Top things to do

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.
Top Choice Modern Irish in Birr

Spinners on Castle St

On Castle St as it hits the bend by the castle wall, this alluring restaurant is part of a complex that spans five restored Georgian houses. The bar is the perfect place to pause with a cheeseboard or burger, while …
Top Choice Pub Food in Kinnitty

Giltraps Pub

The perfect place to stop after exploring the Slieve Bloom Mountains, this lovely country pub scores across the board. Food ranges from simple sandwiches to top-notch barbecque. You can enjoy a pint outside at a pic…
Top Choice Pub in Banagher

JJ Houghs Singing Pub

Rivalling the river as Banagher's most appealing feature, Hough's is a 250-year-old vine-clad pub renowned for its music sessions. You'll find someone playing here most nights in summer and at weekends in winter. Pe…
Top Choice Cafe in Birr

Brambles Cafe & Deli

A tiny outpost of big flavours, this cafe has mismatched furniture and very tasty food. The soda bread is accented with wild garlic, while the soups change with the seasons. Look for the desserts, which can include …
Top Choice Pub in Shannonbridge

JJ Killeens Village Tavern

Killeens is an old-world pub and shop that is renowned for its warm welcome and lively traditional music. There's a music session six nights a week in summer and at weekends during the rest of the year. Traditional …
Historic Site in County Offaly

Clonmacnoise

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…