Lough Boora

Loch na Buaraí

Lough Boora

CLoch na Buaraí

Ireland's Hidden Heartland graphic of three green leaves

Lough Boora is a wonderful place to experience over 8,000 years of stories.

Over 8,000 years ago, a small group of people set up camp on the shores of a vast lake and used it as a base to hunt, fish and forage in the surrounding landscape. They cooked eels and trout, pig, hares and wildfowl over campfires, as other members of the tribe skilfully worked stone into sharp flakes. They banded those flakes onto wooden shafts to make serrated tools, while others attached flakes to longer poles to make barbed fish spears. They collected hazelnuts from the abundant trees around the lake edge, and chopped wood for the fires. Eventually the seasons changed, and the group moved on, following the game to new pastures.

The Mesolithic Landscapes at Lough Boora

Although there is nothing to be seen of the ephemeral site today, the discoveries at Lough Boora are important because it was long believed that the Mesolithic hunter gatherers only ranged close to the coast, and that the midlands of Ireland were essentially barren of human activity and uncolonised. Lough Boora has categorically proven that this was not the case, and that the midlands were also an important landscape in the Irish Mesolithic. You can read more about the discoveries below the gallery.

Lough Boora Discovery Park & Wildlife Sanctuary

Today Lough Boora has been transformed into a wonderful sanctuary for wildlife and an amenity for the community, with over 50km of cycle and walking routes which allow visitors to absorb the unique atmosphere of this special place and see some innovative sculptures by artists from all over the world. There is also a nice cafe and bicycle hire. When visiting be sure to take a trip to the village of Kilcormac next door to the park. It is a charming place with a big story to tell, as featured in our free audio guide that we produced with the local community.

Visiting Lough Boora Discovery Park – Information

Coordinates: Lat. 53.220004, Long -7.726772
Grid Reference: N 18298 18853
Lough Boora Discovery Park Opening Times:  Please visit the Lough Boora Discovery Park website.
Nearest Town: Kilcormac (5km).
Lough Boora Discovery Park Entry Fee: There is a visitor centre and bike hire, and tours available. For full details please see here
Accessibility: There are good paths throughout the park and an accessible visitor centre and café.
Dog Friendly? Lough Boora is a great place for a walk with the dog, but do keep it on a leash.

Directions to Lough Boora Discovery Park:
From Tullamore take the R421 road south until you come to a roundabout. Take the second exit for Birr and Nenagh (N52). Follow the N52 until you see and exit on your right for the R357. Continue on the R357 for 8km until you see the entrance to Lough Boora on your left.