Introducing County Longford
A solidly agrarian region, County Longford is a quiet place of low hills and pastoral scenes. It has few tourist sights but is a haven for anglers who come for the superb fishing around Lough Ree and Lanesborough.
Longford suffered massive emigration during the Famine and it has never really recovered. Many Longford emigrants went to Argentina, where one of their descendants, Edel Miro O'Farrell, became president in 1914.
Longford's eponymous county town is a decidedly workaday place, but there's a friendly tourist office and plenty of places to eat.
The county's main attraction is the magnificent Corlea Trackway, an Iron Age bog road that was built in 148 BC. An 18m stretch of the historic track has now been preserved in a humidified hall at the site's visitor centre, where you can join a 45-minute tour that details the bog's unique flora and fauna, and fills you in on how the track was discovered, and methods used to preserve it. Wear a windproof jacket as the bog land can be blowy. The centre is 15km south of Longford on the Ballymahon road (R397).
Longford is also home to one of the three biggest portal dolmens in Ireland. The Aughnacliffe dolmen has an improbably balanced top stone and is thought to be around 5000 years old. Aughnacliffe is 18km north of Longford town off the R198.
Bus Éireann runs hourly buses from Longford town to Dublin (€13, two hours) and Sligo (€12, 1½ hours, six daily Monday to Saturday, five Sunday).
Irish Rail runs trains almost hourly to Dublin (from €22, one hour and 40 minutes).