Discover County Offaly’s wildlife rich peatlands, waterways and ancient Christian roots. To see accommodation in this region please see our range of cottages in County Offaly.
County Offaly maybe sometimes overlooked as a tourist destination but offers great rewards for those who endeavour to unlock its delightful secrets. From glistening waterways and ancient boglands to fascinating historic monuments, County Offaly is most definitely worth a second look.
With over 700 square miles of rolling mountains, green plains and vast waterways, one of the most famous of the county''s natural features are the many ancient bogs scattered throughout the area. The boglands and wetlands of Offaly are home to a diverse range of birdlife and plant life and are fascinating to explore on your own or by taking one of the guided tours. The River Shannon and the Grand Canal also run through Offaly and are excellent locations for fishing or just relaxing on a gentle boat cruise.
Cycle paths, a 50 acre sculpture park and lots of wildlife can be found at Lough Boora Parklands and wildlife reserve all set amongst the backdrop of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. It was at Lough Boora that an Iron-Age ‘bog body’ was discovered which is estimated to be over 2,000 years old – now on display at Dublin’s National Museum of Ireland.
The natural beauty is complemented by the many fascinating and historic man-made structures which can be found here. Located near the delightful town of Birr, the 17th century Birr Castle Demesne is a magnificent building in its own right but it is the stunning gardens which surround it which are the main attraction. Featuring waterfalls, meadows and a beautiful pergola, the gardens are home to in excess of 1,000 species of plant from all around the world.
Also near Birr, but of an altogether more mysterious nature is Leap Castle. Reputed to be the most haunted castle in the world, the story of Leap is a long, fascinating and bloody one which is well worth exploring.
The town of Birr itself is undoubtedly one of the most attractive in the area with its streets lined with picturesque, brightly-coloured Georgian buildings. Despite its elegant appeal and the presence of Birr Castle Demesne, the town of Birr remains refreshingly unspoilt and free of crowds, making it an ideal location for a relaxing day out.
Clonmacnoise is located on the River Shannon with a history stretching back to early Christianity in Europe’s first millennium. The important monastic settlements here were a centre of learning.
To discover more about Offaly start to plan your holiday by checking out our selection of cottages in County Offaly holiday cottages.