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Laois - 17 Attractions You Must Visit

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About Laois

County Laois is a county in Ireland. It is located in the south of the Midlands Region and in the province of Leinster. It was known as Queen's County from 1556 to 1922.It is the seventh largest of Leinster's 12 counties in size and tenth largest in population. The county is landlocked and, uniquely, does not border any other county which touches the coast. This is known as being doubly landlocked.

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Attractions in Laois

Aghaboe Abbey
Aghaboe AbbeyFriarsland, Aghaboe, Co. Laois, Ireland
Old Ruins

The Abbey of Aghaboe is one of the most important of the abbeys and priories in County Laois. It was founded in the kingdom of Osraige by St. Canice in the 6th century. The abbey grew into a major centre of learning, commerce and agriculture. Among the monks from the abbey was St. Virgilius, a noted geometer and astronomer who was abbot before he left Ireland and built the cathedral at Salzburg in Austria in the 8th century.

ArderinArderin, Glenamoon, Co. Laois, Ireland
1 Day Treks
Mountain Peaks

Arderin is a mountain on the border of County Offaly and County Laois. It is the highest mountain in the Slieve Bloom mountains. The mountain is only Irelands 399 highest point and sits at an altitude of 527m.

Ballyadams Castle
Ballyadams CastleBallyadams, Co. Laois, Ireland
Iconic Buildings
Old Ruins

One of the most hidden of castles that dot the landscape of Ireland, right close to my aunt's house in Ballyadams, and seat to The O'Mores. According to Keating, the O'Mores have St. Fintan as their protector. Of thirteen families of Moore recorded in Burke's Landed Gentry.

Barrow Way
Barrow WayBarrow Way, Spa St, Droughill, Portarlington, Co. Laois, Ireland
Outdoors- Other
1 Day Treks
Mountain Peaks

The Barrow Way is a 114km long distance walking trail along the River Barrow in the South East of Ireland. It rises in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the southern midlands, and flows to join its two ‘sisters’, the Nore and the Suir, before flowing into the Celtic Sea at Waterford Harbour. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Waterways Ireland.

Brittas Lake
Brittas LakeBrittas, River View, Co. Laois, Ireland
Lake/ River/ Ponds

Brittas Lake, is located in a Coillte forest setting in the grounds of the Old Dunne Estate at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. This beautiful 5 acre lake is now fully restored and access to the lake is gained from the Brittas Road via the Coillte forest road.

Cullahill Castle
Cullahill CastleGalesquarter, Co. Laois, Ireland
Iconic Buildings
Old Ruins

Cullahill Castle was the principal stronghold of the MacGillapatricks of Upper Ossory built around 1425 and destroyed around 1650. Cullahill Castle takes its name from an ancient forest that covered Cullahill Mountain and extended down to Cullahill village. It was constructed around 1425 by the MacGillapatricks of Upper Ossory, Finghin MacGillapatrick being the possible builder.

Emo Court House
Emo Court HouseEmo, Portarlington, Co. Laois, Ireland
Iconic Buildings
Old Ruins

Emo Court is a quintessential neo-classical mansion, set in the midst of the ancient Slieve Bloom Mountains. Designed by noted architect James Gandon, it features magnificent gardens and is located just 2.5 km from Emo village and 7 km from Portarlington Railway Station. Architectural features of the building include sash-style windows, pavilions, a balustrade, a hipped roof, and large dome. It is one of the few houses to have been designed by Gandon.

Heywood Gardens (Lutyens)
Heywood Gardens (Lutyens)Cappanashannagh, Ballinakill, Co. Laois, Ireland
Old Ruins
Botanical Gardens

A walled garden by Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, completed in 1912. There is an elliptical garden with a central oval pool and so more.The gardens are composed of elements linked by a terrace that originally ran along the front of the house. One of the site’s most unusual featureas is a sunken garden containing an elongated pool, at whose centre stands a grand fountain.

