Famed internationally for being Ireland’s horse country, Kildare is much more than just a centre for all things equine.
The county may be home to the National Stud, Punchestown Racecourse and The Curragh, but this beautifully rural spot also has excellent angling and golfing facilities as well as a wonderful selection of opulent country house hotels.
Predominantly rural, Kildare is a beautifully quiet and understated county, with tranquil expanses of green, rich peatlands, misty forests and pretty waterways. And dotted amongst this soft rural idyll are truly beautiful sights, such as the Japanese Gardens at the National Stud, Larchill Arcadian Gardens and the majestic Russborough House. Read More
Kildare is the perfect place to experience some of Ireland’s best attractions, take a deep dive into Irish mythology or get an insight into the unique landscapes and waterways. You’ll discover the county’s fascinating mythological past as well as the important role that the local area played in Irish horse racing and the history of the state.
The county may be home to the National Stud, Punchestown Racecourse and The Curragh, but this beautifully rural spot also has excellent angling and golfing facilities. Kildare is a beautifully quiet and understated county, with tranquil expanses of green, rich peatlands, misty forests and pretty waterways. And dotted amongst this soft rural idyll are truly beautiful sights, such as the Japanese Gardens at the National Stud, Larchill Arcadian Gardens and the majestic Russborough House.
Kildare is located within 30km of Dublin City Centre and is the gateway to the South, West and East of the country. There is so much to see and do in Kildare you will happily spend a great few days exploring the county.
The nearest major airport to Kildare is Dublin Airport just over an hour’s drive offering direct flights from over 100 destinations around Europe, the USA and Middle East. Shannon Airport, Ireland West Airport and Belfast Airport are also very accessible from Westmeath.
The main ports of entry are Cork, Dublin, Rosslare and Belfast. Dublin Port is approximately one hour drive from Kildare. Brittany Ferries operates a service between Cork-Roscoff (France). Rosslare and Dublin ports offer daily services between Ireland-UK and services to France and Northern Spain. The following companies offer ferry services into Ireland – Stena Line, Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries, Kintyre Express, and Isle of Man Steam Packet
There are many Bus Éireann services operating in Kildare connecting the county with Dublin, Westport, Galway, Belfast, Kerry, Cork and Waterford.
There are many daily train services between Kildare and Dublin through Intercity or Commuter trains with direct access to Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Limerick, Galway and Westport. Check out Irish Rail for more information.
The Irish National Stud & Garden
Located in the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred county, the Irish National Stud & Gardens in County Kildare is one of Ireland’s true treasures. Since the early 1900s, the stud has produced some of the finest racehorses in Europe and to this day, it is still one of the top breeding farms. It is one of the only thoroughbred breeding farms open to the public. Its unique history and beauty are admired by visitors from all over the world.
The Irish National Stud & Garden is also home to two remarkable gardens: the Japanese Gardens and St Fiachra’s Garden. At the Japanese Gardens, visitors enter an oasis of calm as they travel the Life of Man path which traces the passage of a soul from birth to death and beyond. By comparison, St Fiachra’s Garden is an inherently Irish garden that symbolises the power of the Irish landscape, and commemorates St Fiachra, the patron saint of gardeners. Predominantly planted with native specimens, St Fiachra’s Garden is home to an array of Irish wildlife.
Spend some time at Castletown House and Gardens and admire its amazing Palladian architecture. It was built between 1722 and 1729 for William Connolly, speaker of the Irish House of Commons. The facade was almost certainly designed by the Italian architect Alessandro Galilei, while Irish architect Sir Edward Lovett Pearce added the wings.
See the unique Print Room, the 80 foot Long Gallery and the impressive Portland stone staircase. Wander through the beautiful parklands, with river walks, a temple and the remains of a bathing house. Stroll around the garden behind the house and see the stunning yew trees at the front of the stately mansion. Castletown House runs an exciting event programme, with concerts, markets and craft fairs taking place throughout the year.
Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park
Explore Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park, set on 60 acres of breathtaking landscape in the heart of the Bog of Allen. Take a 9,000 year journey back through landmark periods of Irish history with exhibitions and multimedia displays, from the arrival of the early Mesolithic settlers and the dawning of Christianity to the 1798 Rebellion and the Great Famine.
Spend some time on the Biodiversity Boardwalk, see the glassy lakes and peatlands of birch, heathers and bog cotton. Discover the story of the raised bogs of the Irish midlands, 10,000 years in the making. Go on a guided tour of Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park and learn of the rich history behind the environmental site.
The Bog of Allen Nature Centre
On visiting the Bog of Allen Nature Centre visitors can explore the wild boglands of Ireland, experience life in 1960’s Ireland in traditional Irish cottage interior and follow the self guiding tour of the exhibitions to learn about all aspects of Irish bogs. Guides are available in six languages. Visitors can then continue their tour of the Bog of Allen Nature Centre outdoors in the wildlife gardens and visit their live exhibition of insect eating plants.