Breathe in the fresh air in County Kildare
There are so many outdoor experiences to be enjoyed in the county; whether you want to shop, stroll around or uncover some ancient history, this summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and explore the local area.
Kildare Village is a luxury outdoor shopping destination, where 100 boutiques of the world’s favourite brands offer up to 60% off the recommended retail price all year round and a selection of guest services make for a memorable day out of shopping, dining and unwinding. Take in the landscaping and the outdoor art installations as you move from boutique to boutique. You can pick a coffee or take lunch from one of the many restaurants and cafés to enjoy at one of the outdoor dining areas . You can also check out the ruins of Grey Abbey, which was founded in the thirteenth century.
Kildare Village has been at the forefront of developing and implementing the highest standard of Shopping Protocols, putting the well-being and safety of its guests at the heart of their experience. These Protocols include social-distancing measures, queue management and regular deep cleaning throughout the Village, along with many other initiatives.
Larchill is a unique eighteenth-century ornamental parkland garden near Kilcock in County Kildare. It is open through June, during National Heritage Week in August, and opens for pre-booked tours of at least 20 people. Larchill Arcadian Garden is a ‘Ferme Ornée’, or ornamental farm, and is the only surviving garden of its type in Europe. The Ferme Ornée gardens of the mid-eighteenth century were an expression in landscape gardening of the Romantic movement.
Castletown House and Gardens is Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian-style estate. It was built between 1722 and 1729 for William Connolly, speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland. Visit Castletown House to explore the beautiful eighteenth-century parklands, with river walks, a temple and the remains of a bathing house.
Donadea Forest Park is a designated National Heritage Area and covers approximately 243 hectares of mixed woodland. There are many historical features including the remains of the castle, walled gardens, a church, tower, ice house, boat house and Lime Tree Avenue. There is also a 2.3-hectare lake with ducks and other birds, and a wonderful display of water-lilies in the summer. Walled streams form part of the drainage of the park.
There are many different walks through the forest, including the five kilometre Aylmer loop, the lake walk and a nature trail with stops. A small café serves light refreshments and is open all year round.
Burtown House is a historic Quaker house located in County Kildare and surrounded by a wealth of farmland walks and beautiful flower gardens. Close to a variety of important historic attractions, it’s the perfect stop on a holiday itinerary around Kildare and the rest of Leinster.
Surrounded by flower gardens, vegetable patches, parklands and woodland walks, Burtown House also boasts a series of secret gardens, ideal for a wander with the whole family. The gardens come to life in early February with a spectacular show of winter aconites, snowdrops, cyclamen and early spring bulbs, followed by many varieties of daffodils, hellebores and trilliums.
Whether you do one, or all, of these outdoor activities, you’ll soon find that County Kildare is the perfect place to spend a day exploring and breathing in the fresh country air.
Lullymore Heritage Park
If you want to do something outdoors to keep your children entertained, head to the award-winning Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park. Here you’ll find 60 acres of breath-taking landscape in the heart of the Bog of Allen, Ireland’s largest bogland. This County Kildare natural attraction is a blend of history, nature and fun, and perfect for all age groups.
Explore Irish heritage, culture and environments with woodland and peatland trails, gardens and exhibitions. An indoor forest-themed play centre and outdoor play area with crazy golf, a pet farm and train trips make it the ideal destination for the whole family.
Moore Abbey Wood
Moore Abbey Wood is a woodland area of approximately 250 acres of conifer and broadleaf trees in Monasterevin County Kildare. There are many pathways, picnic sites and walking routes ideal for viewing the different types of woodland, vegetation and wildlife. The wood has a beautiful display of bluebells in early summer. The site comprises a variety of broadleaf and conifer trees, mainly beech, ash and oak, Norway spruce and Douglas fir. The fauna includes the grey squirrel, badgers, pheasant and numerous other species of birds.
Arthur Guinness Way
Arthur Guinness, founder of Ireland’s most famous stout, spent most of his life in Celbridge, County Kildare. He set up his first brewery in Leixlip, County Kildare, in 1756 after he was left a £100 inheritance by his godfather, Archbishop Arthur Price, before setting up his now world-famous brewery at St James’ Gate in Dublin.
It took researchers three years to gather information on Arthur Guinness’ life, which they used to develop the Arthur Guinness Heritage Trail. This trail covers 16 kilometres of northeast Kildare and visitors can cycle or walk in the footsteps of the famous brewer and take in some famous landmarks.
The trail begins where two rivers meet, the Liffey and the Rye, providing stunning views that take in Leixlip Castle, Castletown House and The Wonderful Barn.
Naas Farmers’ Market
For real market atmosphere, visit Naas Farmers’ Market at The Storehouse Restaurant, County Kildare, every Saturday from 10 am to 3pm. The safe courtyard makes it a perfect spot for kids, with an outdoor café where face painters, music and food tasting are all part of the fun.
Naas Farmers Market has a particularly good selection of food and half the traders are local food companies including Sheridans Cheesemongers, Jane Russell Handmade Sausages and Missy Moo’s Ice Cream.