Leinster Blackwater
Leinster BlackwaterLeinster Blackwater, Ballygauge Beg, Co. Laois, Ireland
Lake/ River/ Ponds

This is a river that flows through the counties of Cavan and Meath in Ireland. It is a tributary of the River Boyne which flows into the Irish Sea at Drogheda. It has its source in the south of County Cavan, near the town of Bailieborough. It flows through Lough Ramor at Virginia, County Cavan, past Kells, County Meath, before joining the River Boyne in Navan, County Meath.

Oughaval Woods
Oughaval WoodsUnnamed Road, Oughaval, Co. Laois, Ireland

Oughaval Wood, about 1.5 kilometres out of Stradbally on the Carlow road, is a mixed woodland of some one hundred and fifty hectares of broadleaved trees, with more than twenty kilometres of paths to walk. It forms part of the Natural Heritage Area (NHA) of Stradbally Hill. The wood was once part of the Cosby Estate. Evidence of this is apparent in the form of old estate stone walls that run through the property and a folly called Cobbler’s Castle.

Poet's Cottage
Poet's CottagePoet's Cottage, Camross, Co. Laois, Ireland
Iconic Buildings
Old Ruins

Poet's Cottage is located in the picturesque village of Camross, County Laois. It is named after Patrick Ryan, a poet who lived in Camross between 1750 and 1825. He wrote about the natural beauty and the people of this community. This is a replica thatched cottage that gives visitors a sense of what daily life must have been like for most people in rural Ireland in the 1800s.

River Dinan
River DinanRiver Dinan, Gortahile, Co. Laois, Ireland
Lake/ River/ Ponds

The River Dinan, is a river in Ireland, flowing through County Kilkenny and County Laois. It rises in the southeast corner of County Laois, flowing westwards under the N78 at Ormond Bridge. It is also home to many white trout, as recorded by Tim Pat Coogan in his memoir.

Rock of Dunamase
Rock of DunamaseAghnahily, Dunamaise, Co. Laois, Ireland
Old Ruins

The Rock of Dunamase is an imposing and magnificent example of a Celtic fortification overlooking the valley of the O’Moores. Its Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside make the towering Rock of Dunamase a place of strategic importance. The rock, 46 metres above a flat plain, has the ruins of Dunamase Castle, a defensive stronghold dating from the early Hiberno-Norman period with a view across to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

Slieve Bloom Mountains
Slieve Bloom MountainsSlieve Bloom Mountains, Glendine, Co. Laois, Ireland
1 Day Treks
Mountain Peaks

The Slieve Bloom Mountains is a mountain range in Ireland. They rise from the central plain of Ireland to a height of 527 metres. While not very high, they are extensive by local standards. The terrain is too steep for farming so the slopes are forested with commercial conifers, with lanes for truck access that are firm going but with views closed in by the trees. The tops are open heath and bog.

Slieve Bloom way
Slieve Bloom waySlieve Bloom Mountains, Forelacka, Kinnitty, Co. Offaly, Ireland
Outdoors- Other
1 Day Treks

The Slieve Bloom Way is a long-distance trail around the Slieve Bloom Mountains in Ireland. It is an 70-kilometre long circular route that can be accessed from any of the trailheads at Glenbarrow near the village of Rosenallis, County Laois.Cadamstown, County Offaly Kinnitty, County Offaly.It is typically completed in three days. The route was developed as part of the designation of the Slieve Bloom area as a European Environment Park in the European Year of the Environment.

Stradbally Hall
Stradbally HallStradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland
Iconic Buildings
Old Ruins

A majestic building which dates from the middle of the 19th century. It is an enlargement in classical style of a Georgian House, which had been built in 1772 to replace a yet older residence. It is an enlargement in classical style of a Georgian House, which had been built in 1772 to replace a yet older residence.

Stradbally Woodland Railway
Stradbally Woodland RailwayStradbally Hall, Stradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland
Man-made Structures- Other
Old Ruins

This is Ireland's oldest volunteer-run heritage railway.This narrow gauge railway is the oldest established heritage railway in Ireland. They operate predominantly steam and occasionally diesel hauled trains on a 1km line through the forest on the Stradbally Hall estate. The line is open to the public on all Bank Holiday week-end Sundays and Mondays from Easter to October and on selected other days in connection with other local events.

Map of attractions in Laois