The towns of Boyle and Carrick on Shannon are the nearest towns to Riverhaven both being approximately 13 Km from Riverhaven. Nearby there are also the small towns of Drumshanbo, Frenchpark, and Elphin, along with the villages of Cootehall, Keadue, Arigna, Leitrim Village, Ballinafad, Castlebaldwin and Croghan.
Boyle is an old market town that has not been majorly affected by the developments of the ‘celtic tiger’ era, with the exception of a few housing cluster developments at the outskirts of the town. It is home to Boyle Abbey, along with a number of other historic buildings, including those once part of the King Harmon estate. King House, located at the Eastern end of Main Street was built in 1740 and restored as an interpretative centre in 1995. It is home to the Úna Bhan craft shop and cafe and tours of the house itself are available throughout the year. King house is the most significant legacy of the English occupancy. The building was later utilised as the main base for the “Connaght Rangers” in the locality. Boyle is the birthplace of the famous film actress Maureen O\’Sullivan who spent the first week of her life at the home of her parents in Main Street. When the actress’ father, who was at the time stationed in King House, was called up for a tour of duty in the British army, the young actress together with her family returned to live at the home of her maternal grandfather in Riversdale House in Knockvicar. Riversdale house is now the family home of the Burke family and Riverhaven Log Cabins are located on the Riversdale estate.
Boyle is also a nice shopping town with many quaint and unique shops along with high quality family owned home-ware and fashion shops. The Boyle river is a significant feature in the town and is very popular among the angling fraternity for wild brown trout fishing all year round. Boyle is also the home of actor Chris O\’Dowd who has recently soared to fame both via his film and TV acting career. The actor has recently co-written and starred in the television series Moone Boy for Sky television and the show is also based and filmed in Boyle town. The filming of series two of the show has recently completed and is due for airing in Autumn 2013.
Boyle is widely renowned for it”s “Boyle Arts Festival” which takes place in end of July each year.
More information on Boyle town can be found at www.boyletm.com
Conversely the town of Carrick on Shannon expanded enormously during the ‘celtic tiger’ era and a number of commercial and residential developments dramatically both changed the face of the landscape and the layout of the town itself. This once drowsy riverside town has now become a booming and vibrant centre for both visitors and locals in the area and a number of top brand businesses such as Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Boots and Heatons now have outlets in the town.
Carrick on Shannon has an excellent choice of restaurants such as The Oarsman, The Cottage 2 miles away in Jamestown. The Landmark, Bush and Cryan’s hotels, along with many other fine cafes in Carrick on Shannon town also offer good coffees and food at reasonable prices.
Moon River is a modern, fully licensed passenger carrying tour boat operating on the Shannon and based in Carrick on Shannon. Moon River offers tours both during the day and also at night and provides a great opportunity to take in the lake-lands scenery in a comfortable and warm environment.
Carrick on Shannon is also home to “The Dock” arts and crafts centre where music, theatre and comedy events are often organised at very reasonable rates. The Leitrim Design House craft shop is also contained within the Dock building, which was once the town courthouse and Art installations are open to the public for no charge in the upstairs portion of the building all year round.
Carrick on Shannon is a vibrant town and has a busy nightlife, especially at the weekends. There are also many quieter bars in the town and live music is available in many bars in the town from Thursday to Sunday. If you are not drawn to the drinking scene you will find plenty of alternative entertainment with Bowling in the Mulvey Centre or a selection of movies at Carrick Cineplex.
A trip to Keadue is also recommended while staying at Riverhaven to visit this local village, which is synonymous with the famous blind harpist and bard, Thurlough O’ Carolan. This quaint little village which was winner of the tidy town’s competition in both 1993 and 2003 is less than 10 minutes drive from Riverhaven and well worth the drive. Keadue is known for the O’Carolan harp festival which takes place in the village each August bank holiday weekend and provides plenty of entertainment in traditional music sessions, workshops and ceilis. O’ Carolan himself lived in the McDermott Roe household at Arderford House in Ballyfarnon just 4 miles from Keadue village. Just down the road from Keadue in the direction of Ballyfarnon is one of Ireland’s top wedding venues, the prestigious Kilronan Castle which overlooks Lough Meelagh. The castle has been redeveloped in recent years and has hosted a number of celebrity weddings.