Mullingar is renowned for its magnificent waterways and there are five lakes that are within an easy drive of the town.
Lough Ennell is 4km south of Mullingar, and visitors can access the lake shore at
Tudenham(close to Belvedere House and Gardens), at Lilliput or at Ladestown where visitors can walk a section of the Westmeath Way. It is very popular with fisherman and it holds the record of Irelands largest ever brown trout at 26lb 2oz which was caught in 1894 !
The lake is 4.5km long and 4km wide and is very shallow with nearly half of it under 3 metres deep.
It can be best viewed by taking a boat out on the lake :
- Lilliput Boat Hire, Lilliput, Mullingar. At weekends from April to October, boat hire can also be accessed from Bloomfield House Hotel. Contact www.lilliputboathire.com or telephone 087-6492866. Pedalow Hire is also available.
- Eamon O’Malley, Lough Ennell Caravan & Camping, Tudenham Shore, Lough Ennell, Tel : 044-9341801; 087-2324368.
- Lilliput Adventure Centre is located on the shores of Lough Ennell and offers a host of water based activities including kayaking, open canoeing and rafting. For full information please call 044-9226789; 087-8106951 ; 086-8106951.
Lough Owel is one of the largest lakes in County Westmeath. It is roughly 2,500 acres in size and is only 4kms from Mulingar. The lake is located North of Mullingar and can be accessed straight off the N4 where you can enjoy a view of the lake from a scenic picnic area. The beauty of the lake competes with a striking sculpture inspired by the Children of Lir legend.
Lough Owel is a very deep lake and is popular with anglers from all over the country. It is also host to the Mullingar Sailing Club (www.msail.net) and popular with water-skiers and sub-aqua activists. Locals love to swim in an area known as the Diving Boards which is located at the lake shore beside the viewing area.
Church Island is the largest island on Lough Owel. It is home to a ruins called St. Loman’s Church which is surrounded by a cemetery. It seems the last burial at that cemetery was in the early 1800’s.
Boat Hire is available from :
- Martin & Aideen Ginell. Tel : 044-9348174
- Jack Doolan. Tel : 044-9342085.
Lough Derraverragh is a long, narrow lake located about 11kms north of Mullingar. The lake is close to 10kms in length and is covers an area of roughly 3,000 acres. The lake is best known for the Irish legend ‘The Children of Lir’ where Lir’s three sons and one daughter were turned into swans by Lir’s jealous wife Aoife. Part of the spell meant that four children had to live 300 years as swans on Lough Derraverragh. The lake can be accessed from Donore Shore near Multyfarnham and also from a cut near Crookedwood, just further along the road from the viewing point located in the village.
Further north in Westmeath is Lough Lene, a popular lake with swimmers and this can be accessed between Collinstown and Fore and the smaller Lough Iron located just past Lough Owel on the N4.