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Things to Do in Athlone

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Loughcrew Cairns (Loughcrew Passage Tombs)
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3 Tours and Activities

Loughcrew Cairns—a series of Neolithic passage tombs scattered among the green hills of Ireland’s Boyne Valley—date back to about 3,000 BC. The Stone Age monuments are thought to have been used as burial sites and for ritual and ceremonial purposes. Though many are on private land, Cairn T is open to the public.

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Kilbeggan Distillery
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2 Tours and Activities

Established in 1757, Kilbeggan Distillery had a 50-year production pause before reopening in 2007. Set in a whitewashed, slate-roofed heritage building, the historic Irish whiskey distillery houses vintage equipment including an antique pot still and a waterwheel that once powered the distillery.

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Birr Castle
7 Tours and Activities

This imposing castle has been in the hands of the Parsons family since it was built in the 17th century. More than 1,000 plant species can be found within its 50-hectare (124-acre estate, while its science center plays host to the Leviathan, a giant telescope designed by 19th-century astronomer and Birr Castle resident, William Parsons.

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Clonmacnoise
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Set in green fields next to the River Shannon, this monastic complex was founded in the 6th century by St. Ciarán and served as a center for Christian learning in Ireland. An air of spirituality still hangs in the air amid the scattering of stone ruins; among them a cathedral, churches, round towers, high crosses, and grave markers.

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Castle Barna Golf Club

Set in the Irish countryside just over an hour outside of Dublin, the Castle Barna Golf Club is one of the most popular clubs in the country. An 18-hole course laid out over rolling parklandalong the Grand Canal and surrounded by centuries-old trees, it is considered both challenging and entertaining. The course’s signature hole is the ninth. Known as the Barge, it is a par three, only 357 feet (109 m) long, flanked by the Grand Canal on one side and large trees on the right, with one of the course’s several streams flowing behind the green. The course is kept in excellent condition, and the clubhouse is almost as beautiful as the course, with exquisite stonework and the aptly named Old Stone House Bar and Restaurant.

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