County Offaly forms a large part of Ely O’Carroll country, the southwestern midlands dotted with ancient castles and monasteries and dominated by vast bogs. Some, like the huge Bog of Allen, are mined for their peat, but others remain pristine and shelter several varieties of local flora and fauna. Another attraction for nature lovers in this county is the Slieve Bloom Mountains Environmental Park, with its forests and heathery moors sheltering waterfalls, glens, and idyllic villages. It is an excellent place for walks and picnics.
There are also some historic attractions here, like the West Offaly Railway and the ancient monastic ruins at Clonmacnoise. The most beautiful Gothic revival castle in Ireland is Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Offaly’s principal town. Another lovely castle here is the 17th century Birr Castle in the pretty town of Birr, which is small but noted for its Georgian architecture.