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The Midlands

If you're in search of a genuine slice of rural Irish life, you'll find it here in the country's heart. Often bypassed by visitors, the Midlands region brims with verdant pastoral landscapes, stately homes, archaeological treasures, sacred monastic sites, lakeside vistas and sleepy towns where the locals are genuinely glad to see you.

Getting lost along the twisting back roads of these six counties is an unhurried pleasure and you're virtually guaranteed to happen upon a local village shop, pub, garage or post office that's scarcely changed in decades. The region is refreshingly free of tour buses and souvenir stalls and well worth at least a pause in your journeys.

The River Shannon dominates the Midlands, meandering through fields and forests, drawing boaters and anglers in shoals. Stylish hotels and gourmet restaurants continue to spring up along its banks, making it a wonderfully scenic and surprisingly cosmopolitan way to travel.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout The Midlands.