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Explore the Hidden Heart of Ireland: Discover the Wonders of County Offaly

County Offaly, adorned with the rich hues of green, white, and gold shamrocks, beckons travelers to its enchanting landscapes and vibrant history. In partnership with BestIrelandGuide.com and Booking.com, we are pleased to present an array of accommodation choices, from quaint bed and breakfasts brimming with Irish charm to luxurious hotels set against stunning backdrops, ensuring your visit to Offaly is both memorable and comfortable.

🍀 Things To Do in Offaly 🍀

County Offaly, a jewel in the heart of Ireland, offers a unique blend of adventure, history, and culture. Immerse yourself in the ancient past at the monastic site of Clonmacnoise, soar to new heights at Birr Castle with its historic science centre and lush gardens, or delve into the bogs of Ireland at the Lough Boora Parklands. Offaly’s rich heritage, coupled with its natural beauty, makes it a perfect destination for those seeking to explore Ireland’s hidden heartland.

🍀 Top Tourist Attractions in Offaly 🍀

  • Clonmacnoise: An early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán, featuring ruins of a cathedral, seven churches, and two round towers overlooking the River Shannon.
  • Birr Castle Demesne: Home to one of the world’s oldest telescopes, beautiful gardens, and an interactive science centre.
  • Lough Boora Parklands: A transformed bogland offering walking and cycling trails, sculptures, and a haven for wildlife.
  • Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre: Discover the art of Irish whiskey making in the birthplace of Tullamore D.E.W.

TULLAMORE

Tullamore, Co Offaly, is a vibrant and welcoming town that serves as the heart of Ireland’s Midlands. Known for its rich whiskey heritage, beautiful waterways, and cultural depth, Tullamore offers visitors a unique blend of historical intrigue, natural splendor, and modern amenities. As a gateway to the hidden gems of the Midlands and the tranquil stretches of the Grand Canal, Tullamore is an ideal spot for those seeking to explore Ireland’s rich history, enjoy its contemporary culture, and embrace the natural beauty of the Irish countryside.

Hotels:

  • The Bridge House Hotel: Situated in the center of Tullamore, offering luxurious accommodations, spa facilities, and a selection of restaurants and bars, making it a perfect retreat for relaxation and indulgence.
  • Tullamore Court Hotel: A modern hotel providing comfortable rooms, leisure facilities including a pool and gym, and a warm welcome, ideally located for exploring all that Tullamore and the surrounding areas have to offer.

Things To Do:

  • Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre: Discover the fascinating process of whiskey making at this world-renowned distillery, offering guided tours and tastings of the famous Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey.
  • Charleville Castle: Explore the haunting beauty of this Gothic-style castle, surrounded by ancient oak woods and reputed to be one of Ireland’s most haunted mansions, offering guided tours and events.

Places To Go:

  • Lloyd Town Park: A beautiful green space in the heart of Tullamore, featuring walking paths, a playground, and the scenic Tullamore River, perfect for leisurely strolls or picnics.
  • Grand Canal Greenway: Enjoy walking, cycling, or jogging along the scenic route that passes through Tullamore, offering picturesque waterside views and a peaceful escape into nature.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Tullamore Golf Club: A premier golf course set in a mature parkland estate, offering golfers of all levels a challenging and enjoyable experience with its well-designed holes and beautiful setting.

Restaurants:

  • The Blue Apron Restaurant: Renowned for its gourmet cuisine and use of fresh, local ingredients, this intimate dining spot offers an exceptional culinary experience in the heart of Tullamore.
  • Captain House Restaurant: Offering a cozy atmosphere and a menu that highlights the best of Irish and international cuisine, perfect for a memorable meal.

Session Pubs:

  • Hugh Lynch’s Pub: A traditional Irish pub with regular music sessions, a lively atmosphere, and a great selection of drinks, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Joe Lee’s Bar & Lounge: Known for its friendly service and cozy setting, Joe Lee’s is the perfect place to enjoy a pint, live sports, and the company of good friends.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • The Beauty Rooms at The Bridge House Hotel: Indulge in a range of spa treatments and beauty services in a luxurious setting, perfect for relaxation and pampering.
  • Glamourize Hair and Beauty Salon: A local salon in Tullamore offering a wide array of beauty services to ensure you look and feel your best during your stay.

Other Important Information:

  • Tullamore Farmers Market: Takes place every Saturday, showcasing the best of local produce, crafts, and artisan foods, a great opportunity to experience the local culture and flavors.
  • Offaly History Centre: Offers insights into the rich history of Tullamore and County Offaly, with exhibitions, archives, and a genealogy service for those interested in tracing their Irish roots.

