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Discover the Untouched Beauty of County Laois: A Treasure in Ireland’s Heartland

County Laois, adorned with the vibrant green, pristine white, and radiant gold of special shamrocks, welcomes visitors to its enchanting landscapes and rich tapestry of history and culture. In collaboration with BestIrelandGuide.com and Booking.com, we are thrilled to offer a diverse selection of accommodation options, from cozy country inns to luxurious hotels, ensuring your stay in Laois is as memorable as the county’s scenic beauty.

🍀 Things To Do in Laois 🍀

Nestled in the heart of Ireland, Laois offers a serene escape with its rolling hills, peaceful waterways, and verdant woodlands. Discover the magic of the Slieve Bloom Mountains through numerous walking and cycling trails, delve into the county’s rich history at Emo Court and Gardens, or explore the medieval charm of Rock of Dunamase. Laois is a haven for those seeking tranquility and a touch of adventure amidst Ireland’s unspoiled interior.

🍀 Top Tourist Attractions in Laois 🍀

  • Rock of Dunamase: Spectacular ruins of a hilltop castle offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Emo Court and Gardens: A magnificent neo-classical mansion set within beautifully landscaped gardens.
  • Slieve Bloom Mountains: Offers endless outdoor activities with its vast network of trails amidst picturesque landscapes.
  • Abbeyleix Heritage Town: Discover the architectural beauty and historical depth of one of Laois’s most charming towns. 
 

PORTLAOISE

Portlaoise, Co Laois, the vibrant heart of Ireland’s Midlands, is a dynamic and welcoming town that combines a rich historical tapestry with the charm of modern living. Serving as both the administrative center of County Laois and a gateway to the unspoiled landscapes of the region, Portlaoise offers visitors a unique blend of cultural heritage, leisure activities, and picturesque natural surroundings, making it an ideal destination for those looking to explore the hidden gems of the Midlands.

Hotels:

  • The Killeshin Hotel: Situated on the edge of Portlaoise town, this contemporary hotel offers guests stylish accommodations, a leisure center with a pool, and a relaxing spa, alongside a modern dining experience.
  • The Midlands Park Hotel: Located in the heart of Portlaoise, providing luxurious accommodations with excellent leisure facilities including a spa, pool, and gym, plus multiple dining options to cater to all tastes.

Things To Do:

  • Portlaoise Town Walks: Discover the town’s rich heritage with a leisurely stroll through its streets, where historical buildings and modern architecture blend seamlessly.
  • Rock of Dunamase: Explore the ancient ruins of this dramatic Celtic fortress, perched on a rocky outcrop, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Places To Go:

  • Emo Court and Gardens: A magnificent Georgian estate just a short drive from Portlaoise, featuring beautifully restored interiors and expansive landscaped gardens ideal for leisurely walks.
  • Laois Shopping Centre: For those looking for retail therapy, the shopping center provides a wide range of stores, cafes, and a cinema, ensuring entertainment for the whole family.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Portlaoise Golf Club: A challenging 18-hole course set in the serene beauty of the Midlands, offering a welcoming atmosphere for golfers of all levels.

Restaurants:

  • Seasons: Located within The Midlands Park Hotel, Seasons offers a sophisticated dining experience with dishes crafted from the finest local ingredients.
  • Kelly’s Steakhouse: At The Killeshin Hotel, this restaurant is renowned for its quality steaks and inviting ambiance, making it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.

Session Pubs:

  • Kavanagh’s Pub & Venue: Known for its live music and vibrant atmosphere, Kavanagh’s is a staple of Portlaoise’s nightlife, hosting both local talent and international acts.
  • The Hare & Hound: Offering a cozy, traditional pub experience with a modern twist, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a pint and some hearty Irish cuisine.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Zenn Beauty Salon: Offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of town life, Zenn provides a range of treatments to pamper and rejuvenate.
  • Tranquility Spa at The Midlands Park Hotel: Indulge in luxury spa treatments designed to soothe and relax, from massages to beauty therapies.

Other Important Information:

  • Portlaoise Farmers Market: Takes place every Friday, offering a fantastic selection of local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, perfect for experiencing the community’s vibrant local culture.
  • Peoples Park: A beautifully landscaped park in the center of Portlaoise, featuring a playground, walking paths, and a peaceful environment for a leisurely day out.

