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Lough Key

Explore a hidden heartland and hive of activity

Lough Key is northeast of the town of Boyle, Roscommon. The lake is believed to be named after a mythical figure named Cé, a druid of the god Nuada.




Discover Lough Key

Lough Key is situated in County Roscommon, and its name has mythical roots. Named after a druid who was wounded in battle, the lake supposedly sprang forth from the place where his body lay. On the banks of Lough Key, the town of Boyle offers much to see and experience. A powerful land-owning family, The Kings, bought up much of the land around Lough Key, and their fully restored, magnificent Georgian-period mansion stands on the grounds. King House was originally built in 1720 as a home for the family but later became a barracks for the British Army, which used it as a base for the Connaught Rangers. Today the house stands as a historical insight into a fascinating, complex time in Irish history. If visiting King House on the weekend, visit the Bridgestone award-winning Courtyard Market, which takes place on the grounds each Saturday afternoon for an array of artisan foods, crafts, and organic produce.  

On another old Roscommon estate owned by the King family, find the Lough Key Forest Park. This 800-hectare park is just a short drive east of Boyle, and contains a number of gorgeous walking trails, along with a visitor center and a restaurant. Take a guided audio tour of the park to learn about the flora and fauna. Explore underground tunnels, viewing towers, and even a tree canopy walk. There are some lovely cycle paths throughout the forest along the newly constructed Boyle to Lough Key Cycleway.   


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