Summary: Tullamore, Co Offaly, is a captivating destination that offers a serene escape with plenty to see and do. From delving into the world of whiskey and exploring historic castles to enjoying the natural beauty of the Midlands and savoring exquisite local cuisine, Tullamore provides a rich and varied experience. With accommodation options ranging from luxurious hotels to cozy B&Bs, Tullamore is an ideal base for those interested in exploring Ireland’s ancient past, enjoying contemporary arts, or simply relaxing in the stunning Midlands countryside. Book your stay through the Booking.com map booking area below, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit to this charming Irish town.

BIRR

Birr, Co Offaly, is a historic and picturesque town that is renowned for its Georgian architecture, beautifully preserved streetscapes, and the remarkable Birr Castle. Situated in the heart of Ireland’s Midlands, Birr offers a perfect blend of cultural heritage, scientific intrigue, and natural beauty, making it a fascinating destination for visitors. Known as a gateway to the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the tranquil waterways of the Shannon, Birr invites exploration and discovery within its charming surroundings.

Hotels:

  • The Maltings: Offering a cozy and inviting atmosphere, this boutique hotel is perfectly located for exploring Birr’s town center and attractions, with comfortable accommodations and friendly service.
  • Dooly’s Hotel: Established in 1747, Dooly’s Hotel is one of the oldest coaching inns in Ireland, providing guests with historic charm, modern amenities, and a warm welcome in the heart of Birr.

Things To Do:

  • Birr Castle Demesne and Gardens: Explore the magnificent grounds of Birr Castle, home to beautifully landscaped gardens, the Great Telescope, and a science museum that celebrates the pioneering astronomical work of the Parsons family.
  • Birr Theatre and Arts Centre: Enjoy a diverse program of arts and entertainment, from live music and theatre to exhibitions and workshops, housed in a beautifully restored Georgian building.

Places To Go:

  • The Leviathan of Parsonstown: Marvel at the Great Telescope, once the largest in the world, which stands as a testament to the scientific heritage of Birr and its contribution to astronomy.
  • Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival: Immerse yourself in the cultural and historical spirit of Birr during this annual festival, featuring vintage parades, street entertainment, craft markets, and more.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Birr Golf Club: Set against the backdrop of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, this 18-hole golf course offers a challenging and enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels.

Restaurants:

  • Emma’s Café: A delightful spot for homemade cakes, light lunches, and great coffee, Emma’s Café offers a cozy retreat with a charming atmosphere.
  • Spinners on Castle Street: Enjoy exquisite dining in a beautifully restored building, where local produce and culinary excellence come together to offer a memorable meal.

Session Pubs:

  • Kelly’s Bar: A traditional Irish pub known for its warm atmosphere and regular live music sessions, Kelly’s Bar is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • The Chestnut: Offering a blend of traditional charm and contemporary design, The Chestnut is the perfect place for an evening drink, with a wide selection of beverages and occasional entertainment.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • The Sanctuary Beauty Salon: A serene spot for relaxation and pampering, offering a range of beauty treatments and services to help you unwind during your visit.
  • Studio One Hair Design: Keep looking your best while exploring Birr with a visit to Studio One, providing expert haircare services in a friendly environment.

Other Important Information:

  • Birr Farmers Market: Takes place every Friday, featuring an array of local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, perfect for experiencing the local flavors and craftsmanship.
  • Birr Town Park: A beautifully landscaped park offering a peaceful escape, with walking paths, a playground, and scenic views, ideal for leisurely walks or picnics.

Summary: Birr, Co Offaly, is an enchanting destination that combines the allure of history, the excitement of scientific discovery, and the beauty of the Irish Midlands. From strolling through the impressive demesne of Birr Castle to experiencing the vibrant arts scene and enjoying the town’s Georgian elegance, Birr offers a rich and varied experience. Accommodations ranging from historic hotels to cozy B&Bs ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Whether you’re interested in delving into Ireland’s scientific past, exploring beautiful gardens, or simply soaking in the charm of a historic town, Birr is an ideal base. Book your accommodation through the Booking.com map booking area below and discover the unique charm and beauty of Birr, a gem in the heart of Ireland.

CLONMACNOISE

Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly, is a historic and spiritual site located on the banks of the River Shannon, offering visitors a profound sense of peace, beauty, and connection to Ireland’s ancient past. This early Christian site, founded by St. Ciarán in the 6th century, is one of Ireland’s most significant ecclesiastical centers and attracts visitors from around the world for its remarkable collection of high crosses, round towers, church ruins, and medieval sculptures. Clonmacnoise is not just a destination; it’s a journey into the heart of Ireland’s spiritual and cultural heritage, making it a must-visit for those exploring the Midlands and the tranquil waterways of the Shannon.

