County Roscommon is a province of Connacht in the centre of Ireland and also the name of its county town. The River Shannon, and counties Galway, Mayo, Longford, Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim, Westmeath and Offally border County Roscommon. It is the only county in Ireland to have no coastline, but it has a number of lakes and river tributaries and Lough Key in the north has thirty-two islands.
County Roscommon is not a tourist destination in its own right, but it has beautiful scenery, Irish cottages, farmland well suited to walking, cycling, horse riding and nature and birdwatching, fishing lakes and rivers, golf courses and plenty of historic sights. This is why Roscommon county council and the Roscommon County Development Board promote cottage holidays and tourism in the area.
Holiday cottages are a popular self-catering option, as they provide real home from home comforts. Property prices in the area are relatively low and a number of new homes have been built meaning a lot of cheap houses for sale, which have been totally renovated for holiday apartments and accommodation.
Although not the county town, Athlone is the largest town on the River Shannon and it stands on the border of Westmeath and Roscommon. It is the ideal location for holiday cottages and touring and is the centre for Shannon Cruising, boat hire and day trips. There is also angling, golf and cycling, as well as excellent shopping facilities and holds numerous events and festivals throughout the year.
The County Council offices will provide you with a County Map to help you with your exploring. In Roscommon Town there is the County Museum, which houses a dug out canoe and a 9th century slab and Loughnaneane Park, which is a fourteen acre children's playground, that has a crannog known as the Hill o' Bones. It is bordered by the ruins of Roscommon castle. Lough Key Forest Park was once part of the Rockingham estate. It comprises of mixed woodland, a lake with several islands, nature walks, bog gardens, the ruins of a McDermott castle and a café. Other castles include Dunamon Castle, Rinndown and Lecarrow.
Cruachan is one of the most important Celtic Royal sites in Europe and the Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre in Tulsk has a collection of archaeological remains dating from the Stone Age. The Rathcroghan and Glenballythomas Earthworks are also of great archaeological interest. Sports attractions include Monksland Pitch, Roscommon Golf Club at Mote Park, Munsboro Equestrian and Leisure Centre, Athleague Angling Centre, Slí na Sláinte (walking route), An Táin (Cycle Route) and the Miners Way (Historical Trail) and there is a night club at the Coachman's Inn in Castle Street. National Hunt and Flat racing is held at Roscommon Race Course.
Tullyboy Animal Farm Visitor Centre is an open farm perfect for families. It is set in an amazing location with view of the Arigna and Curlew mountains and has a farm museum, pony rides, duck pond, playground and loads of attraction. The award winning Ardcarne Gardens in Boyle have rare and unusual roses and plants.
County Roscommon's climate is generally mild and moist with the normal seasonal variations.
Knock and Dublin International airports serve County Roscommon as does the Port of Dublin. The nearest railway is at Castlerea and Bus Eireann operates throughout the county.