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Birr Castle Demesne & Historic Science Centre
Birr, Co. Offaly
Family friendly
Rainy days
Explore Birr Castle Demesne in County Offaly, the home of the Parsons family. Discover fun family activities, tour the castle, explore the glorious gardens and stop off at the Historic Science Centre to see the incredible Great Telescope.

Birr Castle offers a fascinating mix of culture, heritage, beauty and science in a tranquil setting. See the stunning gardens with roses, wisteria, magnolias and towering box hedges. Take in spectacular views of the castle from the outdoor terraces. Find peaceful moments by the lake, waterfall and rivers dotted throughout the grounds.

Visit the Historic Science Centre and learn about the Great Telescope, built by the Third Earl of Rosse and still functioning today. When completed in 1845, the Birr Castle Great Telescope was the largest telescope on Earth, capable of seeing further into space than any telescope had done before. The I-LOFAR consortium have built a cutting-edge astrophysics observing facility in Birr Castle that connects to the International LOFAR Telescope and one of the most advanced astrophysics research projects in the World.

The Castle tour includes a one hour guided tour of the reception rooms of Birr Castle with access to the Science Centre, the Great Telescope and the gardens.

Why we like it
  • See 'The Great Telescope' completed in 1845.
  • Learn about the cutting-edge LOFAR telescope and astrophysics projects of today.
  • Stop off at the charming café.
  • Admire the glorious gardens and water features.
  • Take a guided tour of the majestic castle.
Tips from locals

The gardens at Birr Castle Demesne were the first in Ireland to receive specimens of Dawn Redwood after its discovery in China in 1945. The 3-storey fairy tale treehouse is a touch of magic for the younger visitors.

Contact details
Townparks, Co. Offaly, R42 V027, Ireland
Visit duration

We recommend planning to spend 2 to 3 hours here.

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