Things to do in Co.Laois and beyond!
Oughaval woods means the wood of the new settlement. The woodland is set out over 150 hectares at the top of The Valley. The destination provides a great walking and running trail through the woodland and is part of the National Heritage Area in Ireland. There were masses conducted here in secret during the penal time and a stone cross was erected in 195. An alter and seating were also erected here to mark the beginning of the millennium.
Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building. It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape.
Laois Pumpkin Patch
Come explore laois’s very own pumpkin patch!
During the day there are lots of family fun actives… and if you just want to take a insta worthy pumpkin patch photo and buy a pumpkin you can do so! #laoispumpkinpatch
Ps. All the proceeds go to raise funds for the local sports enterprise.
Stradbally Steam Museum
The steam museum celebrates the steam industry and engines that once ruled Ireland’s railways, built Irish roads and work the the Irish farms for many years.
Inside the museum, visitors can see a variety of steam-driven engines including the collection of the mann steam cart which was built in 1918.
Engines made here were hauling raw materials around a track inside the Dublin Guinness Brewery.
It took barrels of stout to the warf on the Liffey, where they were put in boats and taken throughout the world.
Tours available by appointment please contact 086-3890184
Electric Picnic music festival returns to stradbally as the biggest music festival on the country. Electric picnic differs from other festivals in Ireland in that the music choice is more electric than the others mainstream events (it’s history includes international acts such as Kraftwerk, Lilly Allen, Hosier, Florence The Machine, Years & Years, Jess Glynne and manny more).
Abbeyleix Bog Walks
The Collins Bog and Killamuck Bog Loops are two waymarked looped walks centered on Abbeyleix Bog at the southern end of the Heritage Town of Abbeyleix.
These beautiful loops take walkers through woodland and forestry paths before diverting into Abbeyleix Bog.
At 4.5 km, the Collin’s Bog is the shorter of the 2 looped walk options. Continue on the Killamuck Bog Loop and complete the full 8K.
Nothing outside the garden gate suggests the extent or beauty of Gash Gardens. Once inside you are greeted by an amazing oasis packed with interesting and unusual plants to lure and inspire both the keen plants person and the garden novice. Colourful herbaceous borders, a large rock garden and a well established collection of trees, shrubs, rhododendrons and deliciously perfumed old style roses combine to present a succession of colour through all the seasons. Visitors can sit inside a small rocky cavern known as the Moon House and watch gushing water cascade from above or enjoy the soothing ambience of still ponds and meandering streams.
Dunamace Arts Centre & Theater
Dunamace Center hosts an array of Theater Shows, Films, Musicals, Dance Performances, music Performances and Visual Arts of Ireland. The arts centre a culture and community hub for Laois and it’s the new Home to Laois tourism’s offices.
Ballykilkaven Craft Brewery
Ballykilkaven brewery is one of Ireland’s leading craft breweries and it’s only a few minutes drive from our doorstep.
The brewery hosts private bespoke tours and tastings exclusively for our guests.
100% of the barley used to make the beer is sourced on their own farm.
Newgrange is a 5,200 year old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Newgrange was built by Stone Age farmers, the mound is 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high, an area of about 1 acre.
A passage measuring 19m (62ft) leads into a chamber with 3 alcoves. The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun on the mornings around the Winter Solstice.
Barrowline Cruises Vicarstown.
The award-winning family-run narrow boat & barge hire is based on The Grand Canal at Vicarstown, Co. Laois. There equipped base is ideally located to allow you explore the rillest extent of both The Grand Canal and the river narrow. These waterways provide two totally different cruise experiences..
The Grand Canal Main line at lowtown links you to travel towards Dublin city or go west and travel to the Shannon region and beyond.
Laois Angling Club
Laois Angling Center combines the peace and tranquillity of the Irish countryside with the exceptional game and coarse fishing. The four large spring fed lakes, surrounded by mature woodlands. The lakes are stocked regularly with brown and rainbow trout, carp and bream ensuring a varied and interesting experience. You can rent all your fishing regalia’on site too!
The modem facilities include a large parking area, wheelchair access, tackle hire and light refreshments with picnic and barbecue areas ideal for famili& and Groups. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the Laois Angling Center , provides the complete fishing experience.
The Irish Fly fishfeg And Gaining Museum
The Irish Fly Fishing and Game Shooting Museum explores 300 years of hunting and fishing in Ireland. It is a treat for anyone interested in learning about country Ufe. The museum was founded in 1986 by Walter Phelaii, who comes from a family devoted to fishing. He has restored and adapted a traditional farmhouse to house a collection of vintage rods, reels, guns, tackle, tools and specimens of birds and fish.
The Irish Grand Canal
The Irish Grand Canal is the most Southern of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west, via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin’s inner city. The canal can be walked, cycled and kayaked. The last working cargo barge passed through the Grand Canal in 1960. In Laois we claim to have the most abundant stocks along with the market town of Athy Unc of the canal running through Rathangan, Monasterevin, Vicarstown and the market town of Athy before it joins the River Barrow.
