Overnight in Offaly (2 days)
11.00am – Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre
The Award-Winning Gardens of Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre in Ireland are both rich in amazing feats of science and engineering as well as rare trees and flowers, wonderful wildlife, and walks along peaceful rivers and the lake. The Parsons family invite you to explore one of the most extraordinary places in Ireland. Created over generations it is an environmental and scientific time capsule. Explore the Gardens, tour the castle, travel through space and time.
1.30pm - Lunch in Dooley's Hotel, Birr
Informal dining with a comprehensive bar food menu consisting of delicious local and seasonal produce. Modern twists on traditional dishes are the order of the day here. Alternatively Dine al fresco in our luxurious Bianconi Courtyard The Coachouse Bar is an atmospheric spot for a casual bite or relaxing drink and is a popular venue with both residents and the local community
3.00pm – 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.
7.30pm - Feast in Kinnitty Castle
What better way to relax after your adventure in the mountains then to enjoy the warm ambience of the Slí Dala Restaurant, which offers an elegant fine dining experience, situated at the front of the Castle overlooking the Front Gardens.
Later – Giltraps Pub in Kinnitty
A landmark building in the centre of the picturesque village at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom mountains, Giltraps dates back to the seventeenth century when it was originally a hotel. Whether you're looking for an open fire after a days hiking or walking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, want to have the 'craic' or chat about GAA with the locals or you're simply looking for the 'perfect' pint of Guinness, then Giltraps is one of the best pubs / bars in the area to choose from.
Overnight Stay – Ardmore Country House B&B
The cosy homely atmosphere of Ardmore Country House Bed and Breakfast in Kinnitty is a real treat for anyone looking for a refreshing and authentic Irish experience in a unique Irish home stay. Savor the flavor of great home produced food, enjoy the peace and quiet, the rest and relaxation.
8.00am – Lough Boora Discovery Park
Get away from it all and explore the unique beauty of Lough Boora Discovery Park. Transformed from its previous incarnation as a commercial bog where peat was harvested to heat homes around the country, today Lough Boora Discovery Park is home to countless species of birds and wildlife, fish-filled lakes and a permanent exhibition of huge outdoor sculptures. These sculptures give the park an other-worldly feel, created using the old industrial materials of the bog such as locomotives, rail-line and timber, all crafted into magnificent works of art. The Park is also home one of the most important archaeological finds in Ireland. Prior to its discovery it was thought that the first human settlements were near to the coast and that the midlands remained uncolonised. The discovery of the Lough Boora Mesolithic site has proven this to be inaccurate and pushed the accepted date for the colonisation of the midlands back by over 3,000 years! Explore this unique landscape by foot or by bike.
12.00pm - Clara Bog Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre
You have visited the present in Lough Boora, now step back in time at Clara Bog, one of the best remaining examples of a relatively intact raised bog in Western Europe. It has been said that you can experience ten thousand years of history in the ten square kilometres that accommodate Clara Bog and its surroundings.
Lunch in The Brewery Tap Tullamore
This signature, Award Winning Pub is now offering Award Winning Gourmet Bar Food. Always a hive of activity, the special ‘Pigs on the Green’ is a local delight.
2.30pm - Tullamore DEW
One of County Offaly’s most famous exports is Tullamore D.E.W., a blended Irish whiskey originally produced by William Grant & Sons in Tullamore. A tour of Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre takes in every step of the artisan craft of whiskey making. Meet the Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery Ambassador, explore the production process from still house to warehouse and even create your own unique blend of whiskey in the blending room.
5.00pm - The Blue Apron Restaurant
Before you leave Tullamore we Run by husband and wife team Sarah and Kenan, the Blue Apron has been delighting food-lovers from far and wide since 2011 with its fine cuisine and relaxed atmosphere. Passionate about using locally-sourced produce, the menu is always varied and includes meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, all lovingly created using the freshest seasonal ingredients.