The landscape of Offaly varies from the highest points in the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the lakes and swamps that make up much of the land. Known for its bogs and peatlands, the county has traced settlement in some of its areas as far back as the Mesolithic era. There are many castles, abbeys and other historic sites that are still standing today as a sign of that rich and cultured history. However, what Offaly is often most well known for is being the home to Irish Mist Whisky. Like most of Ireland, Offaly takes great pride in its whisky production and makes this claim proudly.
If you love history then you can easily get lost in the many historic structures that stand throughout the county. The Birr Castle, Kinnitty Castle and Leap Castle can all be traced back as far as ancient civilizations. There is also the Clonmacnoise Monastic Site that you can visit. For the nature lover there is plenty of boating and fishing to be found on the River Shannon and Slieve Bloom Way Tours that will take you through the wooded Glens. The Demesne Historic Science Centre offers gardens, park land, cafe and a shop for visitors as well.
Many visitors enjoy the local taverns and pubs that are available in the county. In addition to this there are a number of festivals in the area including the Hot Air Balloon Festival, Arts Festival and Agricultural Show. For a great dining experience you can take advantage of one of the oldest hotels and restaurants when you dine at the Bridge House Restaurant. You can also select to choose a cuisine such as the Italian offered at Siroccos Italian Restaurant.
Ashbrook Farmhouse is a bed and breakfast located in an old farmhouse with landscaped gardens for your pleasure. If you prefer all of the luxuries of a hotel there are options such as the County Arms Hotel that is 200 years old but provides the amenities you want such as a pool, Jacuzzi and gym.
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