Leitrim and Tourism

Lovely Leitrim is a phrase synonymous with the county due to the fact that it has achieved such a high profile in tourism based on its natural assets. Some of its notable tourism attributes include:

  • Its short coastline – only 2.5kms bordering the Atlantic ocean
  • Its rivers and lakes which embrace the River Shannon – the longest river in Ireland
  • The Shannon-Erne Waterway has its roots in the County
  • Jam packed calendar of events and festivals as showcased in Carrick on Shannon 400
  • Renowned as an angling and boating county as well as rowing, canoeing and river boarding
  • Rugged mountainous North Leitrim and Glenade Valley
  • Heritage towns and villages like Carrick on Shannon and Jamestown
  • Glencar Waterfall
  • Rich artistic heritage based around John McGahern, Anthony Trollope and more

In 2012, Leitrim had 29,000 visits from overseas visitors (almost doubling its population) generating revenue of €10m. The growth market in tourism is North America and the domestic and Northern Ireland markets remain very important.

Opportunities in Tourism in Leitrim

There is more opportunities to package activities and accommodation like Leitrim – The Big Day Out which combines, cycling using electric bikes, hill walking and boating in an organised package provided by three different service providers with associated travel and accommodation also packaged.

The county is renowned for its creative sector and arts sector and opportunities still abound to develop such tourism and water based tourism in a sustainable manner. There is a number of tourism capital projects in progress including the World Class Rowing Centre at Lough Rynn, near Mohill in the south of the county and the development of the Rail to Trail project along the route of the old Sligo, Leitrim and Northern counties railway.

Carrick on Shannon is also a very attractive town for tourists and its location on the National Primary route (N4) offers opportunities to develop more options for families, for recreational sports and heritage with the Likes of the Famine Workhouse, Costello Chaper and St George’s Visitor Centre as just a few of its heritage attractions.

Examples of Companies/Projects in Tourism Sector in Leitrim

St George’s Church and Visitor Centre

St. George’s Church in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim was built in 1827 has been a place of Church of Ireland worship for nearly 200 years. In 2005, the Church was restored and refurbished which included the building of a new visitor centre. The restored church, has a well researched and exciting historical display of artefacts and interpretive material and audio visual displays depicting the traditions of Leitrim from ancient Gaelic roots through plantation times up to Leitrim's contribution and sacrifice in the Great War.

River Mania, Carrick-on-Shannon

River Mania is located on the bank on the banks of the Shannon Erne Waterways in Carrick-on-Shannon and started in 2008. River Mania provide a variety of fun activities including: kayaking, white water kayaking, kayak surfing, Canadian canoes, raft building, wilderness camping and taster sessions. River Mania caters to all age groups starting from 8 years old.

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall is 50ft high and is situated in Glencar Lough, 11km west of Manorhamilton County Leitrim. There are multi-access paths to the waterfall itself. It is particularly impressive after rain and can be viewed from a lovely wooded walk. The setting and charm of the waterfall inspired the poet W.B. Yeats in the poem “The Stolen Child”.

Big Day Out in Leitrim

Leitrim Landscapes Guided Walks, Electric Bike Trails and Adventure Gently Guided Canoe Tours are 3 Leitrim based companies which have come together to offer you that special day out, “Leitrim’s Big Day Out”. The locations available for these activities are: Glenfarne forest and Lough MacNean, Dromahair and Lough Gill/Bonet and Leitrim Village and Acres lake/ the canal. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience the world of nature on foot, on water and from the saddle.

Useful Contacts for Services Sector in Leitrim

Sinead McDermott, Leitrim Tourism

smcdermott@leitrimtourism.ie  353 (0) 71 962 3274

Joe Lowe, Leitrim Local Enterprise Office info@leo.leitrimcoco.ie  353 (0) 71 9620450

Leitrim- One Call to Success 353 (0)71 9650496

Role of Local Authority in Services Sector

The Local Enterprise Office is based in the offices of Leitrim County Council and offers a range of supports for businesses including mentoring, training, information point and financial supports.

Each local authority has a role in planning and the Planning Department is available to meet for pre-planning meetings where a premises is being considered for a Service Enterprise. Other factors to be taken into account can also be explained at that meeting. The One Call to Success number is operated from the Economic Development Unit of the Local Authority and is there to offer advice on where to find information on helping you get the best supports for your business. Leitrim County Council is also involved in supporting Leitrim Tourism and securing funding for key tourism infrastructural projects to improve the tourism asset base further in the County.