Places to Visit

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Watergarden Thomastown

The Watergarden, Thomastown

This small garden is managed and staffed by the residents of Camphill, a movement composed of individuals, many with special needs, who live together in a mutually supportive environment.

Its a low key but lovely place, with an excellent restuarant and a small garden centre, also run by Camphill, alongside.

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train-bar

Hell’s Kitchen Railway Museum

The collection here is the work of just one man, pub owner Sean Browne, whose enthusiasm for the history of rail travel in Ireland is immediately.

It’s an eclectic assembly of items, including timetables, tickets, station clocks, bells, lamps, posters and now a train in the bar. Yes, the train is inside the bar!

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Irish National Heritage Park

The history of early Ireland is brought vividly to life here, through reconstructed buildings and re-enactments of the life and work of Irish people in the distant past.

Although there are no original historic structures here, the reconstructions are historically accurate and were made using the methods of the time, so they are a close as it gets.

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National Museum of Ireland

National Museum of Ireland (Archeology & History)

This is the main museum of the four branches that comprise Ireland’s National Museum and the primary repository for archaeological objects dating back as far as the Bronze age.

The museum is home to over two million artefacts, among them many treasures from the monasteries, including beautiful work in gold and precious stones.

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Inside Marble Arch Caves

Marble Arch Caves

Marble Arch caves are Ireland largest caves, both in terms of the extent and the sheer hugeness of some of the internal spaces.

The caves have been open to the public since 1985, though first discovered in 1895, and are explored by guided tours which are partly on boats navigating subterranean rivers.

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Castle Coole

Castle Coole

The Castle is not really a castle in the sense that most people understand the term, but a perfect example of an elegant and impressive Neo-Classical country house.

Castle Coole is now in the care of the British National Trust.

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Sheelin Lace Museum

The Sheelin Lace Museum

This is an important collection and a repository of the many and varied techniques of lace making in Ireland, their origins and history.

It owes its existence to the dedication and passion of one person, Rosemary Cathcart, who has single handedly assembled a wide ranging collection of more than 400 or related items.

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Tullynally Castle

Tullynally Castle

Tullynally has been home to the Pakenham family for more that 350 years, and still is.

It’s very much a living home but has changed relatively little over the years and its interior gives a wonderful glimpse into how life was lived, both upstairs and downstairs, in Ireland’s great houses.

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Irish National Print Museum

National Print Museum

This fascinating museum tells the story of book and newspaper printing in Ireland with a collection of printing presses, woodblocks and old printed items.

Time it right and you may even have a chance to practice the art of typesetting the old fashioned way, and create a unique printed memento of your trip.

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Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle

A particular good example of Ireland Norman castles, Cahir Castle has been well restored and visitors, especially younger ones, will enjoy exploring its keeps, towers and battlements.

It has seen many battles in its time and recently achieved minor Hollywood stardom as one of the locations used for the movie Braveheart.

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Cavan Leitrim Railway

The Cavan and Leitrim Railway

It’s one of the great tragedies of Ireland that a once extensive local railway network was allowed to disappear.

Some are being restored by bands of enthusiasts, and this is one of the best, a restored narrow gauge railway on which old locomotives run, taking passengers on trips down memory lane, via the local countryside.

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ballymaloe-house

Ballymaloe Gardens

There are several very different gardens here, including the perfect kitchen garden growing vegetables and herbs for the famous Ballymaloe restuarant in Co Cork.

While adults may enjoy that one and the herb garden most, children will inevitably be drawn to the maze and the nearby magical shell house.

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