Great News! Some OPW Heritage Sites are Now Free to Visit

Jill Holtz

July 25, 2020

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If you are looking for free places to take the kids this summer, then from Monday 27th July, some OPW heritage sites are now free to visit! It’s a great opportunity to see some fantastic places around Ireland, so check out the list below and add them to your planning for fun days out.

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Patrick O’Donovan Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works announced that admission charges to certain OPW Heritage sites are being waived as part of the Government’s July Stimulus Plan in an effort to encourage domestic tourism and support the tourism economy.

The measure will take effect from Monday 27th July and will remain in force until the end of the year.

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OPW Heritage Ireland Sites Now Free to Visit

The OPW manages 70 visitor sites around the country including some of the most iconic historic locations like the Rock of Cashel, Dún Aonghasa – OPW Heritage Site and Castletown House & Parklands.

A small number of the busiest sites will not be offered with free admission as there are concerns that they might be overwhelmed with large numbers of visitors and create a significant Covid-19 risk.

Which OPW Sites are Free to Visit

Trim Castle Meath photo by Tony Pleavin Tourism Ireland

Image: Tony Pleavin Tourism Ireland

These sites will be free admission until 31st December 2020.

  • Battle of the Boyne / Oldbridge Estate, Meath
  • Blasket Centre, Kerry
  • Carrowmore, Sligo. No access to Visitor Centre
  • Castletown House & Parklands, Kildare. Limits to numbers in house may be applied to avoid overcrowding
  • Céide Fields, Mayo
  • Charles Fort, Cork. No access to internal spaces.
  • Corlea Trackway, Longford
  • Desmond Castle, Limerick. No access to space above Banquet Hall
  • Dún Aonghasa, Galway
  • Emo Estate, Laois. Emo House is currently closed.
  • Fota Arboretum & Gardens, Cork
  • Glebe Gallery, Donegal. Glebe House is currently closed.
  • Glendalough Monastic site, Wicklow. No access to Visitor Centre.
  • Hill of Tara site, Meath. No access to Visitor Centre.
  • JFK Arboretum, Wexford. No access to Visitor Centre
  • Jerpoint Abbey, Kilkenny. No access to Visitor Centre
  • Kells Priory, Meath.
  • Kilmacurragh National Botanic Gardens, Wicklow
  • Loughcrew, Meath. Chamber closed for works
    National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
  • Newmills Corn & Flax Mill, Dublin
  • Old Mellifont Abbey, Louth. No access to Visitor Centre
  • Ormond Castle, Tipperary
  • Pearse Museum, Dublin
  • Pearse Cottage, Galway. Restricted access to Cottage
  • Phoenix Park, Dublin
  • Portumna Castle, Galway. Castle interior is closed.
  • Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
  • Roscrea Heritage grounds, Tipperary. House and Castle closed.
  • Scattery Island, Clare
  • Trim Castle, Meath. Grounds are open but the Castle Keep is closed.

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OPW Sites with Admission Charges Either Open or Due to Open Shortly

Kilkenny Castle

Photo by Roselinde Bon for Failte Ireland

These OPW sites are open or due to re‐open shortly to visitors but with full, or reduced admission charges.

  • Brú na Bóinne Newgrange & Knowth, Meath: full price admission
  • Clonmacnoise, Offaly: half price admission
  • Derrynane House, Kerry: full price admission.
  • Doneraile Estate, Cork: full price admission.
  • Dublin Castle: full price admission.
  • Farmleigh Estate House, Dublin: House closed; charge for Guided tour of grounds.
  • Garinish Island, Cork: half price admission.
  • Kilkenny Castle: full price admission.
  • Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin: full price admission.
  • Rock of Cashel, Tipperary: half price admission.

OPW Sites Still Closed

These OPW heritage sites are currently closed, they will be periodically reviewed in the light of emerging circumstances and as Covid measures are installed.

  • Ardfert Cathedral, Kerry
  • Athenry Castle, Galway: will be free to visit when grounds reopen
  • Ballyhack Castle, Wexford
  • Boyle Abbey, Roscommon: closed for works
  • Cahir Castle, Tipperary: closed pending film production decision on return.
  • Casino Marino, Dublin: closed for works.
  • Donegal Castle: closed for works.
  • Dungarvan Castle, Waterford
  • Dunmore Cave, Kilkenny
  • Emo House, Laois. Grounds open, see above.
  • Ennis Friary, Clare
  • Famine Warhouse, Tipperary
  • Farmleigh House, Dublin. Grounds open.
  • Ferns Castle, Wexford
  • Glebe House, Donegal. Glebe Gallery open, see above.
  • Glendalough Visitor Centre, Wicklow. Monastic site open, see above.
  • Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Meath. Hill of Tara open, see above.
  • Listowel Castle, Kerry
  • Maynooth Castle, Kildare
  • Parkes Castle, Roscommon
  • The Mainguard, Tipperary

The full list of the OPW sites and their charging regimes is available to view online.

Have your say! Will you plan to visit any of these OPW sites now that they are free? Tell us in the comments below. 

Great News! Some OPW Heritage Sites are Now Free to Visit

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!

Published On: July 25th, 2020 / Categories: Ireland, Travel / Last Updated: March 29th, 2021 / Tags: , , /

About the Author: Jill Holtz

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls

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