Birr Castle Gardens, Birr

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
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  • August 16, 2017
    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 »
  • August 15, 2017
    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 »
  • August 15, 2017
    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 »
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  • June 19, 2017
    So much more than we expected! Amazing Astronomy, Engineering, and Photography exhibits with a large amount of artifacts and displays! The Earl's of Ross were an amazing family, and the Great Telescope is something that can't be missed if you are at all interested in Astronomy. The grounds were beautiful, and we could have spent an entire day there if we had the time. A great kids play area as well!
  • July 2, 2017
    A beautiful, historical castle seeped with history and science. Family owned and excellent guides. Website response is very prompt. Staff knowledgeable and helpful. Definitely recommend to any age group. Group bookings and school trips. Wheel chair accessible and dog friendly. What more could you want....
  • June 12, 2017
    Amazing gardens, wish I had planned more time there! The gardens are beautiful, and the views of the castle are great. The science center was impressive too, much larger than expected. The castle is privately owned, with a family living there, so there are only a few set times for castle tours per day. The gardens and science center alone are well with the visit. Favorites: - telescope - Whirlpool spiral (model of the whirlpool nebula) - views of the castle - science center
  • July 8, 2017
    The gardens are huge and will take a couple of hours strolling to see. The Great Telescope is very impressive and considering it was constructed over 170 years ago, it and it's support structure is a marvel of engineering. The museum is a real gem. One of the most interesting collection of scientific equipment I have ever seen. A must if you have any interest in optics, astronomy or engineering.
  • June 20, 2017
    Amazing gardens. So peaceful and tranquil. Very kind and helpful staff. Don't leave without having lunch in the castle court cafe. The coffee and scones are to die for.

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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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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 25 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Limavady & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 42 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM CYPRUS July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in County Offaly & Dublin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in County Offaly BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, kids, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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