Europe > Britain and Ireland > Ireland > East Coast and Midlands > County Longford > Longford (town)
Longford Town is the county town of County Longford.
Built on the banks of the River Camlin (derived from the Gaelic "Cam linn" - the crooked pool) which is a tributary of the River Shannon, the town wasn't founded by Viking raiders as Long Phoirt, from the Irish long meaning ship and phoirt meaning port or dock. The Celtic inhabitants of Ireland did not build towns but the area came under the sway of the local clan which controlled the south and central part of the county of Longford (formerly the Kingdom of Anghaile or Annally) and hence, the town is referred to occasionally as Longphort Uí Fhearghail (Fort of O'Farrell), a Dominican priory founded there in 1400.
Trains from Dublin Connolly take just under 2 hours to Longford via Drumcondra, Maynooth and Mullingar; they continue to Dromod, Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle, Ballymote and Sligo. There are 7 M-F, 6 Sa, 5 Sunday. See Irish Rail for timetables and fare deals. Longford 1 railway station is 200 m south of town centre.
Expressway Bus 22 / 23 runs six times a day from Dublin Busáras, taking 2 hours via Dublin Airport, Lucan, Maynooth and Mullingar. Bus 23 continues to Dromod, Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle and Sligo, while Bus 22 heads west to Ballina.
Bus 65 runs once a day from Athlone to Ballymahon, Keenagh (for Corlea Trackway), Longford, Granard, Cavan, Clones and Monaghan. On Friday only it also runs from Galway to Tuam, Roscommon, Longford, Granard and Cavan.
Bus 466 runs from Athlone via Ballymahon, Keenagh and Longford, with two M-Sa and one on Sunday.
From Dublin follow M4 to N4 past Mullingar. From Longford the N4 continues to Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle and Sligo.
From Athlone follow N55 (for Cavan) and cut off at Ardagh onto R393.
N5 runs from Westport in County Mayo via Castlebar, Knock Airport, Tulsk and Strokestown to Longford.
From Galway it's quicker to take M6 to Athlone then N55, but you could follow N63 via Roscommon.
Drive, walk or cycle.
The following bus routes provide service beyond the town, and may be useful to those who wish to explore the surrounding vicinity. They can also be used for some journeys within the town:
- Bus Éireann Expressway 22 provides an express service northwest to Strokestown, Ballaghderreen, Charlestown and Ballina, and southeast to Dublin City and Dublin Airport, 6 times per day Monday to Saturday and 7 times per day on Sundays.
- Bus Éireann Expressway 23 provides an express service northwest to Carrick-on-Shannon, Boyle and Sligo, and southeast to Mullingar, Dublin City and Dublin Airport, 6 times per day Monday to Saturday and 5 times per day on Sunday.
- Bus Éireann 466 [dead link] operates southwest to Ballymahon and Athlone, 3 times per day Monday to Saturday and twice per day on Sundays.
- Local Link 24 [dead link] provides 2 additional services per day as far as Ballymahon.
- Local Link 865 [dead link] operates east to Ballinalee and Granard, 3 times per day Monday to Saturday.
- Andrew Wharton 975 operates northeast to Drumlish, Arvagh and Cavan, 5 times per day Monday to Saturday.
Route maps, including stop locations, are available by entering the route number into the TFI route mapper.
- 1 St Mel's Cathedral, Deanscurragh. Neoclassical RC cathedral built 1840-56 and named for St Mél of Ardagh (d 488), a nephew of St Patrick. It was destroyed by fire on 25 Dec 2009, but restored and reopened on 24 Dec 2014. Fittings include a Carrara marble altar, a silver tabernacle, a 2307-piped organ, and new stained glass windows.
- Convent of Mercy on St Joseph's Road just north of the railway station is a convent and girls' school. You may be able to look in on the Gothic Revival chapel (1870s), and the starkly simple nuns' graveyard.
- 2 Corlea Trackway (Danes Road), Cartron Rd, Keenagh N39 XT18 (15 km south of town on R397), ☏ . Apr-mid Nov daily 10:00-18:00. In 1985 oak timbers were found in a peat-digging site that dated to 148 BC - Iron Age - and were part of a 1 km togher, a causeway across a bog. The track, suitable for carts, crossed to a small island then another section continued for 1 km to the other side. But it doesn't seem to have been a transport route, rather an aisle into the bog for some ritual purpose. It was only used for a few years then sank, and the bog conditions preserved the timber. An 18 metre stretch of it is displayed in a humid, climate-controlled hall, while the rest has been left submerged, and the bog stabilised. Free.
- 3 Aughnacliffe 25 km north of Longford is a tiny village with a striking dolmen: it looks like giant play-bricks have been balanced on each other. It's in a field 200 m east of the lane through the village. Cleenrath is another dolmen 700 m north. There are 7 ringforts around the village, the best is Sonnagh Fort 1.5 km south. "Sonnagh" means palisade and the ringforts were probably more like fortified farms.
- Cinema: the Omniplex is on Bridge St in town centre.
- Backstage is a theatre and arts centre off Park Rd, 500 m south of the railway station.
- The shopping centre is a block east of Main St. It has a big Tesco, open M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 10:00-20:00.
- Vocella's at 4 Main St is a friendly Italian bistro, open Su W Th 13:00-20:00, F Sa 13:00-21:00.
- Mekong at 46 Main Street is Asian street food, good flavour and filling portions, open M-W 12:00-22:00, Th-Su 12:00-23:00.
- Take 2 on Earl St is open M=Sa 12:00-21:00, Su 10:00-22:00. They also have rooms.
- Viewmount offers the best food in town, see Sleep.
- Keenan's: see Sleep for this bistro and hotel 5 km west on the riverside.
- In town centre are Corner House (formerly Anvil Bar), Milo's, The Greyhound, Doyles, Valentines and Lyons.
- Lough Ree Distillery is at Lanesborough, 10 km southwest on the boundary with County Roscommon. They produce gin, vodka and whiskey; no tours.
- 1 Longford Arms Hotel, 25 Main St N39 X4H6, ☏ . 3-star hotel in town centre. Most have a comfy stay, good food, but some rooms need redecorating, and the front rooms suffer from street noise.
- 2 Viewmount House, Dublin Rd N39 N2X6 (1 km southeast of town), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Excellent upscale hotel in 17th century mansion with restaurant open to non-residents. No children under 10, no dogs. B&B double from €170.
- Cathedral View Apartments are spacious self-catering apartments near the railway station.
- 3 Augherea House, Aghareagh (1 km west of town), ☏ . Stylish B&B in a 1775 coaching inn along N5. B&B double from €100.
- 4 Keenan's Hotel, Main St, Termonbarry N39 W968 (5 km west of Longford), ☏ . Pleasant riverside hotel with good bistro and bar. As it's on the west bank of the Shannon, it's in County Roscommon. B&B double from €100.
As of Jan 2021, Longford has 5G from Eir and Three, and 4G from Vodafone.