I was briefly in Birr this weekend just gone by. I stayed less than twenty-four hours as I arrived early on Saturday afternoon and left not long after a nine o’clock breakfast on Sunday morning. Birr, in case you don’t know, is a heritage town in the Irish midlands. I was there on a short break with a small group of friends. It was a catch-up-with-friends opportunity rather than a weekend for in-depth exploration of the town and surrounding countryside. J our organizer had booked us into the local four-star County Arms Hotel on an amazingly good value deal (details at the bottom of this post).
When we arrived we had, courtesy of M, who brought chilled champagne and a set of proper glasses, a celebratory glass of bubbly in one of our rooms. We then headed downtown to explore and have a late lunch. After lunch we headed back to our hotel and popped into the packed bar to watch the Ireland v Scotland rugby international. A two course evening meal in the hotel restaurant was included in our package and when we finished eating we trooped back to the bar to have a nightcap and listen to live music provided by a local trio.
The following morning after a full Irish breakfast we drove to Birr Castle Demesne as we had hoped to have a quick walk through the grounds. We decided against though as there was an admission charge and we would only have had a short time (as some of us needed to get back home) to have the briefest of a gallop around. I may go back someday and allow a half-day to meander around the award-winning gardens, to view the science centre and to take in the large telescope which sits in the centre of the Demesne (according to the Birr Castle brochure it was for seventy years the largest telescope in the world) created by the third Earl of Rosse in the 1840’s.
It was enjoyable break; the weather was springlike and it was very good to catch up with old friends. It was booked through Lidl Breaks who offer a range of astonishingly good value packages in hotels throughout Ireland (their web address is http://www.lidl-breaks.ie). We paid a wallet friendly €49 per person sharing for bed & breakfast and dinner.