Accommodations Nearby:

  • Kajon House B&B: Situated a short drive from Clonmacnoise, this charming bed and breakfast offers a warm welcome, comfortable rooms, and a hearty breakfast, providing a perfect base for exploring the area.
  • The Shamrock Lodge Hotel: Located in Athlone, close to Clonmacnoise, this family-run hotel offers guests cozy accommodations, modern amenities, and a convenient location for visiting the ancient site and enjoying the attractions of Athlone.

Things To Do:

  • Explore Clonmacnoise: Take a guided tour or wander at your own pace through the ancient ruins, marveling at the intricately carved high crosses, the iconic round towers, and the early Christian churches.
  • Visitor Centre: The Clonmacnoise Visitor Centre provides insightful exhibitions about the site’s history and significance, including audio-visual shows and displays of archaeological finds.

Places To Go:

  • River Shannon Cruises: Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the River Shannon, offering a unique perspective of Clonmacnoise and the surrounding landscapes.
  • Athlone Castle: Take a short drive to Athlone and explore Athlone Castle, which offers interactive exhibitions and stunning views over the River Shannon and the town.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Athlone Golf Club: Located on the shores of Lough Ree, this golf course offers a challenging and scenic golfing experience, with stunning views and well-maintained greens and fairways.

Restaurants:

  • The Old Fort Restaurant: In Shannonbridge, close to Clonmacnoise, this restaurant offers delicious meals in a cozy setting, with dishes prepared using locally sourced ingredients.
  • Luain Restaurant: Located in Athlone, Luain Restaurant provides a welcoming atmosphere and a menu that celebrates the best of Irish cuisine, perfect for lunch or dinner after exploring Clonmacnoise.

Session Pubs:

  • Luker’s Bar: In the nearby village of Shannonbridge, Luker’s Bar offers a traditional Irish pub experience with live music, a friendly atmosphere, and a great selection of drinks.
  • Sean’s Bar: Located in Athlone, Sean’s Bar is reputed to be the oldest pub in Ireland, offering a unique atmosphere, live music sessions, and an opportunity to enjoy a pint in a historic setting.

Other Important Information:

  • Clonmacnoise Walking Trails: Surrounding the site, several walking trails offer beautiful views of the River Shannon and the opportunity to explore the tranquil countryside.
  • Craft and Souvenir Shop: The Clonmacnoise Visitor Centre includes a shop where visitors can purchase crafts, books, and souvenirs related to the site and Irish heritage.

Summary: Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly, is an extraordinary destination that provides a peaceful escape and a deep dive into Ireland’s early Christian history. From its ancient ruins and spiritual ambiance to the beautiful natural surroundings and the River Shannon, Clonmacnoise offers a rich experience for all who visit. Whether you’re interested in Ireland’s ancient past, seeking spiritual reflection, or simply enjoying the beauty of the Midlands countryside, Clonmacnoise is an unforgettable and enriching destination. Accommodations ranging from cozy B&Bs to comfortable hotels are available nearby, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay while exploring this iconic Irish site.

EDENDERRY

Edenderry, Co Offaly, is a lively and welcoming town nestled on the edge of the Bog of Allen, offering visitors a unique blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and contemporary life. As a town that prides itself on community and tradition, Edenderry serves as a gateway to exploring the hidden gems of Ireland’s Midlands, including the serene beauty of the Grand Canal and the rich landscapes of Offaly.

Hotels:

  • The Edenderry Inn: Located at the heart of Edenderry, this inn provides cozy accommodations with a warm, inviting atmosphere, perfect for those looking to explore the town and its surroundings.
  • Lough Bishop House: A short drive from Edenderry, this charming country house is set in beautiful gardens, offering a tranquil retreat with comfortable rooms and home-cooked meals.

Things To Do:

  • Grand Canal Walks: Take a stroll along the scenic stretches of the Grand Canal that pass through Edenderry, offering peaceful walks and cycling routes amidst the natural beauty of the Midlands.
  • Edenderry Golf Club: Challenge yourself at this 18-hole championship golf course, known for its beautiful setting and well-maintained greens, providing a great day out for golfers of all abilities.

Places To Go:

  • The High Bog: Explore the unique landscape of the Bog of Allen, a natural wonder that surrounds Edenderry, offering a glimpse into Ireland’s ecological heritage and opportunities for bird watching and nature walks.
  • Edenderry Historical Society: Dive into the local history with exhibits and talks hosted by the Edenderry Historical Society, shedding light on the town’s past and its significance in the Midlands.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Esker Hills Golf Club: Just a short journey from Edenderry, this golf course offers another excellent option for golf enthusiasts, with a challenging layout set in a stunning landscape.