Summary: Portlaoise, Co Laois, is a dynamic and engaging destination that provides a perfect blend of historical exploration, cultural enrichment, and contemporary leisure. From the ancient ruins of the Rock of Dunamase to the tranquil beauty of Emo Court, alongside vibrant dining and entertainment options, Portlaoise offers a rich and varied experience for all who visit. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of Ireland’s past, seeking outdoor adventures, or simply wish to enjoy the comforts of modern amenities, Portlaoise is an ideal base for exploring the Midlands and beyond. Accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to cozy B&Bs ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay, inviting visitors to discover the charm and warmth of this unique Irish town

ABBEYLEIX

Abbeyleix, Co Laois, nestled in the heart of Ireland’s Midlands, is a historic and picturesque town that captivates visitors with its blend of cultural heritage, architectural elegance, and natural beauty. Established in the 18th century by Viscount de Vesci, this charming town is a testament to careful planning and Georgian design, making it a unique destination for those seeking a blend of tranquility, history, and scenic landscapes. Abbeyleix serves as a gateway to explore the rich tapestry of County Laois and the serene countryside that surrounds it.

Hotels:

  • The Abbeyleix Manor Hotel: Offering comfortable accommodations with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, this hotel is perfectly situated for exploring the town and the wider area of County Laois, featuring a restaurant and bar.
  • Preston House: A luxurious Georgian country house set in beautiful gardens, Preston House provides a tranquil retreat with exquisite dining, combining historical charm with modern comfort.

Things To Do:

  • Abbeyleix Heritage House: Visit this beautifully restored former North Boys School, which now serves as a museum showcasing the town’s history, from its founding to the present day.
  • Abbeyleix Bog Project: Explore the natural beauty of Abbeyleix Bog on a guided walk, a significant conservation area offering unique flora, fauna, and walking trails.

Places To Go:

  • Abbeyleix Estate Gardens: Wander through the historic estate gardens, which feature a diverse collection of plants and trees, along with beautifully landscaped areas designed during the town’s early development.
  • Sexton’s House: Discover this fascinating example of a 19th-century public house and grocery, which has been preserved to give insights into the daily life of the past.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Abbeyleix Golf Club: Enjoy a round of golf on this challenging and well-maintained 18-hole course that offers golfers beautiful views and varied play.

Restaurants:

  • McEvoy’s Steak & Wine Bar: Known for its cozy atmosphere and delicious cuisine, this restaurant offers the best of local produce in a relaxed setting.
  • Morrissey’s Pub: A landmark in Abbeyleix, Morrissey’s is not only a pub but a fine eatery, offering traditional Irish cuisine with a contemporary twist.

Session Pubs:

  • The Abbeyleix Arms: Enjoy the lively atmosphere of this traditional pub, which regularly hosts music sessions and offers a warm welcome to both locals and visitors.
  • CJ Sheeran’s: A great spot for socializing, CJ Sheeran’s combines the charm of a traditional Irish pub with the energy of a modern bar, hosting live music and events.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Elegance Beauty Salon: Offering a wide range of beauty treatments and services to pamper visitors, located in the heart of Abbeyleix.
  • The Retreat Beauty Salon: A serene space to enjoy relaxing spa treatments, The Retreat is the perfect place to unwind after exploring the town.

Other Important Information:

  • Abbeyleix Farmers Market: Takes place every Saturday, offering fresh, local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, reflecting the area’s rich agricultural heritage.
  • The South Laois Tourism Trails: Ideal for walking, cycling, or driving, these trails take visitors through the beautiful landscapes and historic sites of South Laois.

Summary: Abbeyleix, Co Laois, is a captivating town that offers visitors an enchanting mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring its Georgian heritage and historical sites to enjoying the tranquility of its boglands and estate gardens, Abbeyleix provides a rich and varied experience. With accommodation options ranging from cozy manor hotels to luxurious country houses, Abbeyleix caters to all preferences, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. Whether you’re interested in delving into Ireland’s past, embracing outdoor adventures, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in the Midlands, Abbeyleix is an ideal destination. Accommodations can be easily booked, inviting visitors to discover the charm and beauty of this unique Irish town.

MOUNTMELLICK

Mountmellick, Co Laois, affectionately known as the “Manchester of Ireland” due to its rich industrial past, is a vibrant and welcoming town that offers a unique blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and modern amenities. This quaint town, with its distinctive architectural style and friendly community, serves as a perfect gateway to explore the lesser-known gems of Ireland’s Midlands and the serene landscapes that characterize County Laois.

