See the splendid grandeur of Kinnitty Castle and after, visit the bustling town of Birr for a delicious meal in one of the excellent restaurants. Here are six things that you don’t want to miss on your next getaway to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
The Slieve Bloom Mountains are crisscrossed with a network of walking trails that delight and excite every level of walker. Set off on a relaxing 3km looped stroll through the peaceful countryside or pack your backpack and tackle a multiday hike.
Enjoy the beauty of nature at Lough Boora where there’s fishing, birdwatching and wonderful walks filled with fascinating flora and fauna. Choose from the Sculpture Loop, Mesolithic Loop, or the Farmland Loop – these relatively easy walks range in length from 3km to 9km and start from the car park.
No trip to the Slieve Bloom Mountains is complete without walking through Kinnitty Forest, there’s a great choice of 5km to 11km long trails but the Kinnitty Castle Loop is a must for any walker. Set off from the picturesque village of Kinnitty and walk the banks of the Camcor River until you see the magnificent castle. The trail turns uphill through peaceful forests (keep an eye out for herds of deer) before returning you back to Kinnitty.
Not only is the Slieve Bloom Way one of the finest trails in Offaly, this National Waymarked Trail is one of the best in the entire country. Weaving its way along the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, this challenging 84km trail climbs to lookouts with stunning panoramic views of the cascading waterfalls, forest glens and majestic mountains. Hop on the trail in Kinnitty or Cadamstown to complete a section of the route or walk the whole loop over a few days.
Saddle up your steed, climb atop and set off on a horseback adventure through the Slieve Bloom Mountains from Kinnitty Castle with Birr Equestrian. The wild and varied landscapes make for bucket list horseback rides - gallop through open valleys, trek to mountain tops and trot through sparse boglands. With tours lasting from one hour to one day, there’s one for every ability level.
Feel the exhilarating adrenaline rush of mountain biking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. There are some amazing routes to choose from and bikers can rent a bike or book a tour with Mid Ireland Adventure in Kinnitty to take on the trails from the Kinnitty Trailhead.
Discover 35km of epic trails, the red routes are for the thrill seekers or you can enjoy an easier cycle on the blue trails. Expect sweeping turns, flowy downhills, fun rollers and small jumps on these man-made tracks that climb high into the mountains.
Head to Kinnitty at the base of the Slieve Bloom Mountains for an enjoyable visit. Take a stroll along the river that runs through the pretty village and just off the main street, look out for Kinnitty Pyramid, a replica of the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt built in the early 1800s.
The luxurious, 13th century Kinnitty Castle is a highlight of any visit to the town. Wander through acres of immaculately kept lawns and gardens before enjoying a decadent lunch at Slí Dala Restaurant or the Library Bar. Continue your castle adventures with a journey to Birr and visit Birr Castle Demesne and Gardens. Explore the gorgeous parklands and drop by the science centre to see The Great Telescope, built by the Third Earl of Rosse in the 1840s.
Get your caffeine fix at a brilliant café in Birr. For a quick coffee and tasty snack to go, drop into Emma’s Café on Main Street or spend a leisurely morning having a chat over a cup of tea in the beautifully designed tea rooms at The Stables. All these amazing activities in the Slieve Bloom Mountains can work up quite the appetite and there are some fantastic places in Birr for a tasty lunch or hearty dinner.
Enjoy modern Irish cuisine at Spinner’s on Main Street or pop just outside of Birr to The Thatch in Crinkill, an award winning restaurant famous for their juicy steaks.
Local fishermen head to the shores of Lough Boora for some of the region’s best fishing and the village of Shannon Harbour is another great spot to cast your line. Lough Boora’s manmade Boora Lake is teeming with hefty trench and roach and you’ll find rainbow and brown trout in nearby Cloghan Lake.
Finnamore Lakes are loved for their carp and wheelchair bound fishermen can try the accessible fishing stand at Loch an Dochais. Find the perfect perch at the edge of the water and tie up your favourite lure but before you begin your day of fishing, don’t forget to pick up a permit from one of the local providers.
A relaxing getaway to the spectacular Slieve Bloom Mountains leaves you refreshed and revitalised. You’ll soon be planning your next trip back to this beautiful part of the country. Head over to our Offaly destination page for even more great things to do in The Faithful County.
Subscribe now to receive destination inspiration, travel tips, upcoming events and all the best things to do around Ireland!