10am – Irish Parachute Club, Edenderry
Starting with a BANG, try freefalling from 10,000 feet until you reach 5,000ft at which point your tandem-master opens the giant canopy and you sail downwards over the undulating hills and lush green fields of the Midlands, then you’ve come to the right place. Open all year ‘round, the club is the longest established of its kind in Ireland, with approx 12,000 jumps made annually. Every level is catered for, from first time jumpers to seasoned skydivers. The club has its own fleet of aircraft and the most modern up to date parachuting equipment. They say you’ll have a smile on your face for days after your first jump, and that you may even return for more!
1.00 pm - Climb a Volcano at Croghan Hill
Not as extreme or tough as it may sound, Croghan Hill is the remains of an extinct volcano and rises from the Bog of Allen in County Offaly. Though only 232 m high it commands extensive views of the surrounding midland counties, across the flat, low-lying expanse of the Bog of Allen. The village of Croghan is located on the southern slope of the hill. The mound at the summit Croghan Hill is thought to be a bronze age burial place and it was the resting place of the famous Old Croghan Man bog body that was discovered. It is believed that a Bishop MacCaille had his church there and lived around the time of St Patrick in the fifth century. The area also has strong associations with St. Bridget, who is said to have been born near Croghan hill. On your way stop off at a local shop in Daingean or Mount Lucas and collect some food for a picnic.
3.30pm Cycle on the Greenway
Arriving in Tullamore, Irelands friendliest town, collect your bike at Buckley Cycles and explore The Grand Canal Greenway. This route is an historic trail which traverses Leinster from Ringsend in Dublin City to the River Shannon at Shannon Harbour in County Offaly. The route is punctuated by canal locks, lock houses and industrial architecture from bygone days. The Greenway follows the pleasant canal towpath, which was formally used by powerful draft horses pulling barges laden with goods and passengers. The Offaly Grand Canal Greenway stretches from Edenderry in the east to Shannon Harbour in the west of the county. The Tullamore to Lough Boora Section of the Greenway links two landmark sites along Ireland’s Ancient East- Tullamore DEW and Lough Boora Discovery Park. The 22km journey westwards offers historic sites and rural tranquillity in abundance.
7.00pm - Enjoy a Warm welcome at the Captain House Restaurant
There are many options to eat in Tullamore but a local favourite is the Captain House Restaurant. You don’t have to carry a parrot on your shoulder to enjoy the warm welcome and great food served at this nautically-themed Restaurant! With a menu that includes fresh fish, steak, pasta and vegetarian dishes, along with the chance of some live piano music, you’re in for an enjoyable and unique dining experience!
Later – Brewery Tap, Tullamore
“The Tap” as it’s known locally, is renowned for its hospitality to all who come through its doors. Located in the business and social heart of the town, the pub is frequented by tourists, business people, sports personalities, poets and musicians – as well as being a favourite local haunt.
Overnight Stay – Tullamore Court Hotel
Ideally located just 5 minutes walk from the centre of Tullamore and the train station, the hotel offers a choice of 103 guest-rooms with complimentary high-speed internet, toiletries, tea/coffee-making facilities, plus 24 hour room-service. As the 2018 Midlands Overall Hotel of the Year, the spectacular 4-star Tullamore Court Hotel is the perfect destination.
9am – Explore the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Kinnitty
The gentle rolling hills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains rise from the central plains of Ireland, forming a natural link between the counties of Laois and of Offaly. The area is picturesque, peaceful, gloriously multi-coloured and one of the least explored in Ireland. Dotted around the mountains are quaint little villages, and to visit one is like stepping back in time to an era when life moved at a slower pace. These are the places where people will take the time to talk to you, will listen to your stories and enjoy telling you theirs. According to the locals the Slieve Bloom have everything, except the sea! You can explore the landscape by car, walking trails,cycling or for the adrenaline junkies out there, you cannot pass on a try on the top class Mountain Bike Trail.
1pm – Lunch in picturesque village of Kinnitty
Giltraps lunch menu offers a selection of freshly prepared baguettes, ciabattas, wraps, soups & super-food salads. Any given morning throws up an electric mix of visitors to this rustic décor Café, with glampers, locals, tourists, hikers and cyclists coming together for breakfast, lunch, savoury snacks and sweet treats.
2.30pm - SUP Safari On the River Shannon, Banagher
This two and half hour SUP Safari begins at the Mid Ireland Adventure base located at Banagher Marina. Once we get on board the SUP boards, we will take in Cronwell’s Castle, the Martello tower and Banagher bridge. We then will paddle up to Bullock island where we will play some games with the group and show them some of the wildlife that can be seen at the protected reserve. There are also various other options that include kayaking and trips to the famous Clonmacnoise Monastic settlement.
6pm – JJ HOUGHS singing pub
If you are hanging around, and can make some time to spare, a visit to the famous JJ HOUGHS singing pub, a landmark on the Main Street of Banagher. Michael Hough’s hostelry is almost hidden behind the green leaves of a creeper in the summer months, yet locals and visitors manage to find their way inside on a regular basis, for the friendly atmosphere and live music sessions throughout the year. In fact, Michael himself has been known to kick-off the singing accompanied by his sister on the piano! Enjoy a drink, a song and some Check out their hilarious social media posts.
For more details or ideas on your visit to Offaly, please make sure to check out our website visitoffaly.ie
The Visit Offaly tourist information center is located at O' Connor Square, Tullamore.
Or contact the Visit Offaly team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to welcoming you to Offaly, Irelands hidden gem.