The magnificent 160 acre Lakeside Estate of Belvedere House, Gardens & Park boasts a fully restored Georgian Villa, built in 1740 by the famous Architect Richard Castles for Robert Rochfort, later Lord Belvedere (“The Wicked Earl”). The estate has a fascinatingVictorianWalledGarden, with one of Ireland's finest collections of rare and special plants. The naturalistic designed 18th-century parkland, punctuated with Romantic Follies includes the largest in Ireland the “The Jealous Wall”.
Within the welcoming visitor services centre is a licensed restaurant and gift shop along with 3 outdoor children’s playgrounds & many picnic areas on the estate.
Whether you are part of a gardening group, historical society, active retirement association, family gathering or group of friends, a visit to Belvedere is a superb day with a difference.
Tel: 044 93 38960
The Gardens at Tullynally, like the castle itself, they date back over 350 years. The Pakenhams (later Earls of Longford) settled here in the 17th century and three generations still live here as their family home. The layout of the gardens and magnificent parkland date mainly from the early 1800s, but the present owners, Thomas and Valerie Pakenham have added many new features. Take the main path to the walled Flower Garden and visit the llamas and the stone “Nandi" (sacred Indian bulls) next door or take the path to the Grotto with fantastic carvings by a local artist. Or follow the Forest Walk to the Chinese garden and onto the Lower Lake with its pair of swans.
After exploring the gardens, we suggest you return to the sunny Tearoom in the Castle Courtyard which offers teas, coffee and delicious homemade food throughout the day – And don't miss the splendid family coach on display. There are over 12 acres of gardens in all divided between walled gardens, extensive woodland gardens and 2 ornamental lakes. Much of the present layout dates from the early 1800's but the current owners Thomas and Valerie Pakenham have gardened here for over 50 years and have added many new features. The Castle Tearooms provide a range of delicious home baked treats and light lunches and has some outdoor seating in the loggia in the Castle courtyard.
Garden & Castle Tours available.
Address: Tullynally, Castlepollard, Co.Westmeath,Ireland.
Tel: +353 (0)44 9661856
10% Discount for Bloomfield Guests
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 ofNorwich, designed to defend the crossing point of the river at Athlone.
It’s located on the west side ofAthloneTown, on the banks of the River Shannon. From its days as a timber fort,AthloneCastleevolved 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.
AthloneCastlereopened 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.
Address: Castle Street, Athlone, Co.Westmeath,Ireland
Tel: +353 90 6442130
10% Discount for Bloomfield Guests
The Award-Winning Gardens of Birr Castle Demesne in Ireland are both rich in amazing feats of science and engineering, as well as rare trees and flowers, wonderful wildlife, walks along peaceful rivers and the lake. Celebrating 400 years, this remarkable family have resided at the romantic and inspirational setting of Birr Castle Demesne, that is now home to the 7th Earl of Rosse.
The Parsons family invite you to explore one of the most extraordinary places in Ireland. Created over generations it is an environmental and a scientific time capsule.
Address: Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre, Rosse Row, Birr, County Offaly, R42 VO27
Tel: +353 (0)57 912 0336