Birr Demesne is an excellent place for walking. At least five miles of tracks and walks can be followed with those who have time to explore.
Our map shows 3 trails for those who have less time:
The Blue Trail
Our blue trail, The River Walk, will take you round the lake and through the Arboretum in about an hour. This is the place to see our varied wildlife. You may see kingfishers, and even an otter if you are quiet and at the right time of day. Further down the River Walk two rivers meet: the fast flowing Camcor, which enters the Demesne below the castle walls, meets the slower flowing Little Brosna. You will return through the Formal Gardens.
The Red Trail
Our Red trail of about 30 minutes will take you on a more Scientific route past the Great Telescope and round the Whirlpool Spiral. This spiral of lime trees, Tilia cordata ‘greenspire’, was planted in the shape of the M51 galaxy, the famous spiral nebula that was seen first by the 3rd Earl of Rosse through the great telescope in 1846.
The Black Loop Trail
The Black loop trail takes you into the River Garden where you will see the stunning Magnolia collection in the springtime, and past St Brendan’s well. Saint Brendan the elder is the patron saint of Birr and founded his monastery in this area in the early days of the Church.
We also have also produced a booklet, the Red Tree Trail, which will take those interested in rare trees on a two hour ramble to see the 50 most important trees in the Demesne, from Abies alba to the ‘Birr Zebra’, and many others of note. The present booklet is updated, and labelling is on-going. This link to the original Red Tree Trail will give some idea: