At present there are NO visitor facilities at Sharavogue Bog SAC. Most of the bog is in private ownership so unsupervised visits are not advised, encouraged or allowed.
The bog is wet and dangerous, a constantly shifting mass of peat full of bog pools, deep and deceiving Sphagnum lawns and more dangers than you can shake a stick at.
The LIFE project will host open days on Sharavogue over the duration of the project, and local community events and and guided tours will take place on the bog in the near future.
Information on these will be posted here, on the events page and on the Local and Community Page. You can also keep up to date on any events on Sharavogue Bog and our other project sites by following and liking our social media. The Living Bog FACEBOOK page is updated daily, as is the project TWITTER page
Should you wish to visit Sharavogue Bog for research purposes, you can contact the NPWS via www.npws.ie
There is plenty to do and plenty to see in the area close to Sharavogue Bog, and the hidden gem that is Birr is only a short distance away.
Formerly known as Parsonstown, Birr is one of the most historic and picturesque towns in Ireland – a jewel in the midlands – and is well worth a visit.
Birr is a designated Heritage Town with a carefully preserved Georgian heritage, of wide streets and elegant buildings. It is an ideal centre for touring the midlands, with everything from Birr Castle to the ‘Leviathan of Parsonstown’ (an astronomical telescope – at one stage the world’s biggest) to the Georgian Mills to the Workhouse to the parks along the River Camcor vying to keep you in the town. The first ever All-Ireland Hurling Final was played at Hoare’s Field in Birr (now a Tesco site) in 1888 between Tipperary and Galway.
Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre
Birr Castle has become one of Ireland’s must-see attractions in recent years. As Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre, it is a place where history, nature and science collide.
Allow yourself plenty of time to explore Birr Castle’s spectacular Gardens and fascinating Science Centre. For many years the Parsons family have invited the public to explore one of the most extraordinary places in Ireland. Created over generations it is an environmental and scientific time capsule, and if you are on the ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ tour, it is a place you cannot miss.
Regardless of the time of year you visit, the award winning gardens won’t disappoint with their rare and exotic plants. The gardens are home to an abundance of rare plants, collected by the Earls of Rosse on their travels around the world over the last 150 years. Within the 50 hectares you will find the world’s tallest box hedges, over 40 champion trees, over 2000 species of plant as well as rivers, lake and waterfalls.
At the Science Centre, you travel back to the time when Birr Castle was a hub of scientific discovery and innovation, the third Earl was building the great telescope and his wife Mary was practising her photography. Later, their son Charles Parsons was inventing the steam turbine, which changed the face of seafaring and led to the invention of the jet engine. The interactive centre reveals the wonders of early photography, engineering and astronomy with a special emphasis on the brilliant design and assembly of the world famous Great Telescope.
The Great Telescope at Birr Castle
The Great Telescope, designed and built by the third Earl of Rosse in the early 1840s, it was the largest telescope in the world. With this telescope, he discovered the spiral nature of some of the galaxies, and from 1845-1914, anyone wishing to witness this phenomenon had to come to Birr. This ‘leviathan’ as it is named, remains in the centre of the Demesne as Ireland’s greatest scientific wonder and represents a masterpiece of human creative genius – you can’t miss it!
Of course, kids also love the Castle. All you budding knights and princesses will find themselves lost in a world of imagination in the epic Treehouse Adventure Area. The playground features Ireland’s largest treehouse along with a bouncy pillow, sandpits and a hobbit hut. And while they’re busy in the Treehouse Adventure area, you deserve a coffee and a browse around the gift shop – and everyone’s happy!
Birr Castle Treehouse Adventure Area
Birr Vintage Week
In July/early August the town comes alive as it celebrates our collective past with the highly-rated Birr Vintage Week, one of the great Irish town festivals. 2018 will be the 50th year of the Festival and the celebrations planned for the 50th anniversary should be spectacular!
For more, check out:
BIRR VINTAGE WEEK AND ARTS FESTIVAL
BIRR HISTORICAL SOCIETY
BIRR THEATRE & ARTS CENTRE
BIRR PHOTOGRAPHY GROUP
Offaly County Council have an extensive website www.offaly.ie which features excellent Heritage and Arts and Culture coverage.