Tullamore is the capital town of the county of Offaly, and arguably the most central town in Ireland, located half way between Dublin and Galway. Tullamore is a thriving and bustling town and a gateway to the midlands. Prosperity came in the form of the Grand Canal, a link from the port of Dublin in 1798. The easy access for goods and people led to the town’s rapid growth as a market and warehousing centre.
Tullamore has its share of fine buildings. St Catherine’s, a Gothic Revival church of 1818, was designed by Francis Johnston, the architect of Charleville Castle. Charleville Castle, which is located south western edge of town on the road to Birr, is one of Ireland’s most splendid Gothic Revival buildings and stands in beautiful woodland containing many splendid oak trees. The castle (open for guided tours by appointment) has 55 rooms including a superb gallery that runs the whole width of the building. Visitors to the town can now enjoy the sites and learn about their history through the new Tullamore Town Historical Tour, an audio tour that can be downloaded and listened to on your phone, tablet or apple device.
Situated on the Grand Canal, the town is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, while golfers are spoilt for choice with the nearby Esker Hills (home of Open Champion Shane Lowry) and Tullamore Golf Clubs offering pristine courses in scenic surroundings. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Offaly’s monastic heritage by visiting the monastic gem of Clonmacnoise and nearby monastic sites including Durrow and Rahan. If you’ve an inkling that your ancestors came from Offaly, drop into the Offaly History Centre on Bury Quay and talk to the helpful staff, you never know what you might find out!
For hikers, hill-walkers and lovers of the great outdoors, Tullamore is an ideal base to explore the Slieve Bloom Mountains – notably Ireland’s least congested mountain range. You can hire a local guide or take off at your own pace, walking the peaceful way-marked trails and enjoying the uninterrupted sounds of nature!
The town offers a wide variety of accommodation from 4-star hotels to guest-houses and B&B’s, plus plenty of eateries both in and around the town, catering to all tastes and appetites! And of course any mention of Tullamore wouldn’t be complete without a word about the world-famous Tullamore Dew whiskey. The old distillery warehouse on the banks of the Grand Canal has been totally re- furbished and now houses an impressive Visitor Centre, where tour-guides entertain guests with a blend of history and storytelling, finished off with a complimentary glass of the beverage itself!