County Longford is in the centre of Ireland. Counties Westmeath, Cavan, Leitrim, surround County Longford and Lough Ree separates it from County Roscommon. Longford is a picturesque low lying county with bogs, farmland, rolling hills and it is dissected by rivers and lakes including the rivers Shannon, Inny, Erne and Lough Gowna and Lough Ree in Lanesborough, which makes it one of the best places in Ireland for water sports.
County Longford is an ideal spot to get away from it all and is a popular tourism area because of this. Thousands of holidaymakers visit yearly for short breaks and longer holidays staying in hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfast (b&b), campsites, and self-catering apartments, in caravans and on boats. However one of the most popular types of accommodation for an Irish holiday is a cottage because they offer home from home comforts and allow more freedom to explore.
Cottages in Longford's county town (Longford Town) are close to St Mel's Cathedral and the banks of the Camlin River. Longford Town is also the home of the County Council offices where you will be able to get a county map. Ballinamuck is one of the most historic towns in North Longford and Ballymahon is situated on the River Inny and has associations with Oliver Goldsmith.
Cottage holidays in Drumlish will need booking early in August when the annual four-day Marquee in Drumlish Festival is held. Edgeworthstown or Mostrim is a market town in County Longford that has an excellent pub called the Mostrim Arms and Keenagh is situated near the Royal Canal. Other places to holiday in County Longford include Granard, Keenagh, Killashee, Lanesborough, Moydow, Newtowncashel and Newtownforbes.
Whether walking, cycling or on horse back the tourist trails are not to be missed, as they allow you to see unspoilt rural Ireland at its best. The South Ring of Longford runs from Longford Village to Tarmonbarry through Clondra, Killashee, and Lanesborough, along the Shannon to Barley Harbour on to Newtowncashel, Saints Island, Moydow and Ardagh. Other trails include the North Ring of Longford, The Humbert Trail, The Oliver Goldsmith Trail and the cycling and touring route the Tain Trail.
Ardagh has been so well preserved that it has been named a heritage village and there are numerous other museums, historical homes, monuments and places of interest to visit, such as Aughacliffe, Home of Fr. Mullooly at Lahery in Lanesboro, Clonfin Monument, Longford Museum and Heritage Centre and St. Mel's Cathedral. Lovers of the environment and wildlife will enjoy the Shannon River, canals, bogs, islands harbours and Visitors Centre at the Old School House in Edgeworthstown.
Cottages in all towns and villages in County Longford will be near to angling and boating facilities and there is an excellent eighteen-hole golf course at County Longford Golf Club. Aeronautical Sports are held at Abbeyshrule Cistercian Abbey and there is an activity centre at Castlerosse House, which overlooks one of the largest lakes in Europe, Loch Gowna. A holiday cottage will also be near the many entertainments including galleries, cinemas, nightclubs, exhibitions and festivals and fairs.
Dublin and Shannon airport serve County Longford, as do the ports of Cork and Dublin. Public transport can be expensive and there are significant gaps in some routes.