and take in the peace and tranquillity. Make sure to stop at Jinny’s Tearooms at Acres Lake in Drumshambo to enjoy hot drinks and treats.
Leitrim’s iconic waterfall; Glencar is perched on the Leitrim/Sligo border and reaches 50ft high. Overlooking Glencar Lake, it is the most famous waterfall in Leitrim. Entry to the site is free and there is a car park, picnic area, public toilets and children’s playground. Next door you will find the Glencar Teashed which opens throughout the summer months.
Shannon Erne Blueway
Connecting the Erne System with the Shannon River, the Shannon-Erne was originally designed as a working waterway in the mid-19th century. Nowadays this beautiful waterway is home to the Shannon-Erne Blueway, a series of on-water and land based trails that take you from Leitrim Village to Belturbet in County Cavan. Bike hire and guided paddle adventures are available locally
Walks & Trails
- Bóthar Na Naomh walk in Cloone
- Walk/cycle from Drumshanbo to Leitrim, lunch then and walk/cycle back
- Miltown Wood Walk
- SLNCR Abbey Loop in Dromahair
- Sliabh an Iarainn
- Poll An Éas Waterfall
Discover a litte Leitrim magic
- Glencar Waterfall
- The Cavan and Leitrim Railway in Dromod
- Manorhamilton Castle and Visitor Centre
History & Heritage
- Parke’s Castle
- Margaret of New Orleans Birthplace
- Fenagh Abbey
- Creevelea Abbey
- Sean Mac Diarmada Homestead
Food & Picnic Spots
- Manorhamilton Farmer’s Market Every Friday
- Carrick on Shannon Farmers Market Every Thursday
- Vittos – Great Italian pizza restaurant
- Osta at W8 in Manorhamilton – breakfast, lunch and dinner menus available as well as picnic box
- Carrick on Shannon Boardwalk – grab some food locally and enjoy it while sitting riverside
- The Riverbank Restaurant – Dromahair
- Leitrim Marina – great outdoor dining offering
- Barista On The Blueway – after a leisurely stroll or cycle along the Shannon Erne Blueway, stop off for coffee and treats
If you are out and about exploring County Leitrim, make sure to tag us @EnjoyLeitirm or tag your posts with #EnjoyLeitrim or #IrelandsHiddenHeartlands
If you are enjoying Leitrim’s natural landscape, please ensure to bring any rubbish home with you and respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethos.