Birr Castle Gardens, Birr

4.2
#1 of 6 in Parks in County Offaly
Learn about the history of science and wander centuries-old walled gardens on the grounds of the Earl of Rosse's residence at Birr Castle Gardens. Known for their interest in science, the earls founded Ireland's Historic Science Centre on the castle grounds. The Third Earl was responsible for constructing the great telescope that points toward the stars. At that time, it was the largest telescope in the world and could see further into space than any other. Other exhibits inside the science center showcase some of the earliest advances in photography, engineering, and botany. The castle itself remains the home of the hereditary earls, so it is closed to the public. However, the grounds, science center, and gardens are open when you pay the entrance fee. Events are a regular occurance at the attraction, such as the Irish Game and County Fair, and these charge a special admission fee. Plan to visit Birr Castle Gardens and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended County Offaly attractions using our County Offaly route builder tool .
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(County Offaly is the nearest city to Birr Castle Gardens)

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Birr Castle Gardens Reviews
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608 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a real gem in Offally. You are brought through a courtyard with a coffee shop then into the playground with the tall tree house. Then, beyond that are these endless gardens , trees towering ab...  more »
  • We spent an afternoon here which cost €25 for a family of four, I thought this was good enough value but in comparison to other places we have visited which are state funded you're not getting much ba...  more »
  • recently visited here with my Mam and 2 kids, we all agreed its a great place for a day out ,lovely walk ways and grounds and a fantastic playground ,we stayed for hours, we also went on the horse and...  more »
Google
  • Historical, beautifully maintained property. Great place to walk and enjoy the lovely gardens. Friendly staff. Tastefully stocked shop. Pleasant coffee shop. Beautiful play area for young children. A great place to visit over and over again.
  • This was our very first time visiting Birr or Birr Castle and this place is absolutely stunning. On arrival the staff were very friendly with some dressed in costume for halloween. There is a choice of walks around the grounds and we took the longest route with the aid of the map supplied. The main house itself is still a residence to the family so you cannot access it but the rest of the grounds are yours to explore. The sights dotted around the grounds were astonishing with little hidden gems around every turn. In all we spent over three hours walking and exploring and we met some lovely locals along the way who were only happy to stop, chat and give us advice on what to see locally . I could not recommend this place enough as the sights were stunning with it being autumn/fall and all and if you have kids they will go crazy once they see the size of the Tree house at the end of the walk. you can see it in the photos that I have attached. To finish I will say if you are nearby or get the chance to visit, please do as you will not regret it. Also take a walk around Birr town itself as it it is lovely place that I must say is kept very tidy indeed which is a credit to the locals. Please check out the photos and their website and there is a nice little coffee shop with a souvenir shop also. Enjoy folks.
  • The home of the one time largest telescope I'm the world " The Great Telescope" which has been restored and looking as it did when it was first built in 1845 .Wonderful surrounds for a plreasent easy walk. Fantastic children's adventure type play area with castle turrets in the trees and terrific slides and swings. There is a little gift shop and a lovely cafe with outdoor facilities when the weather is fine.
  • Lovely place for a day out. Suitable for everybody, however as there is so much to explore go early and expect to spend the day. There is a well planned and informative interactive museum, there are horse drawn coach rides, there's a playground, the largest tree house in Ireland, plus loads of walks and scenic views to sit and wonder at. Plus a good cafe and an Irish favourite of a hatch that sells 99's (ice cream). So go see, bring a picnic, sun screen and rain gear and sturdy walking shoes. It will be a great day out!
  • Very Nice grounds. You won't get inside the castle as people still live in it. It shows a lot of our contributions to astronomy and science by the family who has owned the castle for generations. You could easily loose a full day exploring everything here.

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Where to stay in County Offaly

While many visitors come to see the alluring monastic city of Clonmacnoise, travelers to County Offaly should consider spending time in some of its overlooked towns, including Tullamore and Birr, because Clonmacnoise does not offer a lot of places to stay. Spend the night at a traditional bed and breakfast in the county's biggest town, Tullamore, or head to a hotel or guesthouse in Birr for a chance to experience authentic Irish nightlife. As with many small towns in Ireland, staying in the center of town is your best bet.
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11 days in Ireland & Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland & Belfast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, teens, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND March, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: March, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 59 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Ireland, United Kingdom & Amsterdam BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND September, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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