Why a stay in Tullamore, Co Offaly is the perfect weekend getaway

For small-town relaxation with all the luxury, Tullamore in Co Offally is a must-visit for 2020


This time of year can feel a bit... monotonous.

Work pressures seem amplified, summer holidays are nowhere in sight, and to top things off – the weather is naff. If you want to get away from it all, a weekend getaway can be the perfect solution. Having recently returned from two days in Tullamore, I can confirm it'll do you the world of good.

Just an hour's train journey from Dublin, Tullamore in Co Offaly is part of Ireland's Ancient East. Boasting monastic heritage sites and Gothic Revival architecture, the small town is a beautiful place to unwind.

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Where to stay in Tullamore

I'm someone whose idea of relaxation involves a lot of food, pampering and lying down (bonus points if the hotel has atmospheric nightlife). Bridge House Hotel, in the heart of Tullamore, promised the lot.

Following a very short walk from the train station, I checked in on a Friday evening after work. Aslan were playing a concert in the hotel that night, and as I was lucky enough to nab tickets, I was excited to let my hair down. But first, I wanted a glass of wine in the Library Bar. Sitting near the open fire in one of the comfiest armchairs, I sipped sauvignon blanc before making my way to the gig. (On a side note – Christy Dignam sounds just as good now as he did in the '80s).

Photo by Bridge House Hotel

Afterwards, it was straight to my king-size bed for a much-needed snooze (did I mention I love lying down?). With thanks to the crisp white linen and luxury pillows, I was fast asleep within minutes.

Aside from the fact that it's a four-star hotel with its own spa and delicious dining, the reason I love Bridge House is its familiarity. As a family-run hotel, it has an air of luxury without being uppity; it's glam yet cosy and comfortable. Perfect for a weekend of relaxation, right?

Photo by Bridge House Hotel

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Things to do in Tullamore

Whiskey distillery

Located within the town itself, Tullamore DEW invites visitors to tour its whiskey distillery where they’ve been in operation since 1829. During the tour, you’ll learn about the distillery’s history, the art of Irish whiskey-making, as well as the people who made Tullamore DEW world-famous.

At the end of the tour, there’s a special whiskey tasting. Here an expert tutor will give you a new appreciation of the drink (sharing knowledge for you to annoy your friends with later).

Spa treatments at Bridge House Spa & Beauty

Photo by Bridge House Hotel

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The Bridge House Spa (located within the hotel) is dedicated to promoting beauty and wellness with one simple vision: inner peace.

Aromatic candles and calming music create a relaxing atmosphere from the moment you enter the spa, while expert staff are on-hand for whatever treatments you choose to indulge in.

Using only the finest products (including Elemis Skincare and Image Skincare), the spa offers everything from signature facials to skincare peels, as well as a range of massages and body treatments.

Lough Boora Discovery Park

Photo by the.blonde.cailin on Instagram

Lough Boora Discovery Park offers guided tours for groups of all ages and abilities. Get your blood flowing along the 15.8km Turraun Cycle Route, or take a stroll around the Finnamore Lake Route. Whichever path you choose, enjoy the park’s sculptures and natural treasures.

Charleville Castle

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Photo by Charleville Castle, Facebook

Located on the outskirts of Tullamore near the Shannon River, Charleville Castle is situated in Ireland's most ancient primordial oak woods – once the haunting grounds of Ireland's druids.

Absolutely nothing 

Alternatively, you can pop on your complimentary robe and relax in your hotel room. Watch TV, order room service, take a nap – all of the good things.

After all, that's the whole point of a relaxing getaway, isn't it? To switch off completely – and to not feel guilty about it. Whichever way you choose to unwind this year, do so in Tullamore.

Feature photo: Bridge House Hotel

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