Every year, the Irish Department of Environment, Community and Local Government holds a competition for the tidiest town in Ireland. Tidy Towns, the competition, started in 1958 and since then, a village, small town, large town, and large urban center in Ireland gets the title for a particular year.
Winners of this award are not just famous for keeping their surroundings green, they are also ideal places to live in. For travelers and holidaymakers, these are ideal holiday spots as well. These are five of those winners and a few reasons why these are good tourist destinations.
Castlecoot in County Roscommon won the Best Kept Village award for the 2013 Tidy Town competition. It is interesting to note that the geographical center of Ireland is located in County Roscommon. Its geographic location makes it a very convenient stop for travelers that are heading to other parts of the Emerald Isle.
Athlone, home of the oldest pub in Ireland, Sean’s Bar and a popular hen party location, is part of this Irish county. The most popular tourist destination in this area is actually Lough Key with its thirty two islands. What’s more, Lough Key Forest Park is a popular tourist attraction for people of all ages.
Ennis won last year for the Large Urban Centre category. In addition to being tidy, this county town of County Clare is a popular stag and hen party destination for its nightlife.
Ennis is known for being a stronghold of traditional music. A lot of musicians live in this town. So, anyone that chooses to watch live music sessions at local pubs can expect great craic.
A town in County Mayo, Westport, won the Tidy Towns competition for a number of years. In addition to winning the Tidy Town award for the Large Town category last year, it also won the award for being the Best Place to Live in Ireland.
It is actually a good thing that even though this town is County Mayo’s premier tourist destination, the town maintained its tidy town status. Westport is known for its beaches, Croagh Patrick, golf courses, and for being a great spot for deep sea angling.
A small town in County Cork, Clonakilty won the Small Town award in 2012. Just forty five minutes away from Cork City, those that are spending their holiday in the city can always choose to take a side trip and visit this small town.
Not a lot of folks may know that this small and tidy town is a melting pot for various musicians. Stags and hens that choose to spend their last night of freedom in this town can expect awesome live music performances at local pubs and bars.
Those that enjoy sampling delicacies should definitely try the ClonakiltyBlackpudding. The recipe for this special pudding is only known to the Twomey family and it has been passed down for generations since the 1800s.
Winner of the Small Town award this year, Straffan is a small town in County Kildare. In addition to being tidy, this town is home of the K Club or Kildare Country Club which has been the venue for major international golf tournaments.
Travelers that have enjoyed visiting Irish pubs should know that this town only has two pubs. Though it is not particularly known for its nightlife, this town does have other tourist attractions like its castles, Steam Museum, Lodge Park, and Butterfly farm.
Those are just five notable places to visit in Ireland that also won the Tidy Town award quite recently. There are definitely a lot of other villages, towns, and cities worth visiting in the Emerald Isle, but the five mentioned above do stand out for certain reasons.