The Midlands is sometimes forgotten about when people think of beautiful places to visit in Ireland.
People almost automatically point people in the direction of the West, which is fair enough as the West has an amazing coastline, but there are some beautiful spots in the Midlands to visit that are all within a 30 mile drive of each other.
However, if your suffering with back pain, then these places become tough to visit and almost impossible to enjoy.
I’ve had a few incidents of people calling the clinic in the last two weeks saying that their back had flared up again. A lot of it seems to be from trying to make the most of the good weather, maybe overdoing the physical work (there were a few cases of overdoing it in the garden) or getting a bit adventurous and doing an activity that you mightn’t done in a long time (like hill walking).
This can often happen as once someones pain has gone away, they often forget about doing their exercises and all of a sudden, add in 3 hours of gardening on a sunny day and they’re back suffering with pain and struggling to get out of bed in the morning.
And when that happens day trips have to be ‘put on hold’ for another day, until their back pain goes away……..
which normally, if not addressed, never does fully go away.
Anyway, here is 5 great places to see in the Midlands, (that do require some activity and a certain amount of mobility) and combine fresh air, good scenery and exercise all in one, without having to sit in a car for 2-3 hours.
The Slieve Blooms
The Slieve Blooms are easily accessible from all the Midlands and if you want to get away for a days walking or hiking then this is the best place in the area to go.
It has a great choice of walks that vary from easy to moderate and 40 minutes to 8 hours.
One of my favorite places is Monickniew which is around 2 miles past ‘The Cut’. Its a great place to bring the kids as it has a short route with lots of soft woodland, rivers and rickety wooden foot bridges for them to run through, while there is also the option to go for longer and tougher routes if you wish.
Lough Boora Parklands
Another place where you can get out into the clean air and forget about the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Again there are different walking routes that vary from shorter to longer distances and if bring your bike you can head out for even longer.
There is some nice art, sculptures and plenty of wildlife to check out, so bring your camera.
A few miles from Glasson, on the shores of Lough Ree, are the lovely Portlick Woods.
Get a sunny day here and your in for a treat, as your get some lovely views out onto the lake and the islands.
If your feeling energetic you could run the path that snakes in and out through the woods, as there are lots of options to go and explore, or if your feeling more relaxed, then there is the option of a leisurely stroll with the family.
This forest is located in North Westmeath, around 30 minutes drive from Mullingar and although it can be tricky to find, it is worth the trip.
It actually has the largest planted beech forest in Western Europe and also the highest point in Westmeath, so you are rewarded with some lovely views over the surrounding countryside.
Again there are options to go for a shorter family walk or you can pack a lunch, get on your hiking boots and head out for a few hours.
Dun Na Si Amenity Park & The Old Rail Cycle Track
I have to put this one in as its located directly opposite my clinic in Moate, so I may be a little bit biased on this one however, if you are living in and around the Moate and Athlone region, this is a great spot to get away for an hour or two.
Dun Na Si Amenity Park is a relatively new park just created in the last few years. There is no strenuous walking involved here (the route around the park is just under 1 km) but there is plenty of wildlife, especially around this time of the ye,r and there is also the option to go and visit the heritage park also.
The Old Rail Cycle track runs from Athlone to Mullingar and is a great way to get on the bike and not have to worry about cars or towns for the length of your journey as you cycle through the midlands.
People travel from as far as Dublin to try out the track and normally stop off at Dun Na Si for a visit on route.
So there you have it.
5 great places to see in the Midlands during the summer months.
If you’ve got back pain – a bad back that’s flared up, has come on out of the blue, or if you’ve been suffering for a while and it’s just become a normal part of your daily life – that doesn’t have to be the case.
Here’s a free tips guide that you can start using as soon as today, to help ease your back pain.
Click on the link or the image to download it:
Thanks for reading and talk soon,