|Following on from the highly successful worldwide marketing of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East comes Fáilte Ireland’s latest experience brand for the Midland’s region, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
The brand taps into the growing demand for soft activity holidays, offering visitors the chance to relax with friends and family, visit less well known areas, and experience nature at their own pace through a range of activities including walking, cycling, fishing, and boating. The Midlands region has an abundance of heritage sites and rich natural assets including its many lakes, walkways, and blueways, offering numerous options to explore the area.
Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands covers the ‘heart’ of the country, from Leitrim down to East Clare and extending through Longford, Roscommon, East Galway, as well as parts of Westmeath, Cavan, North Tipperary and Offaly. The two central spines of the region are the River Shannon and the Beara Breifne Way, Ireland’s longest inland walking and cycling trail, following the route taken by Gaelic armies during the early 17th century.
Activities available range from steering a cruiser along the Shannon, water sports and angling, to pony trekking and cycling trails that wind around the towns and small villages dotted along the Shannon and the Beara Breifne Way. There are castles, stately homes, award-winning pubs and restaurants, lakes, beautiful forests and even a mine to visit.
There is already considerable work taking place on the ground. A Shannon Master Plan is currently being developed by Waterways Ireland in partnership with Fáilte Ireland to drive tourism opportunities both on and off the water and in the towns surrounding it. Work is also underway on an Activation Master Plan for the Beara Breifne Way, a long-distance route spanning the entire region that is another key asset for Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and where a compelling walking and cycling trail experience will be developed to international standards. This Plan will see a number of towns along the route identified as walking hubs to support this ambition and drive visitors into nearby areas.
While these key work strands will be central to Fáilte Ireland activity plans for 2019 and beyond, other plans also include the development of a food networks and trails, highlighting the local food scene and giving rise to further tourism and enterprise potential.
Visitors can explore all that Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has to offer through the website www.irelandshiddenheartlands.discoverireland.ie