Way too many guidebookswill tell you there is nothing much to see here – but they are wrong.
Certainly Longford is way off the well-worn tourist trails, but if you want to visit a ‘real’ Irish town that has history aplenty and a surprising amount of what will be totally uncrowded places to see, then this is a good place to choose.
The town was established by the Vikings as a trading post close to the River Shannon, and the river remains an important part of life here, with lots of opportunity for angling and water sports.
It has good restaurants and excellent shopping, and the Backstage Theatre stages a varied range of productions covering drama, music and dance though out the year.
What to see in and around Longford
St Mel’s Cathedral is an imposing 19th century building which is worth visiting to see the excellent stained glass window by Irish artist Harry Clarke. The recently renovated Courthouse is a very pleasing late 18th century building
Just outside Longford, at Kenagh, the Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre is at the site of an Iron Age bog road, built of oak, which is the most extensive remains of this type of roadway in Europe. A preseved stretch of the road is now covered by a building which maintains conditions designed for its preservation.
There are two impressive Dolmens nearby. The Aughnacliffe dolmen is one of the largest and finest of its type while the Cleenrath dolmen, about half a mile away, though smaller is still impressive. The whole area around Aughnacliffe is filled with megalithic remains. There are seven forts, of which the largest and best preserved is the Sonnagh Fort, all of which were protected homesteads rather than military structures.
Longford in the News