County Offaly is situated in the heart of the Republic of Ireland and is known as King's County. Counties Galway, Roscommon, Westmeath, Laois, Kildare, Meath and Tipperary border Offaly and the main town is Tullamore. The northwest part of this region consists of bogs (Boora Bog and Bog of Allen) and flood plains of the Shannon River, whilst the south is home to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
County Offaly has lots to offer holidaymakers in its friendly towns and villages, with unrivalled sacred sites, a rich musical heritage, wild bog lands and a thriving nightlife. Although there are hotels and guest houses for visitors, one of the best ways to explore all that this county has to offer is to rent self-catering accommodation or holiday cottages.
Offaly is a haven for golf enthusiast, walkers, cyclists, anglers and nature lovers. You can hire whatever equipment you need for your particular sport locally to your holiday cottage. Irish cottages vary from an elegant period mansion, rural cottages with equestrian features, riverside cottages or a holiday rental besides the sea.
Offaly is the ideal place for birdwatchers, as its climate makes it a customary stop of point for migrating birds and from March onwards birdsong fills the hedgerows and woodlands. In April and May migrants from Africa can be seen all along the south border. Choose a holiday cottage close to Lough Boora Parklands, Shannon Harbour and Callows, Ashton's Callow, Birr Castle, Slieve Bloom Mountains, and Charleville Estate if this is your reason for visiting Ireland.
Offaly is perfect for the fisherman or boating enthusiast, as it has a tapestry of unpolluted waterways with the River Shannon bordering the west of the county, the River Boyne at Edenderry and the Brosna, Clodiah and Silver (Kilcormac) rivers flowing through the heart of the county. The Grand Canal flows from Edenderry through Tullamore to Shannon Harbour.
County Offaly is a great place for families and attractions include the Bog Train Tour on the Clonmacnoise railway. This is a trip right through Blackwater Bog with turf cutting demonstrations. Then there is Birr Castle and Science Museum, Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre, Birr Outdoor Adventure Centre, waterways trips and for when the weathers not that good, Jumping Jacks Fun Factory.
At certain times of the year holiday cottages will need booking early as County Offaly festivals attract many visitors. There is Bealtaine in May, the one day ShakeFest at Charleville Castle and the Shannonbridge Midsummer Music Festival at the end of June. The Tullamore International Summer Organ Series runs from June to September, the Phoenix Community Festival for three days in July and the Castle Palooza is a two day arts and music festival in Charleville Castle at the beginning of August. Others not to be missed include Birr vintage week, All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, Hullabaloo and Slieve Bloom Storytelling festival.
County Offaly has a mild and somewhat unpredictable climate. It can also be very windy, which makes it feel cooler.
Dublin Airport and Port serve County Offaly and the nearest railway station is Tullamore. The towns of Cloghan, Tullamore, Ferbane and Birr are on Bus Eireann main routes.