Hotels:

  • The Killeshin Hotel: A short drive from Mountmellick, this contemporary hotel offers comfortable accommodations, a leisure center with a pool and gym, and a dining experience that focuses on local produce.
  • The Heritage Killenard: Offering a luxurious retreat in a beautiful setting, this hotel provides top-notch facilities, including a spa, golf course, and fine dining, all within easy reach of Mountmellick.

Things To Do:

  • Mountmellick Museum: Discover the town’s unique Quaker and industrial heritage, including the world-renowned Mountmellick Embroidery, at this fascinating museum.
  • Walking Tours of Mountmellick: Take a guided walk through the town to see its historical buildings, learn about its unique past, and appreciate its contribution to Irish cultural and industrial history.

Places To Go:

  • Emo Court and Gardens: A short drive from Mountmellick, Emo Court is a magnificent Georgian estate designed by the architect James Gandon. Visitors can explore the house, enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens, and relax in the tearooms.
  • The Slieve Bloom Mountains: Offering some of the most scenic and unspoiled landscapes in Ireland, the Slieve Bloom Mountains are perfect for hiking, cycling, and nature watching, with trails and routes suitable for all abilities.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Portarlington Golf Club: A beautifully maintained 18-hole golf course that offers a challenging round for golfers of all levels, set against the backdrop of the stunning Laois countryside.

Restaurants:

  • The Hare’s Corner: Situated in the heart of Mountmellick, this restaurant prides itself on serving delicious dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, in a cozy and welcoming setting.
  • O’Gorman’s Bar and Restaurant: Offering a mix of traditional Irish and contemporary cuisine, O’Gorman’s provides a friendly atmosphere and quality dining experience.

Session Pubs:

  • The Hollow Bar: Known for its lively music sessions and warm hospitality, The Hollow Bar is a favorite among locals and visitors looking to enjoy a traditional Irish pub atmosphere.
  • Dunne’s Pub: A classic pub with a rich history, offering a great selection of drinks and regular live entertainment, making it a great place to spend an evening.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Bliss Beauty Salon: Offering a range of beauty treatments and services, Bliss Beauty Salon is the perfect place to unwind and pamper yourself during your visit.
  • The Hair Lounge: A modern salon providing a wide array of haircare services to ensure you look your best throughout your stay in Mountmellick.

Other Important Information:

  • Mountmellick Farmers Market: Takes place every Thursday, showcasing the best of local produce, crafts, and artisan foods, reflecting the town’s vibrant community spirit.
  • The Mountmellick Canal: A peaceful walk along the canal offers a tranquil escape and the opportunity to enjoy the town’s natural surroundings.

Summary: Mountmellick, Co Laois, is a charming and historical town that offers visitors an enriching experience through its unique heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm community spirit. From exploring its museum and engaging in outdoor activities in the Slieve Bloom Mountains to savoring the local cuisine and enjoying the nightlife, Mountmellick provides a rich and varied experience. With accommodations ranging from modern hotels to cozy B&Bs, Mountmellick is an ideal base for those looking to explore Ireland’s Midlands. Whether interested in delving into the town’s industrious past, enjoying the arts, or simply relaxing amidst beautiful countryside, Mountmellick ensures a memorable and comfortable stay. Accommodations can be easily booked, inviting visitors to discover the hidden treasures of this delightful Irish town.

PORTARLINGTON

Portarlington, Co Laois, straddling the border with County Offaly, is a historic and vibrant town that offers visitors an enchanting mix of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and contemporary conveniences. Renowned for its Georgian architecture and situated on the banks of the River Barrow, Portarlington serves as an ideal gateway to the heart of Ireland’s Midlands, providing easy access to the serene waterways of the Barrow and the lush landscapes of Laois and Offaly.

Hotels:

  • The Heritage Killenard: This luxurious hotel, just a short drive from Portarlington, offers guests a tranquil retreat with its spa, golf course, and fine dining, set against the scenic backdrop of the Laois countryside.
  • The East End Hotel: Located in the heart of Portarlington, offering comfortable accommodations with a warm, welcoming atmosphere, perfect for those looking to explore the town and its surroundings.

Things To Do:

  • Portarlington Golf Club: Enjoy a round of golf at this 18-hole course that offers a challenging play amidst beautiful parkland scenery.
  • Walking and Cycling along the Barrow Way: Experience the beauty of the River Barrow and its towpaths, ideal for leisurely walks or bike rides, offering picturesque views and peaceful natural surroundings.

