Offaly is a county of scenic and historic interest with the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the south and The Bog Of Allen in the East with its large level plains, peat bogland and excellent eskers. 'The Grand Canal' flows through Offaly and was the main access route to Dublin used for transportation as far back as the 1700's. The Grand Canal joins the River Shannon at Shannon Harbour in County Offaly.
County Offaly is a picturesque destination that offers a rich tapestry of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. From enchanting castles and serene gardens to fascinating museums and vibrant pubs, this county has something to offer for every traveller.
County Offaly boasts a wealth of historic castles that transport visitors back in time. Start your castle exploration with a visit to Birr Castle, an impressive structure surrounded by stunning gardens. Learn about its fascinating history and take a stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds. Another notable castle is Charleville Castle, known for its Gothic architecture and eerie charm. Guided tours provide insights into the castle's past and paranormal legends.
Nature enthusiasts will delight in the exquisite gardens scattered across County Offaly. One such gem is Lough Boora Parklands, an enchanting place where art and nature converge. Explore the sculpture park, cycle or walk along the trails, and witness the breathtaking landscapes. Another must-visit garden is the Clonmacnoise Monastic Site, where you can wander amidst ancient ruins and enjoy scenic views of the River Shannon.
County Offaly offers a range of museums that showcase its rich heritage. Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of Irish whiskey production. Discover the history, craftsmanship, and sample a selection of the finest whiskeys. For those interested in Irish mythology and folklore, the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society Museum in Tullamore offers a captivating collection of artifacts and exhibits.
The majestic River Shannon runs through County Offaly, providing an excellent opportunity for a leisurely cruise. Hop aboard a riverboat and enjoy the serene waters as you glide along. The cruise offers stunning views of the countryside, charming riverside towns, and an abundance of wildlife. Take in the tranquillity and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you.
The River Shannon which flows through the west of the county separating it from the neighbouring counties of Galway and Roscommon
County Offaly offers numerous family-friendly attractions for a memorable day out. Visit Birr Outdoor Education Centre, where you can try your hand at kayaking, archery, and orienteering. Emo Court and Parklands provide a delightful setting for a leisurely family picnic and a chance to explore the stunning gardens. For an educational yet fun experience, check out Birr Castle's Science Centre, which offers interactive exhibits and astronomy workshops.
Treehouse Adventure Area at Birr Castle is an absolute delight. Nestled within the grounds, this enchanting play area features a series of interconnected treehouses, slides, and climbing frames. Children can let their imaginations run wild as they explore this magical space and embark on exciting adventures. The Treehouse Adventure Area is a perfect spot for families to unwind and enjoy quality time together.
Birr Castle, located in the town of Birr in County Offaly, is a magnificent destination that seamlessly blends history, science, and stunning landscapes.
Birr Castle has a rich history that spans over 400 years. It is the ancestral home of the Parsons family, who have resided there since the 17th century. The castle itself is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture, with its impressive towers and elegant interiors. As you explore the castle, you'll discover its intriguing past and the stories of the people who once called it home.
Clonmacnoise is an ancient monastic site that dates back to 548 when St. Kieran first founded a monastery there. The magnificent ruins include two Round Towers which were a symbol of monastic life and protection against Viking raids. A Cathedral, three High Crosses and nine churches, in beautiful a serene surrounding, and spiritual atmosphere, Clonmacnoise offers a captivating glimpse into Ireland's early Christian heritage.
Clonmacnoise dates back to the 6th century when it was founded by St. Ciarán. This monastic settlement became a major center of religion, learning, and craftsmanship, attracting scholars and pilgrims from far and wide. As you explore the site, you'll be transported back in time, walking in the footsteps of those who sought spiritual enlightenment and contributed to the cultural legacy of Ireland.
For a deeper understanding of Clonmacnoise's history and significance, consider joining a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through the site, sharing captivating stories and historical facts along the way.
No trip to County Offaly would be complete without indulging in the local cuisine. When it comes to traditional Irish pub fare, The Brewery Tap in Tullamore is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Enjoy hearty dishes like Irish stew and fish and chips, paired with a pint of Guinness. For a more upscale dining experience, The Blue Apron in Birr offers a delightful fusion of Irish and international flavors, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
The village of Moneygall which borders the counties Offaly and Tipperary welcomed the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle to President Obama's to the ancestral home in County Offaly on on May 23rd 2011. Over thousand od people came to give a Cead Mile Failte” to them both.
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