Offaly County

Clonmacnoise: Known as “Meadow of the Sons of Nóis,” this ancient monastic site by the River Shannon was founded in 544 AD by Saint Ciarán. It became a center of learning and religion, attracting students from across Europe. Today, it offers public access to spectacular ruins, including a cathedral, several churches, round towers, and high crosses, along with one of the largest collections of early Christian grave slabs.

Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre: Celebrating one of Ireland’s greatest exports, this visitor center delves into the history of Irish whiskey. Guided tours provide tastings and insights into the distillation process from the original 19th-century bonded warehouse.

Birr Castle Demesne and Gardens: Home to the Leviathan of Parsonstown, one of the world’s oldest operational telescopes, Birr Castle’s gardens feature a rare collection of global plants within beautifully landscaped grounds. It also houses a historic science center detailing the Parsons family’s contributions to astronomy and photography.

Lough Boora Discovery Park: Once a commercial peat bog, Lough Boora is now a parkland offering activities such as walking, cycling, and angling. Known for its exceptional sculptures made from recycled materials, the park boasts a rich biodiversity, particularly in bird species.

Charleville Castle: Located in Tullamore, this 18th-century Gothic-revival style castle is renowned for its spectacular architecture and reputedly haunted grounds. It hosts ghost tours and various cultural events like music and arts festivals.

Durrow Abbey and High Cross: Housing the oldest high cross and scriptorium in the country from the 6th century, Durrow Abbey is a preserved treasure steeped in Ireland’s monastic history, offering a tranquil setting for visitors.

Slieve Bloom Mountains: Offering some of the best views in Ireland, the area provides numerous walking paths, mountain bike trails, and a vibrant display of colors in the spring and summer months, ideal for nature enthusiasts.

Shannon River Cruises: Offering a different perspective of County Offaly’s landscapes, several companies provide cruises along the Shannon. This relaxing experience allows guests to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the region, including the chance to see herons, kingfishers, and playful otters.

Edenderry Historical Walks: These guided walks through Edenderry recount its evolution from a small settlement to a major industrial town, highlighting significant buildings and local stories.

These attractions reflect a mixture of historical depth, cultural richness, and natural beauty, providing visitors with a comprehensive and enriching experience of what this charming Irish county has to offer.