Restaurants:

  • Galileos Restaurant: Savor the taste of Italian cuisine with a local twist at Galileos, known for its welcoming atmosphere and delicious dishes, located in the heart of Edenderry.
  • The Station House: Offering a selection of traditional Irish and international dishes, The Station House is a favorite for both locals and visitors, providing a cozy dining experience.

Session Pubs:

  • Byrne’s Pub: A traditional Irish pub with a friendly vibe, regular music sessions, and a great selection of drinks, Byrne’s is the perfect place to enjoy an evening in Edenderry.
  • O’Donoghue’s: Known for its warm hospitality and lively atmosphere, O’Donoghue’s hosts regular entertainment and is a great spot to experience the local nightlife.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Serenity Beauty Salon: Pamper yourself with a visit to Serenity, offering a range of beauty treatments and services for a relaxing experience.
  • The Hair Studio: Keep up with the latest styles or enjoy a classic cut at The Hair Studio, where friendly staff are on hand to ensure you look your best.

Other Important Information:

  • Edenderry Farmers Market: Takes place every Friday, offering an array of fresh, local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, showcasing the best of the Midlands’ agricultural produce.
  • The Peatlands Way: Discover the unique beauty of the peatlands with a walk along The Peatlands Way, offering routes through some of the most distinctive landscapes in Ireland.

Summary: Edenderry, Co Offaly, is a charming and vibrant town that offers visitors an enriching blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From leisurely walks along the Grand Canal and exploring the unique boglands to enjoying golf, local cuisine, and lively pubs, Edenderry provides a rich and varied experience. Accommodations ranging from cozy inns to beautiful country houses ensure a comfortable stay for all. Whether you’re interested in delving into the heart of Ireland’s Midlands, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply soaking in the town’s friendly atmosphere, Edenderry is an inviting base. Book your accommodation through the Booking.com map booking area below and discover the unique charm and warmth of this delightful Irish town.

BANAGHER

Banagher, Co Offaly, is a picturesque and inviting town nestled along the banks of the River Shannon, offering visitors a perfect blend of cultural heritage, natural splendor, and modern conveniences. Renowned for its marina, Banagher serves as an ideal gateway to the hidden gems of Ireland’s Midlands and the tranquil waters of the Shannon, making it a favorite among boating enthusiasts, anglers, and those seeking a serene escape into nature.

Hotels:

  • The Brosna Lodge Hotel: Located in the heart of Banagher, this comfortable hotel offers guests a warm welcome with traditional Irish hospitality, cozy accommodations, and an on-site pub and restaurant.
  • Charlotte’s Way B&B: A charming bed and breakfast set in a beautifully restored 18th-century house, offering guests a tranquil retreat with elegantly furnished rooms and a delightful breakfast.

Things To Do:

  • River Shannon Cruises: Embark on a leisurely cruise along the River Shannon, exploring its peaceful waterways, lush landscapes, and historic sites, with several operators offering various boating experiences from Banagher Marina.
  • Banagher Walking Trails: Discover the beauty of Banagher and its surroundings on foot, with trails that take you through historic town streets, along the riverbank, and into the verdant countryside.

Places To Go:

  • Fort Eliza and Banagher Old Bridge: Explore the historic fortifications and the old bridge, which offer insights into Banagher’s strategic importance in times past and present picturesque photo opportunities.
  • The Shannon Callows: Experience the unique ecosystem of the Shannon Callows, flood meadows that are home to a rich variety of wildlife, especially birds, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Birr Golf Club: Just a short drive from Banagher, Birr Golf Club offers a beautifully maintained 18-hole course that provides a challenging and enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels.

Restaurants:

  • JJ Hough’s Singing Pub: Not only a pub but also a place where delicious local dishes are served, JJ Hough’s is famous for its lively atmosphere, traditional music sessions, and hearty Irish meals.
  • The Boathouse Restaurant: Located by the marina, The Boathouse offers diners stunning river views while enjoying a menu that specializes in fresh, locally sourced produce and seafood.

Session Pubs:

  • Flynn’s Bar & Restaurant: A cornerstone of Banagher’s social life, Flynn’s offers a cozy place to enjoy a pint, live sports, and regular music nights, along with tasty pub grub.
  • McGowan’s Pub: Step into McGowan’s for a friendly welcome, a great selection of drinks, and the chance to mingle with locals and visitors alike in a traditional Irish pub setting.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Elegance Beauty Salon: Treat yourself to a pampering session at Elegance, offering a range of beauty treatments and services to help you relax and look your best.
  • The Hair Boutique: For those looking to freshen up their look, The Hair Boutique provides expert haircare services in a friendly and professional environment.

