5 reasons why I don’t think you should visit Boyle, Co. Roscommon

With native son Chris O’Dowd back in town filming his new series “Small Town, Big Son”, Boyle finds itself in the spotlight. Take it from a local, it’s the worst place on earth. Go to Carrick instead. Stay on the train all the way to Sligo. Divert via Tulsk to avoid, trust me.

Who would want to go to Lough Key Forest Park? With it’s natural forested islands set against the Curlew Mountains, mythic history and activities such as ziplining, boat tours, treetop walk and boda borg challenge. Lough Key is just 3km up the greenway from Boyle, and it’s proudly treasured by the locals. By the way, I hear Lough Allen is lovely this time of year.

What’s the point of seeing Boyle Abbey? It’s only the best preserved standing example of 12th century cistercian architecture and relics this side of York, with a historic guided tour that includes occupation by Cromwell’s forces and lurid medieval fertility relics. They don’t allow such filth as authentic sheela na gig carvings on your socials anyway.

Why would anyone want to hang out in King House? The fully restored 18th century estate house boasts a guided interactive historic tour, including War of Independence era jail cells, artefacts and records of the Connacht Rangers regiment, and the Boyle Civic Art collection, one of the largest permanent exhibits of contemporary art in Ireland. But sure there’s a big house to see up in Strokestown too.

Who in their right mind would want to spend time in Boyle town? Maybe it’s the internationally renowned annual Arts Festival drawing a bohemian crowd in mid-summer to performances, exhibitions and talks. Maybe its wandering the pleasure grounds on a cold winter evening, slipping into Creighton’s Bar for a quiet pint, up to Dodd’s after for the lively Friday traditional music session, or lunch in the gatehouse cafe watching the river go by.

photo: Boyletoday.com

If you’re still not convinced to stay away from Boyle, you’ll find an unspoiled, easy-going place. Boyle has been spared the crowds of hen and stag parties and celtic tiger retail parks to be found up the road in Carrick on Shannon. Locals in Boyle are content to be a cheap taxi fare away from a nightclub, and a 2 hour train ride away from Dublin, proudly hoarding some of the best scenery and atmosphere in the country to themselves.

Don’t come find out for yourself!