Birr Castle remains a private residence for the Parsons family, though visitors can avail of year-round public access to the estate and seasonal tours of the castle itself. General admission will get you into the gardens and science center. The castle—most of which was rebuilt in the 19th century—can be explored as part of guided tours only.
The castle can also be visited as part of day tours around Offaly and the Midlands. These tours typically make stops at other historic attractions in the region, such as the Gothic-style Charleville Castle, the medieval-era Clonony Castle, and Clonmacnoise, an ancient monastic site.
Things to know before you go
*With an adventure playground, treehouse, and plenty of room to run about, the Birr Castle estate is a must for families, though castle tours are not suitable for visitors under 12. *Castle tours must be booked in advance. *A café (open seasonally) and gift shop (open year-round) can be found at Birr Castle. *There is no parking within the estate, though paid parking is available across from the main entrance. *The gardens and science center are partially wheelchair-accessible, while castle tours are not wheelchair-accessible.
How to get there
Birr Castle is situated in the town of Birr, County Offaly in the Irish midlands. The number 72 bus departs from Athlone bus station and stops in Birr—about a 10-minute walk from the castle. Departures are infrequent, so it’s easier to come as part of a guided tour.
When to get there
The gardens and science center at Birr Castle are open year-round, though the castle is only open for guided tours from mid-May through August. Tours take place Monday to Saturday, three times daily.
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