Whether you are interested in historic sites, you love walking in nature, you like adventurous activities or you are travelling with your family, County Offaly has a lot to offer. Geraldine Poncin highlights the top activities that you could plan while visiting it.
10. Walk the Slieve Bloom Way
If you are an avid walker and you plan to stay in Offaly a bit longer and not just drive through it, you definitely should go to the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Located between Birr and Portlaoise, the mountains offer different trails that take up to 3 days to perform (60 kilometres circuit) or shorter walks (from 1 to 4 hours). The highest point is at 527 meters, but if you perform the complete 60 kilometres trail you can expect to climb a total of 1275 meters!
9. Eat at the Captain House Restaurant or the Bake House Cafe and Restaurant in Tullamore
After a day of exploring this amazing county, you will definitely be looking to treat yourself and Tullamore is the perfect place to do so! The city has a lot of coffee shops and restaurants but if you are looking for a top place, you could grab some food at the Captain House Restaurant. Located on the main street, this restaurant serves succulent French and Irish cuisine, in an original setting with friendly staff. If you are not that hungry and looking for a smaller treat with a lower budget to spend, you could grab a delicious coffee and a nice cake or try the lunch of the day at the lovely Bake House Café on O’Connor Square (please note however that this place is only opened until 5pm).
8. Take a Walk in Clara Bog Nature Reserve
Explore Ireland most famous bog: wildflowers, distant hills views, watercourses and chirping birds. You will also be able to see dragonflies, butterflies, caterpillars and even some lizards if you are lucky. You can discover the 464 hectares by walk (dogs are allowed on a lead) or by bike.
7. Visit Clonmacnoise monastery
Overlooking the Shannon, Clonmacnoise is one of the most ancient monastic cities in Ireland. It was founded in 544! The site contains several churches, towers, majestic high crosses and graves. Start your visit through the Visitor Centre as it provides a lot of information about the ruins and the crosses’ iconography.
6. Take a Stroll along the Grand Canal
The Grand Canal from Dublin runs 64 kilometres through the villages of Edenderry, Daingean, Tullamore, Rahan, Pollagh and Belmont in County Offaly. A great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon with the family and the dogs, discovering flora and fauna through the bogland.