Richly endowed as it is with natural beauty, Leitrim is primarily lake country. It has won an international reputation as one of the finest course angling centres in Ireland. Its myriad lakes are teeming with fish. Anglers come from all over to test their skills and enjoying the refreshing scenery of this rural area.
Stretching over 50 miles from Longford to the sea at Tullaghan, where it has a coastline of just 2 1/2 miles, Leitrim is almost divided in two by the vast Lough Allen, the first of the River Shannon's great lakes. The Shannon is a dominant feature of the Leitrim countryside and the county town, Carrick-on-Shannon, is situated on one of the great ancient crossing places of the river. One of the major tourist attractions in the area is river cruising. The very fine marina at Carrick-on-Shannon is the headquarters on the upper reaches of the river for this activity.
The least populated county in all of Ireland, sparse Co. Leitrim has only around 31,000 people living on its 1,590 square kilometres. Unsurprisingly, Leitrim is also the least known-about county in Ireland. Poet W.B. Yeats was quite taken with the many landscapes of Leitrim and its natural beauty. One of his most famous poems, The Rose of Inishfree, is about the isle of Inishfree on Lough Gill. Yeats also penned the romantic Glencar Waterfall, which cascades just outside Manorhamilton, in The Stolen Child.
The northwest part of the county is dominated by mountains, and eventually touches the Atlantic Ocean. The coastline here at Tullaghan is the single shortest bit of county coastline in Ireland – a mere 2.5 kilometres long. Leitrim also provides Co. Donegal's only link to the Republic of Ireland along its roughly 10 kilometre long border.