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“Castle worth a visit”

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre
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: Stairs / elevator, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed April 10, 2013

The castle has been refurbished to an excellent standard. Very informative exhibitions and interactive ones for the children. The 3d room was a bit too scary for the small ones so I can't comment on that but it looked good!

Thank eurotripperIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"athlone castle"
in 103 reviews
"interactive displays"
in 21 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 18 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 45 reviews
"interesting place"
in 7 reviews
"the river"
in 43 reviews
"visitor experience"
in 6 reviews
"interesting history"
in 13 reviews
"great for kids"
in 7 reviews
"really enjoyed our visit"
in 6 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 8 reviews
"all ages"
in 15 reviews
"on display"
in 8 reviews
"friendly staff"
in 11 reviews
"sean's bar"
in 8 reviews
"siege"
in 36 reviews
"costumes"
in 27 reviews
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532 - 536 of 614 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2013

This castle has been open to the public for some time. Very impressive building, which can be viewds individually or by a guided tour. There is so much information available around the castle that it was quite simple to go 'our own way'. The views from the battlements are very impressive overlooking the mighty river shannon. The outside view is equally impressive and stand very proud on the river.
Well worth a visit.

Thank IVORRBUNION
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Delighted to see this open to the Public. Very good, well laid out, very informative and hands on interaction for both Young & Old. The sculptures are fantastic!!
Well worth a visit.

Thank Carol A O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

This Castle has been open to the public since November 2012 most impressive what has been achieved exciting, thrilling, striking illustrations, dramatic soundscapes, and objects set that stage for the bloody siege that is to come. Get to know the key figures from the siege of Athlone. Life like sculptures that tell their own story. Excellent display of Athlone's indigenous industries. We choose to have a guided tour as we had a number of senior citizens who preferred this to exlporing and engaging for themselves. For those who wish to engage and explore it is a fantastic opportunity. I must compliment our guide who was a very confident, knowledgeable young lady from Poland who really knew her history she was excellent. Contact tel. no. +353 (0) 90 64 42130.

Thank smiler073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 20, 2013

There were wonderful views over the river from the top of the castle. The staff working at the castle were very helpful and friendly.

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

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