Laois is an attractive and interesting county in which to spend a holiday,
whether on a short break or a more extended stay. The people of the
county are warm and welcoming and whether you have a special interest
or simply wish to enjoy yourself you will find many eager to help you.
A fine planned estate town designated one of Irelands heritage towns
which are notable for the quality of their preserved historic buildings.
Established by Viscount de Vesci, it is well laid out with fine town
houses, public buildings and vernacular houses dating to different periods
from the mid-eighteen century.
Originally associated with an early medieval church and then with an
early Norman fortification. Donaghmore became an extensive industrial
complex in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a result there
are many attractive buildings and thriving pubs.
Originally a Norman borough town. In the middle of the seventeenth century
the Ormonds made it part of Kilkenny. It was returned to the county
by Act of Parliament in 1846. It is a planned estate village, developed
under the patronage of the Viscounts Ashbrook. Perhaps Durrows finest
feature is the suite of buildings around the Green under the gates and
Founded in the seventeenth century within a loop of the Owenass River.
From the start Mountmellick was a town of great industry and prosperity
dominated by the enterprise of the Quaker community and later served
by the Grand Canal. Its enterprise is still exemplified by the Mountmellick
Association which commissioned the conversion of a grain mill into a
Business Park / Enterprise Centre for industries wishing to locate in
the town. This centre also houses a Quaker museum and exhibitions.
Founded in 1666 in a bend of the Barrow River by Sir Henry Bennett,
Lord Arlington. After the Jacobite wars the lands were given over to
General Rouvigney, Earl of Galway who established a thriving colony
of French Huguenots in the town: separate chapels and schools were built
for the English and French. Along with education the town became the
centre for silversmiths and banking. The town has Georgian, Huguenot
and Victorian architecture of exceptional quality.
A prosperous commercial centre, principal town and administrative centre
of the county, situated on the intersection of a number of national
roads and on the main railway between Dublin / Cork and Limerick. Until
independence in 1922 it was known as Maryborough. The present town was
laid out in the eighteenth century and the principal buildings date
from then on or later.
Abbey Sense Gardens, Abbeyleix
The Sensory garden is set in the walled garden of the Brigidine Convent.
It is the first garden of its kind in Ireland and its aim is to create
a nursery specialising in fragrant plants.
Ballaghmore Castle, Borris-in-Ossory
This is a 15th century castle, with a unique beautifully restored medieval
keep. Also a 16th century manor house.
Donaghmore Museum, Donaghmore, Portlaoise
This workhouse museum is a unique attraction in Ireland and aims to
tell the story of the families who lived and died within the workhouse
walls during and after the Great Famine.
Emo Court, Portlaoise
A perfect example of the neo-classical style, the house is surrounded
by beautiful gardens and parklands which were first laid out in the
18th century and contain floral lawns, a lake and woodlawn walks with
many fine trees and shrubs.
Gash Gardens, Castletown, Portlaoise
Situated on the banks of the River Nore, this four acre garden incorporates
a large rock garden with rare alpines, a heath garden, charming old
style roses, splendidly colourful herbaceous borders, rhododendrons
and an unusual tree and shrub collection. Visit the moon house and waterfalls:
view gushing water features and meandering streams: travel along a secret
passage to enjoy a riverside walk.
Heywood Gardens, Ballinakill
This property consists of gardens, lakes, woodland and architectural
features. The gardens are composed of four elements linked by a terrace
that ran along the front of the house which now no longer exists.
Sextons House, Abbeyleix
This is a fine example of a mid 19th century cottage. It has been restored
and fully refurbished to its former 1800 style. It provides the visitor
with a unique opportunity to witness the domestic conditions of our
Stradbally Hall Narrow Gauge Railway, Stradbally
This is the longest established steam powered narrow gauge railway in
Located in a beautifully restored 1884 school house the award winning
exhibition weaves together the rich fabric of local and county history.
Witness the re-creation of the Abbeyleix "Titanic" carpet
Coarse and game fishing can be enjoyed throughout Co. Laois on rivers
and lakes such as the Barrow, the Canal, Granstown lake, the Nore and
This area has a number of top class equestrian centres to suit all enthusiasts
regardless of horse riding experience.
The golfer is spoiled in Co. Laois with a number of fine 18 hole and
9 hole parkland courses to choose from.
Discover the secrets of Slieve Bloom, one of Irelands most attractive
way-marked trails, or take a stroll along any of the local walks scattered
throughout the county.