Tracks & Trails – Magic Midlands


The midlands of Ireland often gets overlooked by people driving west or south every weekend. This is somewhat unfair but understandable as it’s hard for the midlands to compete with the high impact scenery and landscapes on offer along our west coast.

The subtle Midlands offer something completely different from an outdoor recreation perspective and is well worth exploring! It’s magic was captured recently in the Colin Stafford Johnston programme – The secret life on the Shannon, which in my opinion was one of the best nature, wildlife and outdoor recreation programmes produced in Ireland in recent years.

This programme captured the natural beauty, tranquility and atmosphere of the midlands perfectly. This magic can also be found in many locations across the midlands, including the Sleeve Bloom Mountains, the Royal and Grand Canals and the midland lakes of Lough Owel, Ennel and Ree, to name but a few locations.

The most recent programme in the Tracks & Trails series features too hidden gems in the midlands, the Boora parkland in Co. Offaly and Durrow Castle (looped Walks) in Co. Laois.  Walking and cycling trails have been developed in both locations, making it easy for  families, couples or anyone to get out and enjoy the scenery and wildlife of the midlands, and to just re-connect with nature.

I would highly recommend a visit to both locations if you are planning a weekend break over the next few months, give the Midlands a go and discover some of its magic!

Cormac MacDonnell – National Trails Manager