Dromineer Harbour, Lough Derg, Co. Tipperary
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Dromineer is a short drive from Shannonvale Cottage, and is a beautiful harbour town on the shores of Lough Derg. Highlights include the 13th Century castle which stands guard over the harbour, the ruins of a 10th century church and beautiful walks along the Lough Shore. There is also coffee available at Lough Derg House, and evening meals and drinks at the Whiskey Still.

Also in Dromineer is the Lough Derg Yacht Club, which was founded in 1835, making it one of the oldest in the world. The Yacht club is host to a number of events throughout the summer months, such as regattas and youth sailing events, and is also the base for the Lap the Lake cycle ride in May (120km/65km).

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Nenagh is the closest town, and is a 10-minute drive from Shannonvale Cottage. Here you can enjoy wandering around the shops, sample the many pubs, cafes and restaurants or just breathe in the history! Nenagh is a historic market town, featuring a castle and an abbey which both date from the 13th century, as well as many other fascinating sites from the centuries since then.

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Garrykennedy is another picturesque harbour town, a little further south on the Lough Derg shore. The town is dominated by its harbour, overlooked by the remains of a 15th Century castle, and was once an important transport hub for the delivery of building materials. Nowadays, leisure craft dominate, and it is a great place for a wander along the shore, a stroll in the woods or a relaxing drink and meal at one of the two pubs.

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There is a beautiful quiet stretch of the shore of Lough Derg between Luska and Skehanagh. At certain times of the day you may have the place to yourself, to just enjoy the silence! As you follow the road along the shore you will come across several small quays where you can stroll or enjoy a picnic, as well as the historic Kilbarron Abbey, said to have been founded around 520AD.

While on your way to Luska, look out for Annagh Castle, on a hilltop overlooking the road. The castle is said to be guarded by the ghost of Edward Roe O’Kennedy since his murder by robbers in the 16th Century. The robbers never managed to find his treasure, and it is said that he comes out to frighten anyone off who may be close to finding the treasure to this day.

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Around 15km from Shannonvale Cottage is the Silvermines Mountain range. As the name suggests, there used to be mines for silver and other precious metals in this area, but now it’s all about the beautiful scenery. Here you can visit Silvermines village or go for a drive, a walk or a cycle up in the hills.

At Knockanroe, around 2km above the village, there are stunning hill walks.

In the village itself is a beautiful walk through the ruins of the mine works (which are long enough gone to be atmospheric rather than industrial!), known as the Miners’ path. It’s a much easier walk than Knockanroe but gives great views nonetheless.

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On the road to Ballina from Portroe you will see signs to ‘The Graves of the Leinstermen’. The parking area at the Graves of the Leinstermen offers some of the best views down over Lough Derg. From here you can pause and admire the views, or can take a short walk to view the legendary site of the Graves of the Leinstermen, or can take a longer walk up to the Millennium Cross or to the summit of Tountinna, which is the highest peak in the Arra Mountain range.

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Ballina and Killaloe are twin towns at the southern end of Lough Derg. This is where you can cross the river to explore the beautiful County Clare side of the Lough, which offers hills, market towns and great walking. In Ballina and Killaloe you will find shopping, history and great cafes and restaurants. Killaloe was once the home of Brian Boru, a famous High King of Ireland, and was effectively the capital of Ireland at that time.

Every Sunday there is a farmers’ market where you can sample the best of the local produce while strolling along the riverbank.

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Terryglass is at the northern end of Lough Derg, and is another beautiful harbour village, featuring two holy wells which are said to be able to cure both blindness and headaches! On your way to Terryglass you will pass through Ballinderry, where you can stop for food or go for a stroll along the river.

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