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“History buff with an hour to spare?”

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, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed September 16, 2013 via mobile

The tour is self guided... The exhibitions are very well laid out... I'd no idea the towns history was so violent...

For those not so interested in the history there was interactive sections to the tour to maintain a level of interest... Along with the weapons and uniforms of the ages....

There is a lift in the castle as the exhibitions are over a number of floors...

Thank Sue8686
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
"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
in 36 reviews
in 27 reviews
in 14 reviews

486 - 490 of 615 reviews

Reviewed September 15, 2013

Good hands on information exhibits that contained a very informative history of this town. Had no idea it was quite so battle scarred.

Thank blatpolsham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

This is so well done you should not miss it. It only €8 per adult (€6 senior) but if your staying in the town hotels they give 25% off. It hard to describe all the attractions inside but it is no ordinary stroll around a old castle, it makes history come alive for you. Do not miss the very strange but clever costumes made by the Harry Potter film set designers (really good). Again I say don't miss it!

Thank VALEDIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I didn't go into the exhibit area, but the building and grounds are pretty impressive for this small of a town.

Thank morerainplease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 7, 2013 via mobile

Well worth a visit. Gr8 views from it. Well looked after. Very accessible. Plenty audio commentary to listen to. Gr8 reminder me our past and the importance athlone had and still has as the gateway to the yest

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

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