Offaly's Hidden Gems
HIDDEN (and not so hidden) GEMS
The great thing about a visit to Offaly is that you’re always going to be surprised. Around every bend and down every country road, you’ll come upon an unexpected view or a tucked-away gem of a place. It’s not that we’re trying to hide them, it’s just that we don’t want to seem like we’re showing off! Take the world-class monastic gems like Clonmacnoise, prepare to be enthralled by our ancient and remarkably well-preserved past. Or visit St.Manchan Early Christian Siteat Lemanaghan and the nearby Boher’s Roman Catholic Church which has a most extraordinary shrine associated with Lemanaghan on permanent public display.
And when in Birr........ try and catch a show in the historical Birr Theatre– a performance space that’s earned its place on the national theatre circuit. While you’re in the town, check out the epic Treehouse Adventure Area, situated in the picturesque surrounds of Birr Castle. The playground features Ireland’s largest treehouse and once you’re in, be prepare for a day of discovery at your own pace in Birr Castle, Gardens and Science Centre.
How about a visit to Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centrewhere you can begin a journey of discovery, through almost two centuries of the distillery’s history. From whiskey to mythological, don’t miss the stately Charleville Castle, where it’s said that ancient druids enjoyed hanging out in the castle’s spectacular primordial oak forest. And speaking of things stately, the lovingly-tended Bellefield Gardenshave a surprise for the intrepid traveller; no less than 300 varieties of snowdrops bursting into bloom every February – a sight for winter eyes!
Last but by no means least, there’s Offaly’s great outdoors – hidden in plain sight as they say, and delightfully crowd-free. From the Slieve Bloom Mountainsto Lough BooraDiscovery Parkand from the sparkling waters of the River Shannonto the peaceful stillness of the Grand Canal- we’ve got so much to show you!