Eco Health Tourism Gaining Traction in the North West of Ireland

Eco health tourism is gaining ground in public consciousness in Ireland.  Hard to nail down to one specific definition, with over 80 on offer, its primary tenet is to create a greener and more ethically sustainable tourism sector. Ecotourism at its core is a mix of conservation, communities, and sustainable travel following ecotourism principles to:

  • minimise impact
  • build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
  • provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
  • provide direct financial benefits for conservation
  • provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
  • raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate

(The International Ecotourism Society, 2023)

Ecotourism initiatives are inspiring and best demonstrated through live examples.  Seeing the process of creating a culturally pleasing end product for tourists that interacts sensitively with the landscape and local economy provides the best vantage to view these businesses.  Ecotourism maximises positive impact and encourages conservation biodiversity and respect for the local landscape and traditions.

Tawnylust Lodge Self Catering Accommodation

Tawnylust Lodge is a tranquil, eco-friendly apartment retreat is ideal for solo travellers, working couples, writers, artists, or anyone wishing to take time out and relax. It is the perfect choice for Irish people looking for a staycation, or for international travellers seeking an authentic experience of rural Ireland.

Tawnylust Lodge takes its name from the old Irish for “fertile place where corn is milled” and today it’s part of a working farm. Proprietor Nuala McNulty grew up on the family farm, and returned to set up a local business based on her knowledge and experience of eco-tourism, sustainable building, conservation and recycling.

Teapot Lane Luxury Glamping Ireland

This is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Luxurious camping. With treehouses, domes, and woodlands, the prefect escape.  There are some lovely three bed Bluebell cottage (ideal for larger groups or those not keen on Glamping) on wooded 5 acres, offering truly unique Glamping Breaks in Ireland.

On the borders of Sligo, Leitrim & Donegal puts guests in a prime location to explore all three counties, stunning sandy beaches and local hikes allow you to take in breath-taking vistas of the beautiful Dartry mountains, including iconic Benbulben.  Glamping breaks are all about the experience. Active Folks can enjoy activities like surfing, horse riding, hillwalking and of course enjoy amazing local food and cosy pubs.

Caitriona’s cottages

Caitríona’s cottages comprises of three stone cottages, River Cottage sleeps two, The Dairy Sleeps 4 and Main Cottage is where Caitríona and her pups live. All three are nestled under the trees by the Glenaniff river. Don’t forget to bring your furry friends as the farm is pet friendly and also can accommodate horses for quiet off road hacking, with paddocks  and stables available on the farm.

Relax on your Irish staycation in the hot tub, sauna or take a plunge into the natural swimming pool to end a perfect day in lovely Leitrim in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. The firepit area is perfect for a starry night relaxing and chatting. The outdoor kitchen has even more to offer with a pizza oven, bbq, retractable awning and of course heaters to keep you all cosy and dry even in the winter months. This area is ideal for outdoor dining and fantastic entertaining with bluetooth speakers to add to the experience.

Situated 20 minutes from the Wild Atlantic Way, 30 minutes from the spectacular Ben Bulben in Sligo and the Marble Arch Caves in Fermanagh, there is plenty for you to experience. The fantastic cascading waterfalls of Fowley’s Falls is a walk away from the cottage which winds its way down the Glenaniff river down to the Organic Centre and Lough Melvin where salmon and trout are in abundance. This hidden gem will not disappoint.

Slow Adventure Ireland

Slow Adventure gives you the opportunity to “take it all in” as you experience breathtakingly beautiful scenery when you visit Leitrim. Getaway and explore the Northwest of Ireland like never before. Here you can immerse yourself in nature, and reconnect with the environment at a slower, more reflective pace. Take a deep breath and come with us on a Slow Adventure experience.

We have a wide range of unique Slow Adventure Experiences to choose from as you plan your visit to Leitrim. They will take you on a journey through nature as you float down the Shannon, walk in the wilderness, picnic in the shadow of ancient trees or forage for food along the earthy riverbanks.

  • Exploring the waterways
  • Learn to fish
  • Paddle, pedal, learn
  • Trekking the waterways

Organic Centre Rossinver

The Organic Centre is a charity & social enterprise that works hard to increase knowledge, and awareness about organic growing, biodiversity, climate change, food sovereignty and sustainable energy. Operating from a community-based model that collaborates with people and promotes inclusion and work for the common good, as well as education. Organic centre is a wonderful tourist venue and works with partners to address climate change.

Lough Gill Distillery

Lough Gill Distillery is situated in a unique location in Co.Sligo, West of Ireland. An area surrounded in folklore and mythology, it’s also immersed in the history of Irish whiskey – even the word whiskey has gaelic roots, deriving from the term uisce beatha, meaning ‘water of life’. The first record of Irish whiskey dates back to 1405, around 90 years before it was first recorded in Scotland.

Irish single malts are now regarded as some of the finest single malts in the world, and the factors that define Irish whiskey, such as a rich history and reputation, a unique production process and water and climate specific to the individual distillery can be found in abundance at Lough Gill Distillery, the home of Athrú single malt whiskey.


Neantóg is the Irish word for nettle and the name of this organic farm in Cliffoney, where they offer courses and workshops at the Kitchen Garden School and Naturopathic Clinic.

Nettles are nourishing, healing and energizing and this is the motto for the range of courses in organic gardening, plant-based cooking, sourdough baking, fermenting and foraging. Neantog Cookbook, Gaby’s favourite recipes, was published in 2008 and is now in its 7th edition.

Neantog want to provide a space for learning skills and sharing experiences for a healthy and sustainable life.

The W8 Centre in Manorhamilton in Co Leitrim is working with European partners to provide pathways for young people to become Eco health tourism entrepreneurs. The Eco health Tourism for young entrepreneurs project aims to  provide a toolkit for young people to start an Eco health tourism business that is sustainable and pays attention to the needs of the local community it inhabits.

Author: Mary Whitney, Research Lead, W8 Centre, Manorhamilton