Come ‘Mon down Award-winning heritage gems, chocolate box villages and fabulous foodies finds; Monaghan should be on your radar
Positioned roughly half-way between Dublin and Belfast — around an hour’s drive from each — Monaghan is an excellent choice for a chilled overnight stay or an action-packed family adventure. Here are just a few of our Monaghan ‘musts’.
1. Adventure Centre
Take to the water with Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre (monaghanadventure.com). Set on the banks of beautiful Lough Muckno, Zoe and Mark offer kayak and canoe hire, plus tuition and all necessary safety equipment, for activities including sailing, rock climbing and tree-climbing.
All ages and experience levels are catered for, too.
This gorgeous village is worth a visit for its artisan chocolatier (Glaslough Chocolate) and time-warp pub, Wright’s, the Coachhouse & Olde Bar. Explore the village on foot intertwined with the Castle Leslie Estate (see our competition on this page) ‘One Village, Two Voices’ self-guided walking tour.
3. Idyllic Inniskeen
A little over an hour from Dublin, is home to the impressive new Patrick Kavanagh Centre. An interactive ‘mini museum’ which tells the story of one of Ireland’s most acclaimed poets — quoted by Barack Obama and Russell Crowe to name just two. It is already capturing the attention of culture vultures from Europe and beyond.
4. Rossmore Forest Park
Ireland’s second-most visited forest park houses the ‘Rossmore Giants’, a series of sculptures made from reclaimed materials by Game of Thrones set designer, Marc Kelly. You will also find an excellent playground, coffee dock and pop-up food trailers.
5. Carrickmacross craft quarter
The home of Carrickmacross Lace used to adorn the wedding dresses of Princess Diana and Kate Middleton is next door to Collective at Market Square.
6. Sliabh Beagh
Why not go off-grid in Sliabh Beagh, an area of outstanding natural beauty in the north of the county. Sliabh Beagh Adventures offers guided hikes and bike hire and can provide maps and information.
7. St Peter’s Tin Tabernacle
This incredible building built on a rock by a gushing river in the tiny village of Laragh would not look out of place in the Swiss Alps and is an absolute must-see.
8. Rally School Ireland
Follow in the tyre tracks of famous celebs and racing drivers and choose from over 20 prestige/rally cars and take in the magnificent scenery while you whizz around the purpose-built track.
9. Carrickmacross Workhouse
This is one of a small handful of restored workhouses open to the public. Built in the 1840s to house the area’s poor, emotive guided tours bring visitors back in time to a period of unimaginable poverty and suffering.
Enjoy an interactive heritage guided tour of the monastic town of Clones. The clever initiative sees expert local guides pop up on your phone when you scan QR codes at various sites around town.
For more information visit monaghantourism.com and follow @MonaghanTourism
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