See also County Offaly South
One third of Offaly county is peatland, often referred to as brown gold. Three walking routes are found in the county: the Offaly Way, the Slieve Bloom Way, and the Grand Canal Way. The county is bordered by the Shannon river on the west. In Offaly the Grand Canal runs from Edenderry in the east, through Tullamore to Shannon Harbour.
Tullamore is Offaly’s county town, and a town trail map is available. The canal reached the town in 1798—the Heritage Centre exhibition gives all the details about the canal on which cargoes of yellow brick were carried.
Nearby is the Lough Boora Parklands and Sculpture Park. It offers walking and birdwatching with 50 km of paths. The Sculpture Park has large scale land and environment sculptures inspired by the natural and industrial legacy of the boglands.
Ballindoolin House and Garden at Carbury near the Georgian town of Edenderry is a Georgian house and farmyard. Of particular note are the fireplaces, plasterwork, and furniture. A restaurant and nature trails are other attractions at the site. Also near Edenderry are the overgrown remains of a 1325 Franciscan priory and dovecote. Another attraction near Edenderry is Ballybrittan Castle, a three storey tower house that incorporates 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century features due to its many extensions, renovations, and rebuildings.
Charleville Castle, in Charleville Forest, lies south-west of Tullamore. It is an “over the top” early 19th century, gothic-revival building. An oak tree in the grounds is the oldest in the country. South of Clara town is Clara Bog, a National Reserve and one of Europe’s few remaining areas of peatland.
At Rahan, near the river bridge, are the remains of church buildings, dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. Also at the site is a Roman Catholic church in occasional use.
Offaly North Attractions
Ballindoolin House and Garden
Carbury near Edenderry on R401
Tel. 0 46 973 1430
Ballybrittan near Edenderry
Tel. 0 87 246 9802
Tel. 087 781 7560
One mile south of Tullamore
Tel. 0 506 23040
South of Clara town on L113
Lough Boora Parklands and Sculpture Park
Teach Lea, Leabeg, Tullamore
Tel. 0 506 45885
Rahan Monastic site
Rahan, near river bridge
Tullamore Heritage Centre
Tourist Information Centre
Tullamore Tourist Office
Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre
Tel. 0 506 52617
Open all Year
Photo of Lough Boora Parklands courtesy Lough Boora Parklands.
Other photos courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland as follows:
Slieve Bloom mountains heathland by Kevin Higgins; Grand Canal near Edenderry at Downshire Bridge by JP; Tullamore Grand Canal by Kieran Campbell; Edenderry St Mary Church by C O'Flanagan; Charleville Castle by Mike Searle; Clara bog near Woodfield by Dr Charles Nelson; Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre by Sarah Gallagher
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