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Castles & Gardens

Tullynally Castle Gardens

Tullynally has been owned by the Pakenhams, later Earls of Longford, since the 17th century. The original house was remodelled by the 2nd Earl as a huge rambling gothic revival castle in the early 1800’s.

Terraced lawns around the castle overlook superb 18th century parkland. The adjoining woodland gardens and walled gardens date largely from the same period and encompass a grotto of eroded limestone from nearby Lough Derravaragh and two ornamental lakes. The present owners have added Chinese gardens, and a local sculptor has made fantastic woodcarvings. The walled gardens have extensive flower borders and an avenue of giant 200 year old Irish yews. A woodland walk leads to the lower lake past plantings of giant lilies, camellias and rhododendrons.

Tullynally Castle Gardens opening times, 2016 for Gardens and Tearoom:
11am – 5pm, Weekends & Bank Holidays, April, May & September. 
11am – 5pm, Thursdays to Sundays & Bank Holidays, June, July & August. 
Also daily in Heritage Week, August 22nd – August 29th
 
Address: Tullynally, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath, Republic of Ireland.
Tel: +353 (0)44 9661159 • Fax: +353 (0)44 9661856 

Athlone Castle & Visitor Centre

Athlone Castle & Visitor Centre is a treat for all the family, with courtyard picnic facilities and picturesque town views. This 12th-century stone castle was built for King John by Bishop John de Gray of Norwich, designed to defend the crossing point of the river at Athlone.
 
It’s located on the west side of Athlone Town, on the banks of the River Shannon. From its days as a timber fort, Athlone Castle evolved into a bold, defensive building with architectural features like the Keep of the Castle showcased as a dramatic backdrop to its diverse and fascinating story. 
 
Athlone Castle reopened in 2012 after extensive renovations; today the castle has been transformed into a multi-sensory experience in which family-friendly multimedia displays and interactive games guide visitors through its halls. The great Siege of Athlone is relived in a 360º cinematic experience, transporting visitors to the centre of the 1691 battle.
 
Eight newly-designed exhibition spaces pursue both a chronological and thematic sequence that mixes hands-on and fun experiences, and features dress-up activities for children and adults. Bold sculptural forms help to convey human figures and historical milestones, while 3D maps, audio-visual installations and artefacts bring the stories and characters of Athlone to life.
 
The newest addition to the visitor centre is the John McCormack display—here the world-renowned tenor, born in Athlone, is honoured with artefacts on display from both his fascinating life and his musical career. 
 
Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is the perfect family destination, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
 

Castle Street, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Republic of Ireland
Tel: +353 90 6442130