Discover award-winning gardens, the Great Telescope, Ireland’s tallest treehouse and lots more

The stunning gardens at Birr Castle are home to unending botanical marvels with an abundance of exotic flora to be found throughout, along with feats of scientific and engineering wonder for all to view and enjoy.

Explore the gardens which are home to the Great Telescope, once the largest in the world, created by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in the 1840’s. Don’t miss Ireland’s tallest treehouse in the Treehouse Adventure Playground, alongside sandpits and a hobbit Hut.

The award-winning formal gardens, surrounded by the hornbeam cloister walk, proudly boasts the world’s tallest box hedges along with plants exclusive to Birr Castle Gardens. The 120 acres of gardens house an impressive worldwide plant collection of rare species from around the world, including over 40 champion trees of the British Isles.

The historic Science Centre transports visitors back to a time when Birr Castle was a hub of scientific discovery and innovation. The interactive galleries reveal the wonders of early photography, engineering and astronomy.

The castle, which has been a family home since 1620, opens its doors during the summer months for guided tours, offering visitors the chance to visit this private residence.

No trip to the gardens would be complete without visiting the Gift Shop or Courtyard Café.

The Gardens

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. It now has plant material collected and subscribed for by 3 generations of the family, as well as some of the most famous plant hunters, past and present. It was the first garden in Ireland to receive specimens of Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood) after its discovery in China in 1945. Recent plant hunting expeditions by the current Earl and Countess include Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Iran, South Africa, New Zealand, China and Bhutan.

Formal Gardens
Here you will find the romantic hornbeam cloister walk, planted by Anne, Countess of Rosse in 1936 to celebrate her marriage to Michael, 6th Earl of Rosse. It boasts the world’s tallest box hedges. Tucked away in an intimate courtyard is a pergola with a spectacular wisteria. A collection of old roses compliments the delphinium border in season.

Here you will get the best views of the Castle as you reach them along the Moat Walk. In summer they are a blaze of colour, full of a large range of herbaceous plants selected by Lady Rosse. You will look down over the river Camcor and view the 1820 suspension bridge, earliest in Ireland. Opposite, under the yew tree, is the ancient well of St. Brendan.

Waterfalls, tranquil Rivers and Lake
Water is a prominent feature of the Gardens. Wherever you walk you are always close to water. Cross over the enchanting waterfall above the gravity fed fountain in the Victorian Fernery, or follow the River Walk to the double bridges where the Little Brosna and Camcor meet.

  • Award-winning gardens, home to the world’s tallest box hedges and rare plant life
  • The Great Telescope – once the largest in the world
  • Historic Science Centre
  • Guided summer tours of Birr Castle
  • The Treehouse Adventure Playground featuring Ireland’s tallest treehouse and more

Open Daily Year Round
Open 362 days of the year.

Visit for seasonal opening hours.

Closed: December 25, 26 and January 1
Last admission: 1 hour before closing
Approx. visit duration: A minimum of 1.5 to 2 hours


Admission Prices 2020

Adult: €9.50
Senior (aged 65+): €8.00
Student (with valid ID): €8.00
Child (aged 5-16): €5.00
Child (under 5): Free
Family (2 adults & 2 children): €26.00

General ticket exclusions apply for special event dates

Useful Information

Check out their range of facilities, services, accessibility, and other useful information.

LANGUAGES: Free leaflets and site map available in English, French, German, Spanish and Mandarin.

DINING/REFRESHMENTS: Café/ tearoom open mid-March to November.

SHOPPING: Gift shop selling souvenirs and gift items.

PARKING: Car and coach parking available off-site (nearby).

ACCESSIBILITY: Gardens and Science Centre are partially wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets. The guided Castle tours are not accessible.

GROUPS: Group rates available (minimum 10 people). Pre-booking required.

Getting There

Located in the centre of Birr town, Birr Castle is within 90 minutes’ drive of most major Irish cities.

Map Location: 53.096704, -7.914320
Contact Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre

Birr Castle Demesne, Birr,
Co. Offaly, Ireland

Eircode: R42 V027
T: +353 (0) 57 912 0336