Places To Go:

  • Emo Court and Gardens: A magnificent Georgian estate designed by architect James Gandon, featuring beautiful gardens and parklands for visitors to explore, located just a short drive from Portarlington.
  • Portarlington French Festival: Celebrate the town’s Huguenot heritage with this annual event that includes a variety of cultural, food, and music activities, highlighting the unique Franco-Irish connection.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • The Heritage Golf Resort: In addition to Portarlington Golf Club, this nearby resort offers a championship golf course designed by Seve Ballesteros, providing golfers with a premier golfing experience.

Restaurants:

  • The French Quarter CafĂ©: Reflecting Portarlington’s Huguenot heritage, this cafĂ© offers delightful pastries, coffees, and light meals in a cozy, continental atmosphere.
  • O’Dea’s Bar and Bistro: Serving up traditional Irish and modern cuisine, O’Dea’s offers a warm, friendly dining experience in the heart of Portarlington.

Session Pubs:

  • Anvil Inn: A traditional Irish pub known for its friendly atmosphere and regular live music sessions, providing a taste of local culture and entertainment.
  • Sally Gardens Pub: Offers a welcoming environment with a great selection of drinks and often hosts live sports events and music nights.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Serenity Beauty Salon: Offering a range of beauty treatments and services, this salon is perfect for relaxation and pampering during your visit.
  • The Hair Room: A modern salon providing a wide array of haircare services to ensure you look and feel great throughout your stay.

Other Important Information:

  • Portarlington Farmers Market: Takes place every Thursday, showcasing local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, perfect for experiencing the town’s vibrant community spirit.
  • Lea Castle: Just outside Portarlington, the ruins of this 13th-century castle offer a fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s medieval past and are worth a visit for history enthusiasts.

Summary: Portarlington, Co Laois, is a charming destination that offers a peaceful yet engaging escape with plenty to see and do. From its rich Huguenot history and Georgian architecture to the beauty of the River Barrow and excellent golfing opportunities, Portarlington provides a diverse experience for all visitors. Whether you’re interested in exploring Ireland’s historical sites, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply soaking in the natural beauty of the Midlands, Portarlington is an ideal base. Accommodations ranging from luxurious hotels to cozy B&Bs ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay, inviting visitors to discover the unique charm and warmth of this Irish tow

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STRADBALLY

Stradbally, Co Laois, nestled within the heart of Ireland’s enchanting Midlands, is a picturesque and inviting town that charms visitors with its rich blend of cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and contemporary amenities. Known for its scenic beauty and the annual Electric Picnic music and arts festival, Stradbally offers a serene retreat and acts as a gateway to explore the hidden jewels of Ireland’s Midlands, including the serene beauty of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the grandeur of the ancient estates.

Hotels:

  • The Killeshin Hotel: Just a short drive from Stradbally, this modern hotel provides guests with comfortable accommodations, a leisure center featuring a pool and gym, and dining options that highlight local ingredients.
  • Ballyfin Demesne: Offering the ultimate in luxury and a short distance away, Ballyfin Demesne is a regal country house set in magnificent gardens and parkland, providing an exceptional retreat with world-class dining and amenities.

Things To Do:

  • Stradbally Steam Museum: Explore the fascinating collection of steam engines and agricultural machinery that celebrate Ireland’s industrial heritage in a unique setting.
  • Walking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains: Discover the natural beauty of the Slieve Bloom Mountains with its vast network of trails offering peaceful walks and breathtaking views, suitable for all levels of fitness.

Places To Go:

  • Stradbally Hall: The ancestral home of the Cosby family, this grand estate opens its doors for guided tours during select times of the year and hosts the Electric Picnic festival, offering a glimpse into the heritage and history of the area.
  • The Rock of Dunamase: A short drive from Stradbally, the Rock of Dunamase offers spectacular views from the ruins of a medieval castle, steeped in history and legend.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • The Heath Golf Club: Offering a challenging and enjoyable golfing experience, this 18-hole course is set on a unique heathland, providing stunning views and varied play just minutes from Stradbally.

Restaurants:

  • The Pantry: Located in the heart of Stradbally, this charming cafĂ© offers delicious homemade fare, from light bites to hearty meals, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • McEvoys Steak & Wine Bar: A short drive away, offering a cozy atmosphere and a menu that features the best of Irish cuisine, focusing on steaks and a selection of fine wines.

Session Pubs:

  • Napper Tandy’s: A traditional Irish pub in Stradbally where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a pint in a friendly atmosphere, often accompanied by live music sessions.
  • The Stradbally Fayre: Offering a warm welcome, this cafĂ© and pub provides a relaxed setting for a drink or coffee, with outdoor seating to enjoy the town’s tranquil ambiance.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Elegance Beauty Salon: Offering a range of beauty treatments and services, this salon is perfect for a bit of pampering during your stay in Stradbally.
  • Stradbally Hair Studio: A local salon providing a wide array of hair care services to ensure you look and feel your best while exploring the town and its surroundings.

