County Laois (pronounced leash) may not be on your radar when planning your Ireland itinerary, but if you are traveling between Dublin and Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry, or Clare, you're likely to pass through this often overlooked county.
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Highlights and Hidden Gems in County Laois, Ireland
County Laois is officially part of Ireland's Ancient East, the most midland county of Ireland, midway between Dublin and Shannon.
Top Spots to Visit in County Laios
The Rock of Dunamase – A huge rock outcropping topped by castle ruins that date back to the 12th century. This is an ‘open' OPW managed site. No visitors centre, no tickets. One of my very favorite spots to take my tours.
Emo Court – Another OPW managed site, this was once the largest country estate in Ireland. The extensive parklands and gardens are a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, followed by tea in the former dower house.
Slieve Bloom Mountains – Wonderful hiking and mountain bike trails. The waterfall loop is a 4.5 km hike perfect for a morning or afternoon outing.
Ballykilcavan Farm & Brewery -13 generation farm that grows barley and brews a variety of beers,. Brewery tours are available on select dates.
Timahoe Village – Home to a magnificent round tower, the monastic settlement was raided in 919 by Vikings. Unless you visit during the annual Timahoe Heritage Festival you may have the tower and heritage centre to yourself.
Abbeyleix – a lovely heritage town that used to be on the main road between Dublin and Cork before it was bypassed by the motorway.
Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services
Aubrey Hutchinson, owner of Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services is one of my recommended private drivers in Ireland.
Based in Abbeyleix, Aubrey is perfectly located to provide day tours from Dublin, but also offers private guided tours across the whole of Ireland.
Fully licensed and insured, Abbeyleix Chauffeur Service operates as a customer led model and can work from your own planned itinerary or help you create a tour to fit your vacation goals.
3 Things You Shouldn't Miss in County Laois
Morrissey's Pub in Abbeyleix – traditional, authentic Irish pub experience
Rock of Dunamase