Local Attractions

County Westmeath

Westmeath is known as a county of lakes and has many legends relating to them the most famous being ‘Children of Lir.’ With rich pastureland, remarkable beauty and peatland, Westmeath is one of the most picturesque counties in Ireland. Abounding in rivers, lakes and streams, it is a terrain of possibilities for every visitor. Scattered throughout Westmeath are a great number of interesting historic sites including abbeys, churches, castles and stately homes and Clonmacnoise, one of the greatest of the ancient monasteries of Ireland, lies within 30 minutes drive. For more info on the many attractions in the county log onto www.westmeathtourism.ie

Hill of Uisneach

The Hill of Uisneach, near Ballymore village is a ten minute drive away and one of the most historical sites close to Bishopstown House. Uisneach is to Tara as the moon is to the sun. Where Tara is the home of warriors, Uisneach is the home of the mysterious druids, was the royal residence of the High Kings of Ireland and also the location of the pagan festival Bealtaine. From the Hill of Uisneach it is said that you can see twenty-one of the thirty-two counties in Ireland (on a clear day!). It is known as the exact centre of Ireland and from here the island was divided into it’s provinces. Located on the side of the hill is the Cat Stone, named so because it resembles a cat. Legend says that the Mother Goddess Érui who gave her name to the island of Ireland (Éireann) is buried underneath the Cat Stone.

Saint Brigids Well

Brigid was born from Druid parents but was reared as a Christian and was known for her healing powers and for performing miracles. A three minute drive away you can drink from the fresh waters of St. Brigid’s Well, also a popular site for making wishes.

Lilliput

It was from here that Johnathan Swift drew his inspiration for ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. Located on the shores of Lough Ennell, Lilliput is one of the few inland facilities in Ireland to be a holder of the prestigious Blue Flag award for bathing. Lilliput is also a beautiful and historic park which can cater for everybody’s tastes – from adventure sports to fishing. www.lilliputboathire.com

Belevedere House and Gardens

The Belvedere story is one which is steeped in scandal and provides rich opportunities to capture the visitors imagination. The Estate, which  is a 20-minute drive away, comprises of 160 acres of pristine parkland with 6kms of magnificent woodland and lakeshore walks. It is dotted with historic ruins, the most (in)famous of which being the Jealous Wall. The restored Belvedere House is an 18th century hunting/fishing lodge designed by the renowned German architect Richard Castle for Robert Rochfort, later the Wicked 1st Earl of Belvedere. Many famous owners have since called Belvedere home, until it was turned into a popular tourism attraction in the 1990’s. www.belvedere-house.ie

Athlone

Built on the banks of the River Shannon, Athlone is a major commercial midland town. Packed full of shopping and dining options, the town is also home to a thriving University. Cruises and boat-trips can be booked along the Shannon, and the town has plenty of historical importance. Its imposing, riverside Castle is known worldwide. Built in the 12th century by King John of England because of its strategically important location. It is approx twenty five minute drive from Bishopstown.

Moate

Moate is the closest village for supplies, and also for its selection of pubs, restaurants and cafes. It is also home to Dun na Si Heritage Centre, translated as the ‘fairy fortress’. The centre includes a genealogical research centre for those interested in locating their Irish family tree. The old courthouse now serves as a museum, with over 1,000 artefacts covering the folk history of the town and the surrounding countryside since the 18th century. The main street is regarded as one of the widest in the country.

Mullingar

The home of the late, great Joe Dolan, Mullingar is a bustling midlands market town, just 20 minutes drive from Bishopstown. Every Thursday and Saturday, the Mullingar Greyhound Stadium is the place to be for action-packed racing. The town also has an abundance of restaurants, pubs, clubs and shops – from independent fashion houses to high street names. The town has a great reputation for live music, with dozens of gigs and concerts happening nightly. Recounted in several books by James Joyce, the town is also home to Belvedere House.

Websites

Boating on the Shannon www.iol.ie/wmeathtc/acl
www.loughreecruisers.com
Lockes Distillery (Kilbeggan) www.lockesdistillerymuseum.com
Fishing Lough Ennel/Boat Hire – Contact Jimmy Gavigan www.westmeathtourism.com/lbh
Mount Temple Golf Club www.mounttemplegolfclub.com
Glasson Golf Hotel and Country Club www.glassongolf.ie
New Forest Golf Club www.newforest.ie/golf
Lilliput Adventure Centre www.lilliputadventure.com
Kilbeggan Race Course www.kilbegganraces.com
Athlone Leisure World www.leisureworld.ie
Clonmacnoise & West Offaly Railway www.bnm.ie
Mullingar Greyhound Racing www.mullingargreyhoundstadium.ie
Jonathan Swift Park
Tullamore Dew www.tullamore-dew.org
Pallas Karting www.pallaskarting.com
Mullingar Greyhound Stadium www.mullingargreyhoundstadium.ie
Belevedere House and Gardens www.belvedere-house.ie
Lockes Distillery Museum www.lockesdistillerymuseum.ie
Glendeer Pat Farm www.glendeer.com
Ladestown Riding School www.ladestownhouse.net
Lakeland Shooting Centre www.lakelandguns.ie
Tuar Ard Arts Centre www.tuarard.ie
National Wax Museum http://www.waxmuseumplus.ie/
Mullingar Golf Club http://www.mullingargolfclub.com/

Sister companies

Octogan http://www.octagon-uk.com/
Temple Lane Studios http://www.templelanestudios.com/
The Sound Training Centre http://www.soundtraining.com/
The Button Factory http://www.buttonfactory.ie/content.php?ID=1
The National Wax Museum Plus http://www.waxmuseumplus.ie/
TICN http://www.ticnireland.ie/

Restaurants

Athlone
Kin Khao (Thai) 09064 98805 *
The Olive Grove (Bistro) 09064 76946
Top Deck (Bistro) 09064 73263
Left Bank (Bistro food) 09064 94446 *
Di Bella (Italian) 09064 44830
Hatters Lane (Bistro) 09064 73077
Saagar Indian Restaurant…also take-away 09064 70011
Al Mezza (Lebanese) 09064 98765
Glasson, Athlone
The Wineport 09064 39010 *
Grogan’s (very good bar food) 09064 85158 *
Glasson Village Restaurant 09064 85001 *
Mullingar
Saagar Indian Restaurant…also take-away 04493 40911
Oscars Restaurant (Bistro)…also take-away 04493 44909 *
Ilia Tapas 04493 45947 *
Moate
The Grande Hotel (carvery) 09064 81104
The Restaurant at the Du Na Si (good steak) 09064 66797 *
Canton Palace (very good Chinese) 09064 66698
Doe’s Pizza take-away 09064 48555
Kilbeggan
The Loft 05793 32730 closed at 6pm
The Mandarin Chinese…also take-away 05793 33100
The Pantry, The Distillery…also take-away 05793 32795 closed at 6pm

* recommended

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