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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 18 October, 2018
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Your summer in Ireland: 5 must-see sites in Leitrim

Take our challenge and tick off as many glorious sites this summer as recommended by heritage officers around Ireland.

Image: CA Eccles via Shutterstock

EVERY CORNER OF Ireland has something unique to showcase – but how much of it have you seen?

TheJournal.ie has been chatting to heritage officers in every part of the country to compile their top five picks that they think you might enjoy visiting this summer.

Heritage includes monuments, archaeological or architectural objects, seascapes, wrecks, geology, inland waterways, gardens and parks. We are publishing recommendations for every local authority area over the course of a fortnight, along with the details you need to know to plan your visit.

Get motoring!

Leitrim

1. Parke’s Castle, Kilmore

This restored castle from the plantations of the early 17th century was the Parke family home built by Robert Parke in 1610. It was once a strong hold of the ancient ruling O’Rourke clan and excavations have revealed the original tower house beneath the courtyard.

The castle is located on the North shores of Lough Gill and the interior of the castle contains exhibitions around the courtyard, well and forge. The castle was restored using traditional 17th century craftsmanship and a guided tour of the castle takes place every hour.

Amenities: Works are currently ongoing, access to the public toilets are restricted to so portable toilets are available. Wheelchair access is only available to the ground floor exhibitions. There is a public car park close by and a restaurant and tea room open to the public.

Opening hours and cost: The castle is open 10am-6pm daily and last entry is 5.15pm. As works continue, entry is FREE of charge but access to the courtyard is off limits to visitors.

Updates on these works can be accessed here.

Parkes Castle Parke's Castle

2. Glencar Waterfall

Inspiring the poem The Stolen Child by WB Yeats, the 50ft waterfall at Glencar Lough plunges into the valley below. It can be viewed from a scenic wooden walk around the area and the natural feature is a example of a U-shaped valley carved during the ice-age by a glacier.

Amenities: By the waterfall visitors will find a children’s playground, picnic areas, café, public toilets, free car park and information point. There is full access to wheelchair users.

Opening hours and costs: Entry to the site is FREE and it is always open.

Glencar Waterfall Source: CA Eccles via Shutterstock

3. Sean Mac Diarmada HomesteadCorranmore

Home to one of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, rebel Seán Mac Diarmada was born here in 1883. With a view across Upper Lough MacNean, the homestead consists of a cottage, a dairy and a byre and is an example of a traditional Irish cottage.

Guided tours of the house can be arranged in advance and there is a maximum of 10 people allowed per tour.

Amenities: There is no wheelchair access to the interior of the house. There is a public car park.

Opening hours and costs: Admission and tour of the MacDiarmada house is FREE and tours commence from the heritage centre in the village, booking in advance is advised. Opening hours are Monday-Wednesday 10am-2pm, Thursday and Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 12-3pm.

Sean Mac Diarmada Cottage Sean MacDiarmada Cottage

4. Costello Memorial Chapel, Carrick-on-Shannon

At 16ft long, 12ft wide and 30ft tall, the Costello Memorial Chapel is the smallest church in Ireland and the second smallest chapel in the world. It was erected in the 1700s by Sir Edward Costello in memory of his wife and both are laid to rest at the chapel today.

Amenities: There is full access to wheelchair users.

Opening hours and costs: The chapel is FREE to visit and is open from 11am-4pm with late openings in the summer months.

Costello Memorial Chapel Costello Memorial Chapel

5.  Birthplace of Margaret of New Orleans, Carrigallen 

The memorial cottage was built to honour Margaret Haughery known as Margaret of New Orleans. Margaret left Ireland in 1818 and became an entrepreneur and philanthropist in New Orleans, helping the poor as well as orphaned children. Visitors are invited to walk in her footsteps and view the statue erected in her honour.

Amenities: There are toilets on site and there is no wheelchair access.

Opening hours and costs: The birthplace is open on Sundays from 2-5pm and visits can be arranged for other times by appointment. Donations are welcome.

shutterstock_693652642 Margaret of New Orleans Cottage Source: Shutterstock/John And Penny

Thanks to Leitrim Tourism for recommendations.

LATER TONIGHT: Top 5 must-sees in Longford.

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