Discover The Country’s Beautiful Landscape With Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Get to the heart of Ireland’s beautiful countryside with Fáilte Ireland‘s new initiative, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, which is aimed at encouraging visitors to get “active in nature” and explore all the natural beauty of the region.

Unveiled today, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will join the likes of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East in order to promote the Midlands region to tourists.

This new campaign will breath life into the Irish Midlands, which boast incredible lakes, walkways and blueways. Getting active in this spectacular landscape is also part of the promotion, with a range of activities on offer, including walking, cycling, fishing, boating and of course, food.

Highlights throughout Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands include the River Shannon and the Beara Breifne Way. There are also going to be a series of food networks and trails in the region, which are sure to tempt the palates of all visitors.

Launching Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands in Athlone today, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D., said: “I’m delighted to launch Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands – a new brand which will significantly enhance the Midlands as a tourism experience and bring growth and jobs to the whole region. We have always been committed to ensuring that Ireland’s success as a world-class tourist destination is shared among the regions.”

He added: “Some of the country’s finest natural assets are in the Midlands, including spectacular lakes, walkways and blueways. Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will bring these gems to life, offering a unique experience to both domestic and international visitors.”

Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D. also commented: “Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will transform the Midlands and how it is positioned to tourists. I’ve heard first-hand from people and businesses across the region about the major potential this area has to attract visitors and the willingness there is to grow tourism. It is fantastic at last to have a tailored brand for the Midlands as this is just what we needed to develop local tourism and unite our visitor experiences behind an offering of scale.”

Speaking about how the new brand will help to drive growth across the region, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said: “Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has been developed after months of extensive market testing both here and overseas. The overwhelming feedback is that visitors from key markets want the opportunity to explore Ireland’s natural gems and rural communities.

“There is also a huge appetite out there for tourists to be active in nature through activities like walking, cycling, angling and boating routes – all of which the Midlands can offer in abundance.”

Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Commercial Development, Paul Keeley, added: “We believe that Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has the potential to attract more visitors to the region each year, transforming the local and regional tourist industry, which to date has underperformed the rest of the country. From our experience, the visitor is not concerned with our local county boundaries.

“Instead, they are more interested in the things to see and do and how easy these are to access as part of their itinerary. This is what makes a holiday special. The overlapping area offers the tourism businesses the opportunity to align their own visitor experience with the brand it fits best into and which gives them the best potential to grow.”

For more information about Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, visit

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