The gentle rolling hills of the The Slieve Bloom Mountains rise from the central plains of Ireland, forming a natural link between the counties of Laois and of Offaly. The area is picturesque, peaceful, gloriously multi-coloured and one of the least explored in Ireland. Dotted around the mountains are quaint little villages, and to visit one is like stepping back in time to an era when life moved at a slower pace. These are the places where people will take the time to talk to you, will listen to your stories and enjoy telling you theirs. According to the locals the Slieve Bloom have everything, except the sea! Only an hour and a bit from Dublin and Limerick and two hours from Cork and Galway the Slieve Bloom are easily accessible from all corners of Ireland. However, as well as being a wonderful destination in their own right, their central location makes the area an ideal base for visitors wishing to make trips to other parts of Ireland.The Slieve Bloom, along with the Massif Central in France, are the oldest mountains in Europe; they were once also the highest at 3,700m. Weathering has reduced them to 527m. On a clear day, one can see the high points of the four ancient provinces of Ireland.
Walk in the Slieve Bloom and discover a wonderful variety of landscapes - blanket bogs, forestry paths, wooded valleys, mountain streams and waterfalls, and old settlement ruins. We have a choice of 16 different Looped Walks from 6 different Trail Heads to suit all levels of fitness with detailed maps and directions. There are also two long distance way-marked walks - the Slieve Bloom Way and the Offaly Way. Each year we have two walking festivals, a May Bank Holiday Festival and a July Eco Festival. We also have organised walks every weekend. The Annual walking Program can be downloaded here. See Upcoming Walking Events.
In the Slieve Bloom and surrounding areas you will find accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets - from luxurious country houses to rustic self-catering cottages, 4-star hotels to glamorous camping, as well as numerous wonderful B&Bs. Local restaurants and bars provide hearty food and great Guinness, the perfect way to end a day of exploring.
Activity holidays are all the rage and the Slieve Bloom has it all - mountain bike on secluded and challenging roads, horse-ride off the beaten track while enjoying beautiful views, hike in the wilderness, golf on charming courses and take part in excellent course and game fishing, all in the tranquility of the Irish countryside.
Explore a wide range of attractions including our Historical, Geological and Wildlife Heritage. At over 2,300 hectares, the Slieve Bloom Nature Reserve is Ireland's largest state owned nature reserve. It was established in 1985 so that it could be managed in such a way as to ensure the conservation of the mountain blanket bog ecosystem. The Slieve Bloom are also designated a Special Protection Area of special conservation interest for the hen harrier, a rare bird of prey.