A Great Day Out: What to do in Lough Key?

The beautiful lake of Lough Key in Boyle County Roscommon, central Ireland, has long drawn people to its beguiling shores.

Lough Key’s name stems from Loch Cé. According to Irish folklore, Cé was the druid of the god Nuadu. Cé fled south after being wounded in the Second Battle of Mag Tuired. When he reached a stunning plain carpeted in flowers at Carn Corrslebe, the druid sat down to rest.

Cé died in this beautiful spot where his grave was dug, and he was laid to rest. Legend has it that water burst from Cé’s grave, flooding the plain and henceforth Loch Cé, now Lough Key was created.

With its mythical history, spectacular views of a verdant shoreline lapped by translucent water, thriving wildlife and captivating islands, Lough Key is a magnet for people seeking a thrilling, invigorating and memorable break in Ireland.

Being steeped in history and rich in mesmerising natural landmarks and biodiversity, there’s so much to see, do and enjoy for all the family in Lough Key.

Lough Key Forest and Activity Park

Covering a vast 350 hectares of dense woodland surrounding the shimmering lake scattered with islands and just a 12-minute drive from Carrick-on-Shannon, Lough Key Forest and Activity Park is one of the largest and most beautiful forest parks in Ireland.

This extensive and stunning forest park is the perfect spot for a family break. From difficult-to-please teenagers to inquisitive toddlers and even grumpy grandparents, the whole family can immerse themselves in the many fantastic activities available at Lough Key Forest and Activity Park.

Adventure Play Kingdom

If you’re holidaying in Lough Key with children of any age, you could spend a relaxing couple of hours at the Adventure Play Kingdom. This magical play park comprises of a network of innovative play equipment, including climbing frames, swings, puzzles, towers, slides and much more.

Children can have hours of fun in this safe and engaging enclosed play area while the adults relax with a coffee, soaking up the scenic vista that surrounds the park.

The Lough Key Experience with Tree Canopy

Immerse the family in the incredible history, wildlife and scenery that makes up Lough Key Forest by joining in the Lough Key Experience.

What is Ireland’s only Tree Canopy Walk, this memorable treetop walk will take you on a fascinating audio journey through the park, introducing you to the flora and fauna the forests are home to, and how, through human intervention, the park’s landscape has evolved over the centuries.

As well as walking along the 300-metre-long tree canopy made from timber and steel offering a bird’s-eye view of the treetops, these self-guided audio tours plunge you through 19th century underground tunnels, so you can get truly acquainted with many hidden gems of Lough Key.

Walking and Cycling

If you prefer to have your feet at ground zero, leisurely meandering along the many walking and cycling trails that wind around Lough Key on foot or by bike, might be more up your street.

With approximately 8km of traffic-free trails, Lough Key’s cycling trail is a safe and idyllic way for the family to witness the unique beauty of the park. The many walking trails that twist and turn through the park are graded from easy to strenuous to suit all ages and abilities of walkers.

Boda Borg

Based on a Swedish concept, Boda Borg is an activity in Lough Key designed to get minds racing and teams working together to crack the many puzzles, codes and fun-filled tasks of the legendary Boda Borg.

This test of ingenuity, creativity and teamwork promises a fascinating and memorable family day out.


For those seeking some adrenaline-fuelled fun, orienteering is another must-do activity at Lough Key. You’ll be given detailed maps to navigate your way through various routes and terrain taking you to different control points.

The park’s orienteering is a great way for youngsters to learn outdoor skills and for groups and families to work together as part of a team.

Forest Park and the Historical Estate

One of Lough Key’s most prominent attractions is its densely-wooded Forest Park and Castle Island, which was once the residence of the McDermotts, who ruled the area until the 17th century.

Today you can witness the Great Lawn that surrounds the former site of the house, whilst looking out to Lough Key and the stunning views of the islands, including the Great Island.

If you’re staying in the lovely town of Carrick-on-Shannon, Lough Park and its many beguiling attractions are just 12 miles away.