Abbeyleix Heritage Town
Beginning at the Heritage house on the northern end of the town, passing by the Sensory gardens of Dove House and entering the square dominated by the magnificently restored Market House( now the local library), the visitor can enjoy and appreciate our town. While the building of the M8 removed the majority of heavy-duty vehicles go through the town, it Is a great place to shop for the passing motorist or the tourist who might like to linger in our beautiful town. It is a planned estate town built circa 1770 on the instigation of local landlord Viscount De Vesci.
The Cliffs Of Moher
You simply cannot travel to Ireland without paying a visit to Ireland’s top tourist attraction, the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, situated in County Clare along the wild Atlantic Way. The Cliffs of Moher have majestically faced the Atlantic for over 350 million years and their beauty is incomparable – it is Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction and when you visit you will understand why.
Ballintubbert House and Gardens
Dates back to 1780, Batluitubbert was the birthplace of poet laureate C. Daniel Day-Lewis . This historic house with breathtaking gardens is available to you for exclusive hire. You can take total advantage and walk the fourteen archers of exquisite gardens. This location is very popular for wedding and film shooting. The Footsbarn theatre group and the Band The Frames are some of the well-known artists who have performed here.
Known as “the Italian gardens” they are the only Irish example of Lutyens work outside of Dublin. The gardens were completed in 1912. They consist of formal garden lakes, woodland and architectural features, such as gothic gates and artificial ruins, embellished with medieval pieces such as the window taken from Aghaboe Abbey.
The gardens in Heywood remained as structurally intact as they were when they were completed at the turn of the century. The gardens host a number of events throughout the year and are been featured in gardening magazines and publications and are now open to the public to explore.
The Slieve Bloom Mountain Range
The gently rolling hills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains rise from the central plains of Ireland. The area is made up of forests and a blanket bog unique to Ireland, interspersed with hidden valleys of great character and interest to the nature lover.
The mountains also provide a paradise for walkers, bikers and Hikers of all level and have a designated mountain bike track(Bloom E Riders)
Stradbally Hall was Built-in 1772, the Cosby ancestral home is located on 550 acres of rolling woodland, streams and countryside surrounded by ancient oak and chestnut trees.
The property is home to the Electric Picnic Music Festival, The National Steam Rally, weddings, jumping leagues, point to points, hunter trials and many more boutique experiences throughout year.
Ballinakill Heated Outdoor Swimming Pool.
The pool is a 35 metre heated pool and has a 10-metre toddler Pool.
The pool is open to the public during the summer seasons.
The pool accommodates family Swims, lane Swimmers, Aqua Acrohics and much more.
Laois off road Karting/ Doonboogies
The centre offers road kart/Doonboogie racing, laser clay pigeon shooting and argocat rides. You can get down and dirty on the dirt and grass tracks. They also have laser clay pigeon shooting suitable for all ages. The argocat rides are especially suited for children and have their own racecourse.
An Caoc Ban Farm
A Cnoc Ban is an organic Working farm in Spink, Co. Laois that run a range of seasonal activities camps and workshops for kids who want to learn about our culture, traditional skills and rural way of life. They want to nurture the awareness of and respect for the natural environment through our interactive approach to learning. The farm takes tours and activities throughout the year.
The Rock/Castle of Dunmase
The Rock of Dunmascis a stunning medieval ruin perched on a rocky outcrop a few miles east Portlaoise, Co Laois. Overlooking the surrounding landscape the ruinous castle was once a formidable fortress. Standing atop a steep rock it is protected on three sides by cliffs while the only accessible side was protected by a double barbican, two gatehouses, and numerous defences.
The site is now part of the story of Ireland’s Ancient East and is a wonderful tourist attraction.
The Rock Dunamase was originally built in the 12th century the castle may well have been abandoned by the mid 14th century during the Gaelic revival which saw large swathes of the country reconquered by Gaelic Irish lords. Dunamase survived somewhat intact up until the arrival of Cromwellian troops in 1650.
Then a ruin it was rendered unusable after being battered to pieces by cannons.
Dunmore country cookery school.
Dunmore cookery school is one of the renowned Irish cookery schools. The school grows the natural cooking ingredients and teaches you how to cook in simple terms and at an intermediate level.
Fossey Mountain Springs
Fossey Mountain Sprmgsjs a Western Horse Riding Ranch located in the beautifully scenic area of Timahoc. The ranch takes all levels of riders for lessons and woodland tracks.
An eighteen-century mansion with landscaped gardens and superior architecture and history.
Emo Court was designed by the architect James GandonIn 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington.
The building is a magnificent example of the Neo-Classical style. The house and gardens were taken into State ownership in 1994 and restored in 2019 and are now open to the public for historic tours and nature walks. The court has a beautiful cafe and craft area too.
