Best of Birr

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Birr
In the heart of Ireland’s lush Midlands, Birr is the gateway to rushing rivers, rolling hills and vast tracts of woodlands. It’s a delight to stroll the lanes of the small town on the banks of the Little Brosna River. Birr was designated a heritage town for its Georgian architecture as well as its 17th-century castle and sprawling gardens. Beyond the village, you’ll find even more castles as well as nature reserves ideal for hiking and other activities. Both County Offaly and Birr draw far fewer visitors than coastal destinations and offer an authentic side of Ireland. 

You can’t pass through County Offaly without visiting at least one of its impressive castles. At Leap Castle, you can look for ghosts in one of Ireland’s most haunted places. Bigger Birr Castle has a wide range of sights, including walking trails, a lake and a hands-on science center. A 30-minute drive north of Birr, Clonmacnoise is an early Christian site that dates back to the 6th century, and you can explore the ruins of its cathedral, high stone crosses and towers overlooking the River Shannon. The town of Tullamore is home to a renowned whiskey producer, offering tours through its state-of-the-art distillery and the opportunity to drink straight from the cask.
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Spectacular views from the Ring of Kerry
Map of Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney & Galway - 6 Days
Ultimate Ireland Road Trip: Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney & Galway - 6 Days

Experience all that Ireland has to offer on this six-day road trip. Travel back to the medieval streets of Dublin, where you can see one of the world's oldest manuscripts, then head to Kilkenny to touch the cool stone walls of its famous castle. Drive the Ring of Kerry to marvel at breathtaking views, and sit down to a feast in Galway, the first place in Ireland to be designated a European Region of Gastronomy. Whether looking for history, nature, or the adventure of a lifetime, this road trip has it all.

Sea views from historic Charles Fort in Kinsale
Map of Ireland Castles & Hiking Road Trip - 14 Days
Ireland Castles & Hiking Road Trip - 14 Days

Discover the splendor of the Irish landscape, and the atmospheric castles that embellish it, on this active two-week road trip. As you drive clockwise from Dublin, there are opportunities galore to explore the great outdoors. Hike on enchanting trails through remote mountain ranges, cycle the riverside Waterford Greenway, kayak under the stars, and set off on horseback from neo-Gothic castle grounds.

Doonagore Castle, near Doolin
Map of Ireland Road Trip: Castles & Coast - 9 Days
Ireland Road Trip: Castles & Coast - 9 Days

This nine-day itinerary embraces the drama and diversity of Ireland's coast, from paddleboarding at Oysterhaven Beach to an Aran Islands voyage and drives beside sweeping beaches and headlands. Discover a history of battles and hauntings at epic castles and their atmospheric grounds. With three guided tours and car rental included, you'll have everything you need for a classic Irish adventure.

Begin and end your Irish adventure in Dublin
Map of Ireland Self-Drive Cultural Tour - 9 Days
Ireland Self-Drive Cultural Tour - 9 Days

Go off the beaten track on this self-drive history and cultural tour of Ireland that takes you to some of the country's most beautiful regions and noteworthy landmarks. From Dublin, you'll visit ancient burial mounds, travel the Wild Atlantic Way, hike through national parks, and tour historic castles. For a bit of fun, you'll enjoy nights out at local pubs and walking tours of vibrant cities like Galway and Dublin.

Admire the sunset over the Irish coast with the kids
Map of Iconic Ireland Family Road Trip: Dublin, Cork & the West Coast - 10 Days
Iconic Ireland Family Road Trip: Dublin, Cork & the West Coast - 10 Days

Experience the unmatched natural beauty of Ireland with this charming 10-day family trip that takes you from historic Dublin down to Cork, across the Killarney National Park, and through the lush, unspoiled Hidden Heartlands. Along the way, you and the kids will explore castles galore, kiss the Blarney Stone, sail to the Aran Islands, and discover the warmest of welcomes in the country known as the Emerald Isle.

Explore the Killarney National Park with the whole family
Map of Ireland South & West Family Road Trip - 10 Days
Ireland South & West Family Road Trip - 10 Days

This 10-day, self-drive Irish adventure is ideal for families with kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Starting in Dublin, you'll drive west to Athlone and then continue on a loop around western and southern Ireland, visiting the Connemara region, the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, and other natural and cultural highlights. Along the way, you'll enjoy a range of fun activities and outings—from touring "haunted" castles to sunset kayaking and adventurous hikes.

Mullaghmore, County Sligo
Map of Ireland's Heritage & Legends - 11 Days
Ireland's Heritage & Legends - 11 Days

Starting from Dublin, this itinerary takes you on an anti-clockwise self-drive adventure around the Emerald Isle. Delve into history and folklore as you explore Ireland's dramatic landscape over 11 days. The trip includes guided tours of Boyne Valley's ancient sacred sites, "haunted" Leap Castle, and a walk around Dublin's Medieval Quarter. On the west coast, you'll discover the enchanting setting that inspired the poetry of WB Yeats.

