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“Magnificent gardens and interesting technology”

Birr Castle Gardens
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US$672,16*
and up
4-Day Small-Group Ring of Kerry, Killarney and...
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Birr
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre A Demesne of Discovery open daily from 9.00 until 18.00. The Award Winning Gardens of Birr Castle and the newly revamped Science Centre are rich in flowers, rare trees, extraordinary feats of science and engineering and wonderful wildlife. The Parsons family invite you to explore one of the most extraordinary places in Ireland. Created over generations it is an environmental and scientific time capsule. Treehouse Adventure Area This adventure area inside the Garden houses Ireland’s largest treehouse as well as picnic areas, a bouncy pillow, sand pits and dens. Great Telescope This, the largest telescope in the world for over 70 years, was constructed in the 1840s by the Third Earl of Rosse. With it he discovered the spiral nature of certain nebulae – leading to their identification as galaxies.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Beautiful and extensive gardens with manicured beds right through to wild meadow and woodland around a well-preserved castle. The associated information on the family history of science and technology was well presented, good value and you could easily spend a whole day here with a picnic or dining at the cafe.

Thank Philip G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"tree house"
in 70 reviews
"science museum"
in 31 reviews
"formal gardens"
in 29 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 47 reviews
"play area"
in 25 reviews
"nice walk"
in 16 reviews
"private residence"
in 19 reviews
"lovely grounds"
in 11 reviews
"giant telescope"
in 21 reviews
"great telescope"
in 19 reviews
"lovely coffee shop"
in 8 reviews
"gift shop"
in 20 reviews
"walk around"
in 12 reviews
"bouncy pillow"
in 13 reviews
"the river walk"
in 12 reviews
"great family day"
in 8 reviews
"family home"
in 7 reviews
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10 - 14 of 698 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Despite being an Offaly native, I haven’t visited this wonderful place in a few years. Most reviews have covered the many positives, but here are a few suggestions useful tips when preparing to visit.
Paid parking is in operation close to the entrance to the castle but free parking is available on Oxmanstown Mall (a stunning street lined with period properties including the wonderful Birr theatre) just 200m/2mins walk to the north. Entry fees have been described as pricey but I feel justify the many treasures inside. If travelling with family, family discounts are available. There is some savoury fare available in the lovely café in the courtyard, but if travelling on a budget, a packed lunch and light snacks for later are advisable. Give yourself loads (and loads) of time. The grounds are huge and it will take much of your day to explore the entire estate. The kids will want to spend their time just inside the entrance at the magnificent treehouse and other child friendly activities so setting aside time for further exploration is key to a satisfying experience.
Oh and don’t forget Birr! Many do unfortunately and proceed to their vehicles directly after their castle experience. Birr is beautiful heritage town with stunning architecture dotted about. There are a number of well-maintained riverside parks commencing just a short enjoyable stroll 400m to the south of the castle entrance. Explore the RC Church and garden of tranquillity to the rear and the adjacent civic building and library in an award winning refurbished convent building. Make your way to the town centre main street and square for just a (little) bit more hustle and bustle.
Finally, consider an overnight or weekend stay too. Accommodation is readily available in some beautiful B&B’s and guesthouses or perhaps hotels. The County arms hotel is a wonderful modern retreat and Dooley’s Hotel on the Square is always busy and a locals favourite at weekends. But my favourite is The Maltings, a budget option and privately run guesthouse in a refurbished malt house in the shadow of Birr Castle. Eat home cooked ‘full Irish breakfast’ on the private terrace hovering over the Camcor River for a journey highlight.
Birr is a wonderful place, little known outside of the County but if you take the time to wallow in its treasures, you’ll be back.
I will too!

Thank wyldwyll1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A group of us visited Birr Castle - I had visited a few times before at different times of the year. It was beautiful today in the sunshine. The coffee shop had lovely home-made baking as before, and the service was excellent too. This time we opted for the tour of the castle - available only in season.It is a castle that people actually live in! Such an interesting place, and the guide was well informed. The secret passages were amazing - you never know what lurks behind a bookcase. The family history is truly impressive and the scientific endeavor of some of them lead to many great inventions and new knowledge about our universe. Best €9 I have spent in ages. Birr itself seems to be recovering from the recession at last, with some nice shops that were busy enough and it has a few great pubs too. If you want to visit a place that is not absolutely thronged in full season, yet has all you will need in terms of interest and heritage you would not do better than here. The 120 acre gardens ( part of a 1200 acre estate ) are gorgeous, not overdone and some special trees that are really old. I would not like to live in the castle - I admire those who do because the modern conveniences we take for granted are replaced with very old antiques that are not to everyones' taste . I have no idea how they could heat the place - over 100 rooms! Stunning part of our heritage so fair play to the family for preserving that.

Thank greatexperiences2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Firstly the gardens are beautiful and well looked after and really enjoyable walk. My only gripe with this place is the charge, I don’t mind them charging because it takes money to keep this place so beautiful but having arrived late evening as it was too hot to go earlier with young baby. Anyway we arrived at 4:20 and asked how much for 2 adults and 2 seniors they said €33 but closes at 6 and need to be back at 5:55 before gate closes which allowed us and 1.5hrs. We said it’s late and is there no reduction and they just said no that’s the charge take it or leave it basically. We reluctantly paid it and enjoyed our hour but it is so typical of rip off Ireland and lack of common sense on our behalf for paying and there for not reducing entry fee.
My advice if want to get money worth go early as they will charge you anyway.

1  Thank Bri g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Had a very enjoyable walk round these gardens. The science centre and the telescope were very interesting.

Thank pauli1102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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