Top Choice Castle in Birr

Birr Castle

It's easy to spend half a day exploring the attractions and gardens of Birr Castle demesne. The castle dates from 1620 and is a private home, but during May to August visitors can visit the main living quarters on t…
Top Choice Nature Reserve in County Offaly

Clara Bog Nature Reserve

Just 6km south of the busy M6 motorway, Clara Bog is one of the few great expanses of classic bogland in all of Western Europe to escape being stripped for fuel. Deceptively flat and seemingly lifeless, it offers a …
Top Choice Nature Reserve in County Offaly

Lough Boora Parklands

Lough Boora is the focus of a scheme for bog restoration. There are more than 50km of trails across the area with excellent birdwatching, fishing, rare flora, a mesolithic site and an impressive environment to explo…
Top Choice Christian Site in County Offaly

Durrow High Cross

This splendid 10th-century high cross has complex, high-relief carvings depicting the sacrifice of Isaac, the Last Judgement and the Crucifixion, and is today housed in a 19th-century church for protection.
Historic Site in County Offaly


Gloriously placed overlooking the River Shannon, Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland’s most important ancient monastic cities. The site is enclosed within a walled field and contains numerous early churches, high crosses…
Museum in Clonmacnoise

Visitor Centre

Three connected conical huts, echoing the design of early monastic dwellings, house the Visitor Centre museum. A 20-minute audiovisual show provides an excellent introduction to the historic Clonmacnoise site.The ex…
Ruins in Clonmacnoise


The largest building at Clonmacnoise, the cathedral was originally built in AD 909, but was significantly altered and remodelled over the centuries. Its most interesting feature is the intricate 15th-century Gothic …
Castle in Birr

Leap Castle

Leap Castle is reputedly one of the most haunted castles in Europe. Originally an O'Carroll family residence, the castle was the scene of many dreadful deeds and is famous for its eerie apparitions – its most renown…
Church in Clonmacnoise

Temple Ciaran

The small churches at Clonmacnoise are called temples, a derivation of the Irish word teampall (church). Tiny Temple Ciaran is reputed to be the burial place of St Ciarán, the site's founder. The floor level in Temp…
Fortress in Shannonbridge

Shannonbridge Fort

You can't miss the massive 19th-century bridgehead fortifications on the western bank in County Roscommon, where heavy artillery was installed to bombard Napoleon in case he tried to invade by river. Substantial oth…