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Welcome to Offaly

Welcome to Offaly - centrally located between Dublin and Galway. The Grand Canal brought prosperity to this town when it linked Tullamore (Offaly's capital) to Dublin in 1798. Easy access for goods and people brought about a rapid growth to this town as it became a market and warehousing centre. 

In the heart of Offaly is its capital Tullamore which boasts many fine & historical buildings.  St Catherine’s, a Gothic Revival church of 1818 as well as Charleville Castle, a splendid Gothic Revival building standing in beautiful woodland, found on the road to Birr. Offaly & Tullamore are popular destinations for fishing enthusiasts, while golfers have a choice of some scenic Golf Clubs including Esker Hills and Tullamore Golf Club. If you are interested in discovering the history of the area you cannot miss a visit to the monastic gem of Clonmacnoise. The more adventurous can explore the Slieve Bloom Mountains either at your own pace or with a local guide. There are many peaceful way-marked trails accompanied by the natural scenic beauty of the area.  

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  • 1.46km to City/Town Centre

    County Arms Hotel

    Welcome to the County Arms Hotel, founded by Michael & Margaret Loughnane in 1962 and Offaly's first four star Hotel. Join us in the elegant Georgian heritage town of Birr for meetings and conferences in the Heart of Ireland. As a family run Hotel for 52 years, we look forward to helping you celebrate your special occasions – our Georgian private dining rooms are particular highlights when added to our genuine care and attentive service. The County Arms Hotel is very popular for weddings from Tipperary, Offaly, Laois, Westmeath and Galway and our 3 generations of experience allows all our guests to relax and trust our expertise and traditional Irish hospitality. Birr in the lakelands of Ireland is a friendly town for a short break with Birr Castle, Birr theatre and a host of local activities including river Shannon cruising, walking in the slieve blooms and kids camp in the holidays.

    Address: Birr, Co. Offaly,

    • Leap Castle - km
    • Lough Boora Discovery Park - km
  • 1.15km to City/Town Centre

    Great National Central Hotel Tullamore

    Central Hotel Tullamore boasts 62 luxurious guest bedrooms, with state of the art conference facilities.Situated in the heart of the bustling town centre, with many bars, restaurants and shops close by, the hotel is ideal for a business or leisure stay.

    Address: Main Street, Tullamore, R35 Y7P1 Co. Offaly

    • Lough Boora Discovery Park - km
    • Clonmacnoise - km

Things to See & Do

Landmarks

  • Birr Castle
  • Leap Castle
  • Clonmacnoise
  • Lough Boora Discovery Park
  • Port of Larne
  • Port of Cork

Things to Do

  • Tullamore Dew is situated in the heart of Ireland one hour from Galway and Dublin on the banks of Tullamore’s Grand Canal. Visit the new state-of-the-art visitor centre, illustrated with audiovisual media and take a tour to learn about almost two centuries of the distillery’s history and this famous Whiskey’s production process from still house to warehouse. Treat yourself to a momento of your visit in the Distillery’s gift shop at the end of your visit.

  • Clonmacnoise Monastic Site was founded by St Ciaran in the mid-6th century on the banks of the River Shannon. Today the site is a preserved ruin and visitors can soak in its fascinating history through the beautifully preserved structures including three high crosses, two round towers, a cathedral and seven churches. The on-site visitor centre which includes an audio-visual presentation helps visitors to learn more about this intriguing site. 

  • Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre – Enjoy these award winning gardens created over generations, from terraces to waterfalls to romantic formal garden settings and enjoy beautiful views and an abundance of rare flowers and trees as you stroll past tranquil rivers.  The newly revamped interactive Science Centre will reveal the wonders of early photography, engineering and astronomy and you can still find, in the middle of the park, the great telescope that was built in 1845 and remained the world’s biggest telescope for 75 years. 

  • Lough Boora Discovery Park is open 365 days a year. Explore its nature and biodiversity, find a walking route that suits your age and ability and discover sculptures, lakes, wetlands and even an historical Mesolithic Site. Why not bring a picnic, hop on a bike and explore the park’s 22 km of trails that all start from the new Visitor Centre. The park is always changing, depending on the season as birds arrive and depart, breed and rear their young. Take in the seasons’ varying sights, sounds and smells as you walk or cycle through Lough Boora.

  • Charleville Castle, near Tullamore is probably the best example of neo-gothic architecture in Ireland and it took 14 years to be completed. It was designed by Francis Johnston in 1798. To this day it is to be found in the heart of Ireland’s oldest primordial oak woods. Interestingly, this Castle has only survived over the years due to the love and dedication of Volunteers who have helped, and continue to help restore the Castle to its former glory. The Castle is now run by a charity called the “Charleville Castle Heritage Trust” and the charity continues to endeavour to restore and conserve this fine gothic-style castle. 

  • The Barack Obama Plaza visitor centre (Moneygall) hosts an interesting exhibition highlighting that half of the US Presidents have Irish ancestry. It talks about the Irish Famine and the consequences of it as there are now around 70 million people with Irish Ancestry living across the world. It also of course tells the story of President Barack Obama’s 3rd Great Grandfather, Falmouth Kearney who left the small village of Moneygall in 1851 in search of a better life across the Atlantic and also how US Irish relations have grown over the years. 

  • The Clara Bog Boardwalk is a unique environment in that it is one of the best remaining relatively intact raised bogs in Western Europe. There is a 1 km looped timber board walk with information boards across the Clara Bog Nature Reserve to attract visitors for recreational and educational purposes and this is open daily and accessible all year round. The Visitor Centre is open on a seasonal basis. 

  • The National Ploughing Championships is Europe’s largest Outdoor Exhibition and Agricultural Trade Show.  It takes place annually in September in Tullamore, Co Offaly.  There are now 1700 Exhibitors, over 300 competitors, almost 2 million feet of Trade Space and it hosts around 283,000 visitors. The economic impact of these Championships is now over €35 million. Exhibitors include Livestock, Machinery, Construction, House & Home, Lifestyle & Tourism, Business and Education. It is a family friendly event with lots to see and do including Fashion Shows, Cookery Demonstrations, Sheep Dog Trials and much more. This is not only a fun family day out but will also give you a genuine insight into Irish rural and agricultural life.   

  • Durrow Abbey is found on the site of the original monastery that was founded by St Columba in 553. The famous book of Durrow, now at Trinity College, Dublin, was discovered after the Reformation and is seen as the earliest surviving fully decorated Insular Gospel book, believed to date from the 7th or 8th century. Physical evidence of the importance of this Early Christian monastery remains as well as the highly rated High Cross of Durrow which is conserved on site within a church. Nearby, are found St Colmcilles well and a Norman motte can be found in the woods. Some of the only pre-medieval oak trees in Ireland are found on site and a line of these trees to the side of Durrow Abbey mark the route of the ancient highway of Ireland. 

  • The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a vast mountain park which includes the long distance way-marked Slieve Bloom Way. There are 16 different Looped Walks that suit all levels of fitness and these routes take in a wonderful variety of landscapes. You never know what may be found around the next corner – old settlement ruins, waterfalls and blanket bogs to name but a few.  Enjoy these quiet gentle rolling hills that rise from the central plains of Ireland, found only just over an hour from Dublin and Limerick. On a clear day, you may be able to see the high points of the four ancient provinces of Ireland!