What to do
Many pleasing attractions in this Ely O'Carroll region include Birr Castle gardens and the Historic Science Centre, (very close to Brendan House).Check the website for Mid-Ireland Tourism). Visit ancient sites, atmospheric monasteries and 'haunted' castles.
The unique environment of the Bog of Allen around Birr has a special beauty. We highly recommend a visit to the Sculpture Parklands, combining the striking artworks of international sculptors in the striking landscape of the peatlands and bird sanctuary.
Varied fresh-air activities include horse-riding, trekking, falconry, (and golf, of course!) Birr has an excellent Leisure Centre with large swimming pool and gym. There is also an excellent children's playground.
We can lend maps or arrange short or long guided walks, with Derek or another guide, in the gentle Slieve Bloom Mountains, or take yourself off for lovely canal-side strolls. (Bicycles can be hired by advance arrangement.) There are excellent walking and storytelling festivals in the Slieve Bloom area too. We can also help arrange a relaxing spa visit for aromatherapy and other holistic treatments.
This is the well-named 'Monastic Midlands' but some of the less ancient places of worship are worth visiting too. Attend superb, scholarly bi-annual conferences at Roscrea's Cistercian Monastery. Or, like previous visitors, you may be inspired to write poetry in home comfort; sketch and paint in the studio, or go out and about for artistic inspiration. There is good drama, music and film at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre, and there are an increasing number of places to hear traditional music, after a day's fishing or sightseeing. A visit to the Sculpture Parklands at Lough Boora is highly recommended, combining the striking artworks of international sculptors in the striking landscape of the peatlands and bird sanctuary.
There are some good restaurants, cafés and pubs within close distance or short drives. A local map and 'Rozzie's Reviews' may be of help, in the bedroom portfolio.