Study visit to Ireland from 31 May to 1 June, organised by Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA), in Carrick-on-Shannon.

 

A very interesting and attractive agenda combining presentations and visits by bike. We learn about the great experiences of Greenways in Ireland, and their strong socio-economic benefits thanks to the presentations from:

  • Áine Carr, Leitrim Co. Co. – “Leitrim Greenways – “Socio Economic Benefits”
  • Sharon Lavin, Head of Marketing, Waterways Ireland Blueway Development – How It Has Evolved
  • Seamus Gibbons (Electric Bike Trails Owners) – “Business to Benefit from Cycleway”
  • Michael Fitzsimons, Fáilte Ireland – Greenway Visitor Experience & Development Toolkit and Greenway Industry Supports . 

 

An opportunity to discover the beauty of the Leitrim’s greenways, in particular the Shannon Blueway.

Cycle from Leitrim to Drumshanbo (about 10 Km) along the banks of the Shannon Erne Canal and enjoy the iconic Acres Lake Floating Boardwalk in Drumshanbo. Visit the Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre, and then on to the Jackalope Café , in The Shed Distillery, Drumshanbo, Leitrim for Lunch and visit.

             

Day 2 was organised as an itinerant tour with presentations in the room, in two of the most popular places to visit in Roscommon County. The Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, and the very popular King House, which we reached by bike following the cycle route linking the Forest Park and Doyle.

 Lough Key Forest & Activity Park.  It is a joint venture between Roscommon County Council and Coillte, but is not financially supported by the agencies. It opened in 2007, with an investment of 10.5 million euros. It is a forest area on the shores of Key Lake, with high natural and cultural values, with a number of attractions. The area is publicly owned and privately managed according to sustainability criteria.

Is one of the biggest tourist attractions for all kind of visitors in County Roscommon.

Afterward we completed the 8km cycleway from Lough Key Forest & Activity Park to King House in Boyle

  • Presentation by Eimear Dowd, County Tourism Officer – Cycleway Benefits to Boyle and Proposed Developments for Roscommon and the Wider Region & Irelands Hidden Heartlands.

The cycle route was created at the initiative of the county, and has become a great amenity for the local community, especially during the COVID. It has resulted in a significant economic impact and visitor arrivals.

 We returned to Lough Key Forest and experienced the coffee shop for lunch, and the park’s attractions, the tunnels, the breathtaking views from the 5-storey Moylurg Observation Tower, the Tree Canopy Walk, …

 

           

The study visit will help the implementation of the action plans of the project partners and the dissemination of ongoing initiatives in Ireland.  Greenways are an economic driver for sustainable tourism and very much appreciated by residents, who enjoy them all year round.

A very useful and pleasant visit. It is great to learn about successful public and private initiatives around greenways in Ireland.  An opportunity to see in situ the huge support and growing demand for greenways. Greenways are a priority objective in tourism and mobility policy in Ireland.

A fantastic experience. Irish Greenways are a must to visit!

 

The content in this toolkit provides an overview of best practice approach to Greenway development, management, maintenance, and marketing.

 

 

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Location: Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland