Located right in the heart of Ireland, Birr Castle, Co. Offaly is a must visit for all!
It is less than an hour’s drive from Lisheen Castle and there truly is something here to interest everyone in the family from young to old.
Birr Castle dates back to medieval times and came under the ownership of the Parson family in 1620. Members of the Parsons family including the 7th Earl of Rosse, Brendan Parsons, still reside in the castle today.
Guided tours are available from May to August. Monday to Saturday at 10.00, 11.30 and 13.00 each day, pre-booking is essential.
The castle tour includes a 45 minute guided tour of the main reception rooms of Birr Castle, and full access to the Science Centre, the Great Telescope and the gardens. Please note that castle tours are not suitable for children under the age of 12.
The gardens are home to many rare plants, collected by the Earls of Rosse on their travels around the world over the last 150 years. Within grounds you will find over 2000 species of plant as well as rivers, lake and waterfalls.
Guided tours and audio tours are available.
The Science Centre at Birr Castle is truly a treasure trove of scientific information and discovery.
The interactive centre reveals the wonders of early photography, engineering and astronomy with a special emphasis on the brilliant design and assembly of the world famous Great Telescope also known as ‘the leviathon’.
Discover astronomical instruments, cameras, photographs and photographic equipment used by the Third and Fourth Earls and Mary, Countess of Rosse, in the middle and late 1800s.
Also on display is electrical and engineering equipment originally belonging to Charles Parsons and used in his experiments as well as a large area devoted to the botanical work carried out in the Demesne.
The bright café with terrace is open seasonally for morning teas/coffees, lunch and afternoon snacks, the café offers freshly prepared sandwiches, soups, deli tarts and salads. The café is proud to support local food suppliers and businesses
Treehouse Adventure Playground
This adventure area inside the garden houses Ireland’s largest treehouse as well as picnic areas, a bouncy pillow, sand pits, sweet shop and hobbit hut. The playground is open daily from 9.00 until 17.00.