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“Good value, interesting and fun for family”

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre & Museum
Ranked #2 of 26 things to do in Athlone
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is situated in the heart of the Midlands, on the west bank of the river Shannon adjacent to St Peter and Pauls Church and the Luan Gallery. It was reopened in November 2012 following extensive renovations. The 13th century Norman castle now boasts 8 new exhibition spaces that tell the story of the castle, Athlone town, its people and the surrounding area. The spaces have been designed to be very interactive visitor's are encouraged to get hands on and engage with the rooms as they move through them. First built in the 12th century as a timber fort, Athlone Castle evolved into a bold, defensive building. Its most significant architectural features, such as the keep, have now been harnessed to act as a dramatic backdrop to its diverse and fascinating story. The newly designed exhibition spaces pursue both a chronological and thematic sequence combining hands-on and fun experiences such as games and dress-up activities. Learn about the rich history of Athlone from pre-historic settlement right through to the modern town. Athlone was the setting for many battles down through the centuries. The most famous is the siege of Athlone in 1690 and 1691. The story of the siege and the fighting that was ongoing is brought to life at Athlone Castle through illustrations by renowned illustrator Victor Ambrus. During a spectacular 360 degree audio visual presentation, a re-enactment of the siege of Athlone is experienced. Bold sculptural forms help to convey human figures and historical milestones. 3D maps, audio-visual installations and original artifacts combine to bring the stories and characters of Athlone to life. The newest addition to the visitor centre is the display dedicated to the memory of Athlone's famous son, John Count McCormack. Here the world-renowned tenor is honored with artefacts from both his social life and musical career. At Athlone Castle you can sit down and enjoy some refreshments in the cafe area located in the reception. There is seating for 16 with extra seating outside. Visitors can also avail of audio-guides in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. The Failte Ireland tourist office is also located in the castle courtyard. Take the opportunity to visit our sister property Luan Gallery, located just across the road. It is a modern art gallery that showcases local and national artists in a modern impressive gallery overlooking the river Shannon. Athlone hosts a number of fairs and festivals throughout the year that offer fun-filled activities for all. If you are looking for somewhere central to travel with a lot to offer, from museums and galleries to shopping, then come to Athlone, the heart of the Midlands. This renovated tourist attraction is the perfect stop off point in the heart of the Lakeland's Region of Ireland enroute to the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way and along the exciting and culturally interesting route of Ireland's Ancient East. Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is waiting for you to explore, engage and enjoy!
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Liked the interactive presentations. The kids loved the 'games' which tested their knowledge and were not bored at any stage. The costumes were very impressive.

Thank fourinfamilyLimerick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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534 - 538 of 603 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2013

Newly reopened Athlone Castle is well worth a visit. It is well laid out with facts and information presented clearly, precisely, accurately and in a variety of ways that will interest all ages.

Thank Mungret291
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Just reopened, nice little history of Athlone and nice little coffee shop. worth a visit. friendly staff and nice views of the town

Thank anniek_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

We enjoyed walking around the exterior and exploring the newly renovated castle before we entered and paid for the ability to walk the interior. I was personally more interested in the older parts of the castle than the fancy media-filled interior.
The museum inside was interesting, only took about an hour to really tour it. There were interactive things to do which my husband enjoyed as much as any of our kids would have. The costume arts was amazing. The history of the castle was interesting and informative. We enjoyed it very much.

1  Thank VacationJunky4445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Really does not have much or something special which can make it standing apart. 8 euro attraction fee is pretty high compared to the contents of the gallery. Inside is well renovated. Almost all old walls are maintained. After the year long renovation, visited at the opening week and was not a bad one hour. There are 6 total gallery inside, which will showcase local and Ireland history with some collection of artifacts - but all of them does not make much of a good impression as above average, otherwise okay...

Thank apim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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