Hotels in Athlone, Ireland
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Athlone: Where History and Riverside Attractions Collide
Located in the centre of the Emerald Isle, Athlone means "the Ford of Luain" in Irish. Luains were ancient innkeepers who guided people across the waterways nearby. And as you'll see, there's plenty of water to admire, since the beautiful River Shannon snakes right through the centre of the town. During your time at this destination, stop by Sean's Bar. With a history that dates back to 900 A.D., it's earned the impressive distinction of being the oldest pub in Ireland. Also, check out the Luan Gallery. Nestled along the waterfront, it’s located in a building that dates back to 1897.
An Enticing Destination for Active Travellers
Spend some time on the appropriately named Old Rail Trail, a cycling path that follows old railroad tracks. Pedal your bike down quiet tree-lined paths and go under arched bridges. There are many entry and exit points along this Athlone trail, making it easy to customise the length of your journey. Also, spend time at the Outdoor Discovery Adventure Company. Whether you want to go white water canoeing or stay on land and play archery tag, this attraction offers hours of fun for guests who want to stay on the move. If you're feeling the need for speed, enjoy a high-speed powerboat experience courtesy of Barracuda Boat Trips. Alternatively, this provider offers full and half-day fishing trips. These excursions offer fun ways to spend time out on the water in a scenic setting, while being hopeful about reeling in a big catch before returning to your hotel.
Quench Thirst and Conquer Hunger
Even if you're staying in one of the area's hotels that include breakfast, it's still a good idea to branch out from the culinary choices offered through your accommodations. Maybe you just want a quick bite to sustain you until dinner. In that case, the Beans and Leaves Café and Deli is a smart choice. Choose from delectable sandwiches, fresh salads and tempting desserts, all made on site. If you're hungry for hearty Irish fare served in a laid-back setting, make your way to The Fatted Calf, a dining and drinking establishment run by Feargal and Fiona O’Donnell, a husband and wife team. The menu features dishes made with local and seasonal produce, and the options are sure to tantalise your taste buds. Finally, top off your evening at The Villager, an award-winning Athlone gastro pub that offers various beer choices and coffee, plus flavourful snacks to complement your beverages.
Soothing to the Body and Spirit
Athlone offers many establishments to calm your soul and relax tired muscles. Some of these pampering places may even be located within your accommodations. Go to the Mingala Day Spa, a quiet retreat nestled within the Shamrock Lodge Hotel. Treat yourself to a hot stone therapy session that gently eases all your pent-up tension, or enjoy a brighter, healthier complexion after getting a facial. Also, look your best by purchasing a professional makeup session or getting your eyebrows carefully shaped. The Treatment Suite in Wineport Lodge is another worthy pick if you're in need of some thorough pampering. Soak in the facility's rustic outdoor hot tubs while enjoying lovely lake views, or get an organic seaweed body treatment. Talk to the facility's highly trained massage therapists too, and receive tailored treatments that tackle soreness, fatigue and stiff joints. Thanks to top-notch lotions, oils and other products that restore and pleasantly scent your skin, you can look forward to memorable spa sessions.
Appealing Attractions for Everyone
When you're ready to take part in retail therapy, look no further than the Golden Island Shopping Centre. Home to over 40 retail outlets, it's a favourite spot of Athlone locals and visitors alike. Once you've found at least a few must-purchase items, settle back into one of the comfy seats at the establishment's six-screen cinema and get ready to watch a screening of a current film. To cope with Ireland's frequent rainy days, many travellers look for things to do that'll help them stay dry before heading back to their hotels. Clearly, the Golden Island Shopping Centre is an excellent wet-weather destination. Also, don't miss Athlone Castle, a popular landmark boasting seven centuries of history. Climb up the steps of the castle keep and marvel at extraordinary views of the River Shannon, plus learn from interactive exhibits that explain some of the major battles fought in the area, and the role the castle played during those historical events.
Stroll Past Historical Sites and Structures
Many of this town's hotels are within easy reach of historical sites you can explore on foot. Get started by embarking on the Connaught Walk, which stretches for 1.6 miles and begins at a 19th-century bridge. While on this trek, you'll see St. Peter and Paul’s Church, a structure which isn't as old as some in the area, since construction finished in 1937. Despite its relatively short history, this house of worship in Athlone features impressive architecture, including twin spires. You might also decide to head out on the Leinster Walk, a 2.9-mile journey that takes you past points of interest ranging from Athlone's ancient walls to the Old Court Devenish House, notable for being the birthplace of John Count McCormack, a famous tenor. While visiting the Old Court Devenish House, don't miss the Jacobean windows, and ivy-covered walls that give the building an unkempt yet quaint look.