The River Barrow
It is one of The Three Sisters the other two being the River Suir and the River Nore. The Barrow is the longest of the three rivers. At 192 km, it is the second-longest river in Ireland, behind the River Shannon. The Grand Canal is also close by where you can go fishing also and kayaking if you please.
Stradbally Art House
The official opening of The Arthouse Studios and Library was in May 2011. The opening was performed by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The development, costing in excess of €1.2million. The gallery showcases: drawing, painting and sculptural works in contemporary and traditional mediums.
Visiting children are invited to complete arts worksheets to broaden their imaginations.
The Heath Golf Club
The course is often described as an “inland Unks”, as it is laid out on open heathland with some natural lakes and furze featuring many holes; it is ablaze mod yellow from early Spring onwards. Due to the course’s exceptionally good drainage, it is possible to golf all year round.
The course has a 10 bay driving range, lakeside putting green and two practice area near the clubhouse.
The Heritage Killanard
A 72 par championship golf course designed by Seve Ballesteros and Jeff Howe’s. There are five lakes and a stream that runs through the course along with 98 beautifully positioned bunkers and many gently sloping greens.
The K Club Golf Resort.
The course was designed by Arnold Palmer, ThePalmer Ryder Cup course is ranked regularly in the top 3 parkland golf courses in Ireland. This Palmer-designed golf haven is a must-play badge of honor that has hosted the top golf players in the world.
The Ryder Cup in 2006 and 11 European Open.
Mount Juliet Estate.
The beautiful and challenging Mount Juliet golf course has established itself as a premier golfing venue for professionals and leisure golfers worldwide. Chosen as the first and only Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Ireland. The par 72,7300-yard layout boasts rolling fairways, many featuring water hazards and Contoured greens, all superbly blended into the spectacular setting of this famous old Irish estate.
Birr Castle Demesne
This is a glorious centre of science and horticulture.
The gardens at Birr Castle are set in a landscape of 50 hectares and contain some of the largest and rarest tree species found in Ireland. The gardens have a rich history attached to them. They were originally landscaped around the lake in the eighteenth century by Sir William Parsons, and over the generations of the parson family, the Demesne has increased in beauty and interest. The Demesne is also home to Ireland’s Historic Science Centre, where visitors may travel back to when Bin- Castle was a hub of scientific discovery and innovation
National Stud & Japanese Gardens
Nowhere better symbolizes aU that is great about Ireland, the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry. A unique attraction of outstanding natural beauty that is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world. The Japanese Gardens renounced throughout the world and the finest of their kind in Europe. From horses to horticulture, the Irish National Stud ft Japanese Gardens offers you a unique experience perfect for a family or friends day out.
Kildare Village Shopping Outlet
For a great day out, nestled within landscaped grounds. Kildare Village Outlet Shopping is label heaven. The village is a designer shopping village open all year-round and boasts an exclusive selection of over 50 international brands.
The Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre showcases quality Irish silver jewellery and accessories and a museum of style icons. Enjoy a personalised tour of the centre and a personal shopper to help you choose a perfect piece of Irish silver.
They also have a museum of the history of silverware in Ireland.
The Irish capital offers wonderful selection facilities to do whether it is visiting the Grafton Quarter (Shopping High Street), The Georgian Center, Dublin Castle, The National zoo, A Host of Galleries and museums or take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery, Irish famine Museum, Book Of kells, River Cruises, Fine dining, pub crawling. Cliff walls, Molly MaloneStatue and lots more!
Galway city is the European Capital of Culture 2020.
Galway, a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, sits where the River Comb meets the Atlantic Ocean. The cities hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls.
Kilkenny is known as Irelands finest medieval city. The past echoes m every footstep as you walk through the medieval city of Kilkenny. Explore its ancient laneways, wonder at the majestic halls of Kilkenny Castle or experience the glory of the13th century St Canice’s Cathedral. Once you have finished sightseeing browse the famous craft gallery opposite the castle or enjoy lunch in one of Kilkenny’s many restaurants.
The Guinness Storehouse.
Go to The Guinness Storehouse to experience the history, heart, and soul of Ireland’s most iconic beer. Explore the story of Guinness before taking in the views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar while enjoying the perfectly poured, perfectly chilled pint of Guinness included in your ticket.
The Book Of Kells.
Step inside the Treasury to see the precious 9th century manuscript, one of the world’s finest living examples of Medieval art. Witness the book’s exquisite colours, intricate illuminations and ornate Latin text, all created by hand.
The Book of Kell’s contains the four Gospels in Latin based on the Vulgate text which St Jerome completed in 384AD, intermixed with readings from the earlier Old Latin translation. The Gospel texts are prefaced by other texts, including “canon tables”, or concordances of Gospel passages common to two or more of the evangelists; summaries of the gospel narratives and prefaces characterizing the evangelists.