The COVID -19 crisis and all the resultant ramifications has ensured that the past year has been an arduous one for Tourism. However, after closing the chapter on 2020, there’s a beacon of light beginning to shine at the end of the tunnel and the recent progress with regard to vaccines will allow the industry to enter the recovery phase and begin to grow again in 2021 and we want to share some things to look out for in 2021 in Offaly.
Plans are continuing to construct 71km of Grand Canal Greenway along the main line of the Grand Canal in partnership with Waterways Ireland. This will connect in with County Kildare and onwards to Dublin. Currently it is possible to cycle from Ballycommon to Lough Boora Discovery Park (33km) primarily off-road, with this route being further extended to Daingean, expected to be completed early 2021.
SLIEVE BLOOM MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL
There are currently 35km of new mountain bike trails open with a trailhead in Kinnitty. Offlay has both a red and blue section which can be cycled individually or together in one loop. Works are continuing and sections will be open as they are completed. It is expected that all trails in both Offaly Laois will be completed by the end of 2022.
With hundreds of walking trails and guided tours throughout the year, driving routes for motorists and a network of mountain bike trails, the Slieve Blooms provides the perfect setting to get out and explore the unspoilt magical beauty of Ireland's oldest mountain range.
Only an hour and a bit from Dublin, Galway and Limerick and two hours from Cork, the Slieve Blooms are easily accessible from all corners of Ireland. Explore the Slieve Blooms and you’ll be rewarded by spectacular views stretching across the midlands of Ireland and on a clear cloud free day you can see the four highest points of each of Ireland’s four provinces.
With the closure of the Tullamore D.E.W Visitor Centre at its iconic location on Bury Quay the visitors' experience will now relocate to the site of the distillery on the outskirts of the town. Tullamore Dew has its roots firmly in Offaly and the tourism team are looking forward to promoting the visitor brand experience at its new location for the 2021 season.