Other Important Information:

  • Banagher Farmers Market: Takes place regularly, showcasing the best of local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, perfect for sampling the culinary delights of the Midlands.
  • Banagher Marina: A central hub for boating activities on the Shannon, the marina offers boat hire, mooring facilities, and is a starting point for exploring the river’s rich heritage and natural beauty.

Summary: Banagher, Co Offaly, is a delightful destination that combines the tranquility of river life with the charm of a traditional Irish town. From boating on the Shannon and exploring historical sites to enjoying local cuisine and participating in lively pub sessions, Banagher provides a rich experience for all who visit. Accommodations ranging from cozy B&Bs to comfortable hotels ensure a pleasant stay, making Banagher an ideal base for those looking to explore Ireland’s ancient past, engage with the arts, or simply relax in the stunning Midlands countryside. Book your stay through the Booking.com map booking area below, and experience the warm hospitality and beauty of this enchanting Irish town.

CLARA

Clara, Co Offaly, is a welcoming and vibrant town that offers a delightful mix of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and contemporary life. Nestled in the heart of Ireland’s Midlands, Clara is surrounded by lush countryside and is known for its rich history and community spirit. The town serves as a gateway to exploring the hidden treasures of County Offaly, including the tranquil waterways of the Grand Canal and the ancient landscapes that define this region.

Hotels:

  • The Central Hotel Tullamore: Just a short drive from Clara, this hotel offers guests modern accommodations, excellent dining options, and leisure facilities, providing a comfortable base for exploring Clara and its surroundings.
  • Bridge House Hotel, Spa and Leisure Club: Located in nearby Tullamore, this luxurious hotel features a tranquil spa, an elegant restaurant, and beautifully appointed rooms, perfect for those seeking relaxation and indulgence.

Things To Do:

  • Clara Bog Nature Reserve: Discover one of Ireland’s best-preserved raised bogs, offering a unique ecosystem with boardwalk trails that allow visitors to explore its flora and fauna.
  • Esker Hills Golf Club: Designed by Christy O’Connor Jr., this challenging golf course takes advantage of the natural terrain to offer golfers a memorable experience amidst the beauty of the Midlands.

Places To Go:

  • Clara Heritage Centre: Delve into the town’s history, from its industrial roots in the textile industry to its notable contributions to Irish culture and heritage.
  • Lough Boora Discovery Park: A short drive from Clara, this parkland offers walking and cycling trails, sculptures, and lakes, making it a perfect day out for nature lovers and families.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Tullamore Golf Club: In addition to Esker Hills, Tullamore Golf Club offers another excellent option for golf enthusiasts, with a beautifully maintained course set in a mature estate.

Restaurants:

  • The Mill Bar and Restaurant: Serving up hearty Irish cuisine with a contemporary twist, The Mill is a favorite among locals and visitors for its delicious food and cozy atmosphere.
  • Sirocco’s Italian Restaurant: Located in Tullamore, Sirocco’s offers authentic Italian dishes prepared with fresh, local ingredients, perfect for a special dining experience.

Session Pubs:

  • Doc’s Bar: A traditional Irish pub in Clara, known for its friendly atmosphere, live music sessions, and an excellent selection of drinks.
  • The Silver River: Another popular spot in Clara, The Silver River offers a warm welcome, regular entertainment, and a great place to mingle with locals.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • The Beauty Spot: Offering a range of beauty treatments and services, The Beauty Spot in Clara is the perfect place to pamper yourself during your visit.
  • Glamour Hair Salon: Stay looking your best with a visit to Glamour, providing expert haircare and styling services in the heart of Clara.

Other Important Information:

  • Clara Market: Takes place every Saturday, featuring local produce, crafts, and artisan foods, showcasing the vibrant community spirit and the richness of the region’s agricultural produce.
  • Clara Railway Station: Provides easy access to and from Dublin, making Clara a convenient destination for those looking to explore the heart of Ireland’s Midlands.

Summary: Clara, Co Offaly, is a charming town that captivates visitors with its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring ancient bogs and enjoying the great outdoors to experiencing the warmth of its community and local cuisine, Clara offers a rich and varied experience. Accommodations ranging from modern hotels to cozy B&Bs ensure a comfortable stay, making Clara an ideal base for those interested in delving into Ireland’s Midlands. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Clara welcomes you to discover its unique charm and beauty. Book your stay through the Booking.com map booking area below, and experience the hospitality and charm of this delightful Irish town.

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