Welcome to the Laois Tourism Website - In the Heart of the Midlands.

Thank you for visiting the official website of Laois Tourism. Here you will find information on the picturesque County of Laois located in the heart of the Midlands. Often overlooked as a tourist destination but the county’s compact size makes it ripe for exploration. With so much to offer including a range of activities to its visitors from excellent golf courses to horse riding and fishing. Laois is also blessed with two fine rivers, the River Nore and the River Barrow both providing excellent angling. Hill walking and cycling are two other favourite pastimes, not to mention the glorious Slieve Bloom Mountains.The Laois Garden trail will showcase our beautiful gardens and the Laois Heritage Trail will guide you through the historic monuments and fine heritage of Co. Laois.

Latest News

Community Grants for Commemoration of 1916 in Laois Launched

Ireland 2016 Logo colour


‌Grants are now available for community groups and organisations planning to organise events or projects relating to the Centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council said “we are delighted to announce these grants for projects taking place in 2016. I  would like to encourage as many community organisations as possible to look at the details and consider making an application. Projects of all kinds are welcome from cultural activities and debates to publications, music, and drama”.

Plans at national level for the commemoration of 1916 include over 2,000 projects and events, under the headings of State Ceremonial, Historical Reflection, The Living Language, Youth and Imagination, Cultural Expression, Community Participation and Global and Diaspora.

The Ireland 2016 Laois Community Grants are being administered by Laois County Council, with funding and support from Ireland 2016, part of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and Irish Public Bodies Mutual Insurance.


Ireland 2016 Plan for County Laois.

The plan for the commemoration of the Centenary of the 1916 Rising in Laois was officially launched on Thursday 26th November 2015 by the Cathoirleach of Laois County Council Cllr. Catherine Fitzgerlad.

Upcoming Events


National Heritage Week 2016

National Heritage Week takes place from August 20th - 28th. There are a great range of events taking place in Laois to celebrate Heritage Week for more information check out www.heritageweek.ie

The Laois Walks Festival: 1 - 31 July 2016

The Laois Walks Festival runs for the full month of July and takes in 25 walks from right across Laois. With something for all ages and abilities, this is a great opportunity to become more familiar with the wonderful range of walks that Laois has to offer. ​

Old Fort Quarter Festival: 24 - 25 June 2016

What promises to be an exciting street festival for Portlaoise; the Old Fort Quarter Festival celebrates the ‘Fort of Maryborough’ and also offers a weekend of free family fun and live music on Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 June on Main Street, Portlaoise.

For further details please see Facebook

Buds & Blossoms – Laois Garden Festival: 12 June 2016

From top gardening speakers and leading plant specialists, to local food producers and entertainment zone, it’s all here. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear some of Ireland’s leading gardening experts – one day, one venue.; for further details please click here. 

Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run 3 - 6 June 2016

This hugely popular event takes place again on the June bank holiday 2016, between Friday June the 3rd and Monday June 6th, and prides itself on being the oldest motor sporting event of the year. It welcomes classic petrol heads from all over the globe to join in this, journey back in time experience.

For further details please click here


Mountmellick Summerfest 4 & 5 June 2016 

The annual Mountmellick is finally here; fun for all the family!

For further details please see Facebook




Slieve Bloom Walking Festival: May bank holiday weekend - April 30th to May 2nd 2016 





The Slieve Bloom Walking Festival one of Ireland’s oldest walking festivals, is twenty two years running this year.   This festival is not just a walking festival for the serious walker but a special social event for people to meet, chat and enjoy the outdoors. But don’t take our word for it, come and see for yourself! Walkers who come along and join for the festival weekend are offered free membership for weekend walks that take place all year round. Many of the walkers who enjoy it so much come back weekend after weekend. It’s a real opportunity to get out and get active, make friends and have fun. 

Walks are graded for every level of walker from Grade C easy 2 hour walks to Grade A

4-5 hours, so there is an opportunity for everyone. This year there is a choice of seven great walks ranging from easy woodland to more challenging treks in remote wilderness areas of the Slieve Blooms. 

The fee is €8 per walk (accompanied children are free). If you wish to join the Slieve Bloom Walking Club and avail of guided walks every Sunday of the year then annual membership is €20 (single) or €30 (family).

For more details please visit:

W: www.slievebloom.ie or  http://arcg.is/1MjusAN

F: facebook.com/slievebloomoutdoors 

T: 086 8210056


A Nurse at 1916 (Film).                                                          

Heritage House, Abbeyleix.

Contact Details: info@abbeyleixheritage.com


Abbeyleix Heritage Company have created a short film on the personal recollections of Mary O’Shea, a former midwife and district nurse from Abbeyleix who served the districts of Abbeyleix, Durrow, Ballinakill, Shanahoe and Raheen, delivering over 1,500 babies. She was working as a midwife in the Rotunda Hospital during the events of Easter Week 1916.