THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Beautifully reminiscent of an English country town with its tree-lined malls and well-preserved houses, the heritage town of Birr has roots that date to the 6th century. Still, the mid-18th-century Georgian building boom sets the tone. Birr Castle is the pièce de résistance and an ideal place to while away a morning on a guided tour or spend the afternoon in an idyllic setting. For those who enjoy a
riparian ramble, the Camcor River Walk opened in 2012, complementing the Active Age Park. Birr is also noted for its variety of festivals throughout the year, including the longest-running hot-air balloon championships in the world, held at the end of September.
One of the most elegant small towns in Ireland, Abbeyleix has retained its Georgian feel and its broad main street, which is lined with well...