Info - The Town of Athlone is recognised throughout
Ireland as the biggest town nearest the centre of Ireland. The town is
situated almost halfway between the countries two major cities, Dublin
and Cork, and has always been an important crossing point on the river
History - The name 'Athlone' is derived from the Irish 'Ath Luan' ,
which means 'The Ford of Luan'. According to the story, a man called
Luan kept a hostelry here and acted as a guide to travellers who
needed to cross the wild currents of the river.
Our bit - As Athlone is the largest town on the Shannon I've listed the pubs according to which side of the
river they are on. Most of old Athlone lies on the West side of the Shannon and all the pubs listed here
can be found around the Fort part of which is pictured here.
|At the Chinese||Marina||Marina||West Bank|
|East Athlone Pubs|
The Castle Inn
● The Castle Inn is situated just behind the castle / fort as it's name suggests. This is where we started our
2000 holiday with our first pint of Guinness. Due to traffic problems we were late getting into Athlone
and by the time we had moved the boat from the pickup point just outside Athlone to the main moorings
in Athlone it was around 20:30. Having stocked the boat with basic supplies and grabbed a meal in a
very good upstairs Pizza place almost opposite Gertie Browne's we crossed the river in search of our first pint
Guinness. We headed to Sean's Bar but that was so crowded we crossed the road to the Castle. This was
also crowded, but at least we could get into to bar.
● The Keg is the only bar listed here which is not in sight of the Fort. It is situated on the main
road which crosses the bridge and goes down the side of the Palace (below). It is probably the quietest bar we
visited on the west side, which in it self was a refreshing change. On entering the bar you find a
long fairly narrow room with the bar down the right hand side with the seating down the left.
● The Place is the large modern pub, which tries to look traditional. Situated opposite the fort on the other side
of the open square. It's was very well decorated on the interior but gave me the impression of one
of those theme / chain pubs that are a destroying the traditional pubs in England. They did serve food
but as it was being kept warm under infra-red lights we avoided it. We visited it during the day and the
place was empty. On our second visit to Ireland we passed the Palace (when the photograph was taken) and
it appeared to packed and there was recorded music blaring out from it.
● Sean's bar
was meant to be our target for the first night we were in Athlone. It is reported to be the
oldest bar in Ireland, the claim being based on part of a wall which was found when the building was
being renovated (part of which can still be seen hanging on the wall in the main bar). We eventually
managed to get a drink here on the Thursday but even then it was still crowded. The drawing on the right
comes from a leaflet which was in the pub describing its history.
Other Athlone Bars or Bar/Restaurants not visitedWe have not yet visited these places, and therefore any comments have been taken from the www, and are not by me. Click Here
Comments and additional material on the bars in this area are always welcome.
I can be contacted on Neil MacPherson.
Last Updated 29th July 2004 - Neils Travel Web - Ireland - West Athlone - Pubs