The Lakes

This sounds almost a romantic notion of Ireland but the "Lakes" are well worth visiting.

These smallish, watery counties - Cavan and Monaghan near the Northern Ireland border, and Westmeath, Laois, Offaly, Roscommon and Longford - form the geographical heart of Ireland, yet are usually portrayed as places to get through on the way to somewhere more interesting. Closer exploration of these unsung plains is surprisingly rewarding, however, for there are historic towns, abbey ruins and grand houses to visit, and masses of outdoor activities. These central counties also offer a less stereotyped picture of the Emerald Isle. Visitors are welcomed with true Irish hospitality, with no pressure to buy sweaters or shamrock table linen. Try and see them on your trip to Ireland.

The small-scale, piecemeal landscape seems at first monotonous - a shallow saucer of endless arable and pasture land, broken up by a maze of lakes and river systems. Its most significant geographical feature, the River Shannon, is the longest in the British Isles, carving its ponderous course through the brimming flood plains and water meadows of several counties. Laois has the highest hills, the Slieve Blooms, which rise to a modest maximum of 527m. Amid these low-lying plains, however, they seem grand indeed.

Ireland Luxury Tours hope that this information allows you to make an informed decision on your visit to Ireland.