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If you’re attempted to dismiss Kildare as just a satellite town of Dublin, think again. Kildare is a lush county of rolling pastures and prime thoroughbreds, with an abundance of historic monuments and delightful towns.
The Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud in Kildare Town are celebrated throughout the world and acclaimed as the finest of their kind in Europe. They are more than just an eye-catching diversion, however, providing a meditative space in line with the designers’ objectives in the early 20th century.
Discover the legends behind such heroes of ancient Irish history as Fionn Mac Cumhaill and St Brigid on a walking trail around Kildare Town. The principal stops on the route are St Brigid’s Cathedral, a Norman tower house, the site of the Turf Club, and the 12th-century Franciscan Abbey. Tours leave the Heritage Centre at Market Square.
Fans of classic and vintage cars will know that the Gordon Bennett Cup race took place through the counties of Kildare, Laois, and Carlow in 1903, launching modern international motor racing. You can retrace the route at a more leisurely pace, taking time to enjoy the attractions and scenery.
The Straffan Butterfly Farm, in County Kildare is an indoor haven for these beautiful winged insects, giving visitors insights into their unique world and providing a magical spectacle. Open in the summer months, the farm features a tropical house and an exhibition centre with an educational focus.
Oxegen is considered by many to be one of the world’s best music festivals. Launched in 2004 and held ever since (except for 2012) at Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, the event has attracted some stellar international acts, who have delivered many unforgettable moments. Standouts include The Who in 2006, Muse in 2007, and Kings Of Leon in 2008.
Mondello Park near Naas, is the only international motor racing circuit in Ireland. Motor sport fans can watch some of the latest and most exciting cars race on the challenging Mondello circuit, and instruction and intuition is also available in the Racing Driving School.
Kildare is home to one of the most prosperous thoroughbred industries in the world, and you can see the fruits of that industry in action at a trio of exemplary Kildare racecourses: the Curragh, Naas, and Punchestown. For a glimpse of the best in Irish racing, attend the Irish Derby at the Curragh, the Irish National Hunt Festival at Punchestown, or the Paddy Power Cheltenham Trial Day at Naas.
The majestic Maynooth Castle was built in 1203 as the main residence of the Kildare branch of the Geraldines. At the time of construction, the keep (fortified tower) was one of the biggest of its kind in the country, but when the castle was remodelled in the early 17th century, the focus shifted from the original keep to the buildings in the east of the grounds.
Ireland's biggest and oldest Palladian-style mansion, Castletown House dates from the 1720s and was probably designed by Alessandro Galilei, with the wings added by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce. Vandalised after its sale in 1965, it was a flagship project for the Irish Georgian Society and became the first house in Leinster to be opened to the public, in 1967, following a comprehensive restoration.
Kildare has more exceptional golf courses than anywhere else in the country. Venue for the 2006 Ryder Cup, the K Club has two of Europe’s finest championship courses in the Palmer Ryder Cup Course and the Smurfit Course. Other outstanding golf courses include those at Carton House, Kilkea Castle, and Palmerstown House.
5.4km from Kilcullen
Built in the 1870s, this cosy mews has been restored and modernised to create a really impressive holiday home. Located among the majestic plains of the Curragh in County Kildare, this traditionally styled mews features one bedroom with a single and double bed. A noteworthy feature is the open-plan interior, which includes a living room with a wood-burning stove, a kitchenette and dining area, and a loft bedroom.
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1.1km from Maynooth
The house is just 10km from the renowned K Club, where you can enjoy a round of golf. Shops and public transport are all conveniently located nearby. Dublin is 30 minutes' drive away. Angling and horse riding can all be enjoyed locally. Take the opportunity to discover Maynooth and visit the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens.
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4.9km from Naas
For a truly enjoyable holiday, stay at an inviting 4-star lodge in the scenic rural surroundings of Naas, County Kildare.
This well-furnished property features three bedrooms, one of which is ensuite. The house sleeps up to 8 people. Outside there is a garden for guests' use and private parking. Steps from the Grand Canal, the lodge is perfect for a restful or active holiday.
1km from Maynooth
This stunning 4 star property is located in the historic town of Maynooth in County Kildare. A three-bedroom house, it is tastefully furnished throughout. There is a large comfortable sitting room, separate dining room, well-equipped kitchen/dining area, utility room, and toilet downstairs. Relax in front of an open fire, and unwind in the unique hideaway of the enclosed rear garden. Private parking is also provided.
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0.5km from Robertstown
These cottages offer the holidaymaker luxurious accommodation in the heart of County Kildare, within easy reach of Dublin, on the east coast of Ireland.
Located in the village of Robertstown near County Kildare’s capital town of Naas, the holiday homes make an ideal base for a sightseeing holiday in the country, a quiet retreat, or a base for fishing. The Grand Canal, the River Liffey, and a host of smaller rivers flow nearby Golfing is popular, with 26 courses to choose from.
1.7km from Moone
Enjoy four-star luxury in Moone, County Kildare, less than an hour's drive from Dublin City. The house has four bedrooms, a fully fitted kitchen, and a large sitting room. Outside is a large garden with patio area and ample secure parking. There are seven golf courses within a 15-minute drive. The nearest is three minutes from the house, on the grounds of the magnificent Kilkea Castle Hotel. A river runs across the property, and fishing is popular with guests in season. All rooms are on one level, making the room suitable for people with disabilities. There is a small step at the front and back doors.
3.5km from Carbury
Located just outside the village of Carbury, North Kildare, these distinctive three-bedroom lodges are only 30 minutes' drive from the Liffey Valley junction of the M50 and 10km from Enfield and the M4 motorway (the main road from Dublin to Galway). A truly unique log development hand-crafted in authentic Canadian cedar wood, the properties offer all the comforts and exacting standards of Failte Ireland quality accommodation. Unlimited golf applies to the two-night special only.
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