Other Important Information:

  • Stradbally Market: Takes place periodically, featuring a selection of local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, showcasing the community’s vibrant spirit and creativity.
  • Vicarstown Canal Walk: Enjoy a leisurely stroll or cycle along the canal, offering peaceful waterway views and connecting Stradbally with the nearby village of Vicarstown.

Summary: Stradbally, Co Laois, is a delightful destination that offers visitors a tranquil escape filled with cultural, historical, and natural attractions. From the enchanting grounds of Stradbally Hall and the historical intrigue of the Steam Museum to the outdoor adventures in the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the culinary delights of local eateries, Stradbally provides a rich and varied experience. Whether you’re drawn to exploring the ancient past, enjoying the arts and music festivals, or simply relaxing amidst the beautiful Midlands countryside, Stradbally is an ideal base. Accommodations ranging from comfortable hotels to luxurious country estates ensure a pleasant and memorable stay, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the charm and beauty of this unique Irish town.

MOUNTRATH

Mountrath, Co Laois, nestled at the base of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, is a tranquil and picturesque town that offers visitors a charming blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and contemporary conveniences. This hidden gem in Ireland’s Midlands is steeped in history and surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, making it a perfect spot for those seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Hotels:

  • The Mountrath Arms Hotel: Situated in the heart of Mountrath, this hotel provides guests with comfortable accommodations, traditional Irish hospitality, and an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area.
  • Roundwood House: A short drive from Mountrath, Roundwood House is a beautifully restored country house set in extensive woodlands and gardens, offering a peaceful retreat with exquisite dining and a unique, historical charm.

Things To Do:

  • Slieve Bloom Mountain Walks: Venture into the Slieve Bloom Mountains for hiking, walking, or mountain biking, with trails that cater to all levels of fitness and offer stunning views of the Midlands.
  • Mountrath Golf Club: Enjoy a round of golf on this challenging 18-hole course, beautifully maintained and set against the backdrop of the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

Places To Go:

  • The Forum-Mountrath: This community and arts center hosts a variety of events, from music and drama to workshops and exhibitions, showcasing local talent and culture.
  • Gash Gardens: Located just outside Mountrath, these privately owned gardens are open to the public and offer a tranquil setting to enjoy a diverse range of plant life and landscaping.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Portlaoise Golf Club: In addition to Mountrath Golf Club, the nearby Portlaoise Golf Club offers another option for golf enthusiasts, with a well-designed course that provides a test for golfers of all abilities.

Restaurants:

  • The Hare’s Corner: Located within The Mountrath Arms Hotel, this restaurant serves up delicious local cuisine in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Presto Pantry: A charming cafĂ© in the town center, offering homemade pastries, light lunches, and excellent coffee, perfect for a relaxing break.

Session Pubs:

  • Morrissey’s Pub: A traditional Irish pub with a rich history, known for its warm atmosphere, excellent pints, and regular live music sessions.
  • Eddie’s Bar: Offers a friendly local experience, with a good selection of drinks and occasional entertainment, making it a great place to unwind.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Serenity Day Spa: While located a short drive from Mountrath, this spa provides a range of treatments for relaxation and pampering, ideal for a day of indulgence.
  • The Beauty Suite: Offers a variety of beauty services in Mountrath, from hair styling to skincare, ensuring you look and feel your best during your stay.

Other Important Information:

  • Mountrath Farmers Market: Takes place weekly, featuring local produce, crafts, and artisan foods, a great opportunity to support local producers and sample the best of what the region has to offer.
  • The Slieve Bloom Way: This long-distance walking trail offers an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the surrounding countryside.

Summary: Mountrath, Co Laois, is a delightful destination that provides a serene escape with plenty to see and do. From exploring the majestic Slieve Bloom Mountains and enjoying the tranquility of Gash Gardens to experiencing the local culture at The Forum and savoring the cuisine at local eateries, Mountrath offers a rich and varied experience. Accommodations ranging from cozy hotels to luxurious country houses ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Whether interested in outdoor adventures, cultural activities, or simply soaking in the natural beauty of Ireland’s Midlands, Mountrath is an ideal base. Book your stay through the Booking.com map booking area below, and discover the charm and beauty of this enchanting Irish town.

 

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