County Westmeath

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About County Westmeath

Tucked in the heart of Ireland, County Westmeath offers an enticing fusion of spectacular landscapes dotted with tranquil lakes, rich cultural heritage and lively entertainment. Accommodation options are wide-ranging, including lovely rural B&Bs and smart lakeside lodges fit for a whole host of budgets. Many of the best places to stay in County Westmeath are hidden away in striking natural surroundings, ideal for walking and fishing, or simply kicking back with an evening drink and a glorious view.

The enchanting county town of Athlone features historic buildings, characterful pubs and brightly-painted houses hugging the banks of the River Shannon. A hugely appealing base for exploring County Westmeath, Athlone also boasts the imposing thirteenth-century Athlone Castle, as well as the enormous Church of St Peter and St Paul. There are antique shops to delve into, live music spilling from tiny pubs, and excellent exhibitions of Irish art to admire at the contemporary Luan Gallery. The intriguing Dún na Sí Heritage Park is nearby, and well worth a visit, too. One of our favourite places to stay is located on the nearby banks of Lough Ree.

If it’s heritage sites that you’re after, Mullingar Cathedral is wonderful, as is Belvedere House & Gardens. To the north of Westmeath, you’ll find Tullynally Castle Gardens and Fore Abbey, where there’s a great looped walk to follow through the old village. Between the towns of Mullingar and Athlone lies the Hill of Uisneach, a sacred place steeped in myth. Catch the annual Bealtine Fire Festival for a fabulous celebration of food, music and ancient ritual at Uisneach.

Most visitors flock to Westmeath for the region’s natural wonders, and there’s walking, cycling, kayaking and fishing aplenty, along the trails, lakes and rivers which snake across the landscape. Grown-ups and children of all ages will adore biking along the Old Rail Trail Greenway or the Royal Canal Greenway, for instance, soaking up verdant scenery and historic landmarks en-route. The Royal Canal Blueway, on the other hand, is brilliant for canoeing, kayaking or tranquil paddle boarding, with pretty spots to stop for a picnic or a pub lunch. Ramblers can stroll through Mullaghmeen Forest, amble around the lakeside estate at Belvedere, or stretch their legs on the 33km Westmeath Way, whilst golfers and horse riders will find lots to their liking, too.

With boat trips on the lakes to look forward to, as well as the chance to sample a tipple or two at the Kilbeggan Distilling Co., travellers will find themselves spoilt for choice in Westmeath. Whether you’re dreaming of hearty homemade breakfasts in a Georgian manor or long evenings on your private lakeside balcony, our pick of the best places to stay in County Westmeath has it all.

The Best Places to Stay in County Westmeath

For an intimate country house

  • Mornington House is a beautiful country manor promising warm hospitality in a little-explored corner of County Westmeath. Interiors are lavish and elegant, with period furnishings, prettily-patterned upholstery and lovely garden views from the four spacious bedrooms. Pick this place for its tranquil feel, opulent decor and fine dining, as befits the Irish country house tradition. Much of the delicious produce comes from the kitchen garden! A gracious retreat.
  • Lough Bawn House is a cosy B&B with four guestrooms in a classical Georgian family home. Stay here for the relaxed vibe, striking views over Lough Bawn and 50 acres of parkland to explore. Expect fabulous breakfasts and plenty of walking and fishing. Dinners are available upon request. The atmosphere is laid-back, and the decor traditional. Charming!

For lakeside luxury

  • Wineport Lodge boasts 29 beautifully-appointed contemporary rooms and suites with big beds and stunning lake views. Set right on the banks of Lough Ree, near Althone, this is a wonderfully indulgent hideaway complete with a rejuvenating treatment room, hot tub and excellent restaurant. Head out on the water by boat, go for long walks, play golf, or check out the area's many heritage sites and lively entertainment offerings. Popular for weddings, the luxurious lodge is also a spectacular place to catch the sunset over the water!

For an apartment or holiday cottage

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • There are regular international and domestic flights to Dublin International Airport. Alternatively, take a ferry from Liverpool or Holyhead to Dublin. You can then hop aboard a bus, train (to Mullingar or Athlone) or taxi to your destination in County Westmeath.
  • County Westmeath's many attractions are most easily reached by road. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel between May and September for warmer weather, averaging at around 17°C. The summer is the most popular time to visit, so book your stay well in advance to avoid missing out!

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Best Hotels in County Westmeath

  • Mornington House Co. Westmeath, County Westmeath 4 rooms from £104

    Country Escape  -  Splendid interiors with charming sitting room, vegetable garden and grounds to explore or a day trip on the Shannon
    Sailing  -  Mullingar Sailing Club
    Sights nearby  -  Fore Abbey
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide

    Five star country house. Pretty bedrooms have wrought iron beds, antique chairs and wardrobes and views onto the garden. Lovely seasonal menu using produce from the vegetable garden. Authentic, quiet and friendly. See More

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  • Lough Bawn House Castlepollard, County Westmeath 4 rooms from £121

    Country Escape  -  A charming country house boasting a spectacular rural setting dotted with picturesque lakes
    Great walks  -  Ramble thorugh the beech tree forest at Mullaghmeen
    Full of character
    Lakeside
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide

    A picturesque country house set in a secluded spot overlooking Lough Bawn. Four traditional rooms are simply dressed with soft hues and antiques while large sash windows offer spectacular views. The host whips up superb breakfasts and there's miles walking country right on the doorstep. See More

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  • Wineport Lodge Co Westmeath, County Westmeath 29 rooms from £181

    Country Escape  -  A tranquil lakeside property featuring roaring fires, lovely walking country and superb dining
    Foodies  -  Wineport Lodge started life as a restaurant and it still pulls in the foodies to this day!
    Great walks  -  Set out on long walks straight from the property's front door
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    A pretty wooden lodge set overlooking Lough Ree. The spacious contemporary rooms are the height of luxury with floor to ceiling windows, terraces, freestanding baths and indulgent Voya seaweed products. The acclaimed restaurant serves particularly good seafood. An indulgent rural escape. See More

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