County Offaly Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Like its near neighbour Laois, Offaly is a largely low-lying area (with the exception of the Slieve Bloom Mountains that separate the two counties), and is dominated by four bog lands, the most notable being the famous Bog of Allen.
Home to one of Ireland’s best known sights, the ecclesiastical city of Clonmacnoise, Offaly can also boast such attractive places as Birr (with the renowned Rosse Telescope at the Castle), Kinnity, Shannonbridge and the county town of Tullamore. Water is a significant feature of Offaly, with the Grand Canal and the Rivers Shannon and Barrow winding their way across the county, with all the related activities such as boating and fishing that attract visitors.
History and Heritage
Clonmacnoise is the outstanding feature of the county and thousands of visitors, both Irish and overseas, flock to the ancient home of Irish religion every year. Saints and scholars, as well as Irish high kings, are known to have been buried here.
Elsewhere around Offaly, there are plenty of castles, high crosses, church ruins and monastic sites to act as visual reminders of the county’s past history.
Its nickname of The King’s County relates to the days when it was ‘planted’ by the English and its subjects were ruled by the then English monarch.
Sites to see
Clonmacnoise Visitor & Interpretive Centre, Durrow Abbey.
Sports and Leisure
Boating on the Shannon is increasingly popular and places like Banagher and Shannonbridge are regular stopping points for cruising holiday enthusiasts.
Walking and Cycling Tours are ideal in Offaly because it is such flat land. Horse-riding is readily available in the county.
June: Edenderry Canal Festival
July: Phoenix Festival, Tullamore
August: Birr Vintage Week, The Tullamore Show Offaly Heritage Week, Fleadh Ceol na hEireann
Things you have to see or do
Clonmacnoise Visitor & Interpretive Centre – displaying high crosses and grave slabs
Birr Castle Demesne & Historic Science Centre – is host to Ireland's largest gardens
Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre – relates the story of Tullamore Dew Whiskey/Irish Mist Liqueur and the development of the town
Charleville Forest Castle – located in the centre of Ireland
Lough Boora – a fine example of how new discoveries can result in the rewriting of history
Offaly Tourism www.offaly.ie
Birr Castle www.birrcastle.com
Birr Vintage Week www.birrvintageweek.com
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