Things to Do
Birr Castle & Gardens
Home to the Earls of Rosse since 1620, Birr Castle is the Private Home of Brendan, the 7th Earl and his Family. As such the House itself is not open to the public. The Award winning Gardens and buildings in the grounds of Birr Castle house an array of unique plants, not to mention a detailed insight into the History of the Parsons family. Read more here.
Birr is a perfect location for golf enthusiasts because of its central location, within two hours drive of Galway, Limerick and Dublin. You are only a short drive (and a pitch!!) away from one of the many excellent Championship golf courses in the area. Please contact the County Arms Hotel directly for Golf packages and specially reduced Green Fee Rates for Groups and Societies. Read more here.
Adrenalin junkies are well catered for with the fairymount farm mountain bike trails. hardcore walkers will love the challenge of the Offaly Way, linking the Slieve Bloom mountains with the ancient monastic site at Lemanaghan. Long cycle routes are mapped and cyclists enjoy access to our secure Bike Room. Groups of thrillseekers often go for clay pigeon shooting at Esker. Abseiling or gorge walking with Birr outdoor education centre or battlefield sports with Noel at Birr Equestrian centre.
A magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, the Birr area is home to a number of waymarked trails. The highlights are teh Slieve Bloom mountains and Lough Boora Parklands. We've even got an urban walking trail right here in Birr. Sculpture in the Parklands is a real find. Colour walking maps are available from the Hotel reception, laminated in case of rain!
On the Water
Join the 'King of the River' Joe O'Keeffe for a memorable lunch cruise of teh Shannon from Portumna. Or arrive at Clonmacnoise, like the Vikings, on the 50 seater River Queen. try your hands at watersports at Terryglass. Grouyp activities with Birr Outdoor Education Centre includes canoeing and raft building.
Despite being bisected by motorways, Offaly is one of the most rural counties in Ireland and offers everything from challenging off road mountain biking routes to gentle country lanes. You're welcome to our cycling maps ranging from 20km to 120km. Local family friendly cycling routes and traffic free rides are very popular.
Bark Park Ireland
Experience the thrill of gravity-fed (downhill) mountain biking at Bike Park Ireland. It’s very similar to skiing, which is how it all started in the 1980’s. With skiing you use a ski-lift to the top, here we use Army Trucks!
The Army Trucks, each with 30 bus seats and a bike trailer, will transport you and your bike to the top of the trails and operates every 15-20mins. From the top you choose which trail you want to cycle down and when you return to the pick-up-point at base, the Army Truck will take you back up to the top again, giving you lots of bike time. So our job is to get you to the top each time - your job is to have fun cycling down!
Europe's Largest Karting Centre, with a 500m beginners track, a 1500m advanced track, and a 2200m Rally track. You are always racing a Pallas Karting.
Pallas Paintball and Splatball
Galway's only Paintball and Splatball centre, with 4 specially designed Game Zones. Designed with both the beginner and the experienced campaigner in mind. A great day is guaranteed at Pallas Paintball, for the ultimate corporate team building event.
Portumna Castle and Demesne occupy a magnificent location on the shores of Lough Derg on the River Shannon. Although gutted by fire in 1826, the Castle is still an imposing example of Irish architecture of the early 17th Century. Built before 1618 by Richard de Burgo, 4th Earl of Clanricarde, the castle became the main seat of the de Burgo family for over 200 years.
Portumna Work House
The workhouse has been described as “the most feared and hated institution ever established in Ireland.” The workhouse was an institution which operated in Ireland for a period of some 80 years, from the early 1840s to the early 1920s. There were 163 workhouses in total. If people could not support themselves, they could come into the workhouse. Here they would do some work in return for food. People had to stay and live in the workhouse and so the system was known as indoor relief. Portumna Work House, Open 7 days a week From 1st March. to 31st October.