Killarney National Park
Map of Irish Traditions Self-Drive Road Trip - 11 Days
Irish Traditions Self-Drive Road Trip - 11 Days

With empty roads and a landscape of spectacular cliffs, windswept castles, and dreamy pastures, Ireland is made for driving. A warm welcome awaits in the cozy towns and villages, including Doolin, the country's traditional music capital. It's easy to get around on your own, so set off in a rental car to create your own adventure on this 11-day itinerary. You'll start and end in Dublin, driving clockwise for a stretch on the Wild Atlantic Way, learning about Ireland's fascinating history and traditions as you go.

Kick off the trip in Northern Ireland as you drive along the scenic Antrim Coast
Map of Irish Self-Drive Adventure: Belfast to Dublin - 11 Days
Irish Self-Drive Adventure: Belfast to Dublin - 11 Days

Explore the cities, coast, villages, and countryside of Ireland's north on this active 11-day adventure. It begins in Belfast with city tours, followed by a road trip to highlights like the Antrim Coast, Giant's Causeway, and Glenveigh National Park. After sampling fine Irish whiskeys at the Bushmills Distillery, you'll visit castles and hill forts on your way to colorful Galway, eventually finishing the trip on the wild streets of Dublin.

Stand at the edge of the famous Cliffs of Moher for those impressive snapshots
Map of Road Tripping in Ireland: Dublin, Killarney, Doolin & Galway - 12 Days
Road Tripping in Ireland: Dublin, Killarney, Doolin & Galway - 12 Days

Explore some of Ireland's most memorable sights on this 12-day self-drive adventure. Start in Dublin with a tour and tasting at the famous Guinness Storehouse, then head to Blarney Castle and give a good-luck kiss to the Blarney Stone. Hike Killarney National Park, descend into the wondrous caves of Doolin, and see the magnificent Cliffs of Moher via boat. End your trip with a drive back to Dublin for a whiskey tasting at Jameson Distillery and a tour of the somber halls of Kilmainham Gaol.

Spend a night at this stunning five-star hotel in County Clare
Map of Ireland's Luxury Road Trip - 13 Days
Ireland's Luxury Road Trip - 13 Days

This nearly two-week adventure in Ireland is perfect for couples seeking more luxury during a road trip. Your scenic route meanders through several western counties—Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, and Leitrim—where you'll partake in activities that range from hiking at a national park to horseback riding on a beach. Of course, there'll also be opportunities to relax at a spa. Start and end the trip with free time to explore Dublin, perhaps with a tour of Trinity College to see the Book of Kells.

Make memories with your family as you explore Ireland's the Ring of Kerry
Map of Action-Packed Ireland Family Road Trip - 14 Days
Action-Packed Ireland Family Road Trip - 14 Days

Starting in historic Dublin, get ready for a two-week road trip that immerses your family in the best of Ireland. Drive onward to Kinsale, Kenmare, Tralee, Doolin, and Birr to experience unbeatable natural beauty, stately castles, rich history, friendly locals, and cultural experiences. You and the kids will be falconing one minute, sailing the next, whale watching, and hiking—and that's all just in the first few days. Buckle up and prepare to make some memories!

There's plenty of sand and surf as you roadtrip along Ireland's west coast
Map of Ireland Castles & Coast Family Road Trip - 14 Days
Ireland Castles & Coast Family Road Trip - 14 Days

Explore the castles and coastline of the Emerald Isle on this two-week family adventure. Choose your own pace as you wind your way from Dublin to the wild west coast and onto the iconic landscapes of the Ring of Kerry. Along the way, you'll hang 10 in one of Europe's best surf spots, capture the kids' imaginations in historic castles, and hike and bike through scenic national parks before circling back to Dublin for some educational fun at the Epic Museum.

The trail to Dunquin
Map of Ultimate Southwest Ireland Hiking Adventure - 15 Days
Ultimate Southwest Ireland Hiking Adventure - 15 Days

Explore Ireland's most picturesque locations on foot with this rugged 15-day itinerary. Begin your adventure in Dublin, a city steeped in history, before moving on to Killarney for a cruise through its lakes and a hike along the ancient "butter road" to Kenmare. Head to Sneem to learn about the area's rich history and explore its natural beauty. Enjoy a walk around Slea Head, trek along the wild Cliffs of Moher, and end your journey with a night at the medieval Kinnity Castle.

Other popular travel destinations in Ireland
Dublin · County Kerry · Killarney · Galway · Dingle Peninsula · Doolin · Dingle Town · Northern Ireland · Belfast · Cork · Killarney National Park · Kenmare · County Cork · Kinsale · Westport · Donegal · Tralee · Ballycastle · Letterkenny · Laragh · Clifden · Sligo · Limerick · Aran Islands · Kilkenny · Waterford · Donegal town · Portmagee