The town of Athlone, in County Westmeath, is located at the center of Ireland. It is a town with a rich history and it’s a location that, for a multitude of reasons, continues to draw a sizable tourist population to this day.

Flanked by the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland, there is plenty to see and do in Athlone, for locals as well as visitors. The town, with a population of just over 20k, is a place that has something to enjoy for pretty much anyone.

Its proximity to the Shannon inevitably makes the town a hotspot for nautical activity, which isn’t something you can say about many places that are inland. If boat tours, fishing or a water park sounds like your thing, you’ll find it in Athlone.

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If you’d rather kick back and relax, the ever-popular Sean’s Bar is worth a visit. This famous nightspot is officially recognized as the oldest pub in all of Europe and it has retained its traditional Irish pub feel with its wooden floor, turf fire and regular nights of trad music.

Culture vultures will no doubt enjoy the annual All Ireland Drama Festival, which has been held at the Dean Crowe Theatre for 57 years and counting, as well as the modern Luan Gallery, where you can view a host of impressive art projects.

History enthusiasts can pay a visit to Athlone Castle, which has been a part of the town since the 12th century, while the magnificent campus at the Athlone Institute of Technology is worth seeing first-hand.

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To find out more about the many attractions that Athlone has to offer, check out the interactive storymap which was created by the team at the Sheraton Athlone Hotel.

* Patrick Kelly is the Marketing Manager for the Sheraton Athlone Hotel, a four-star hotel in the heart of Athlone, which offers plush accommodation for guests, a dedicated commitment to catering for every guest’s wishes, a magnificent venue for weddings, and state of the art conferencing facilities.