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Dog Friendly Laois

Out Buildings at Roundwood House - Accommodation in Laois - Laois Tourism

With our wide open spaces, bogs, lakes and woodlands, Laois is made for outdoor living.  Dogs are very welcome in Laois.  There is a wide range of accommodation that welcomes dogs.  Most is self-catering but there are some lovely guest houses and B&B’s that also welcome dogs.

The quality of accommodation in the county have grown over the last number of years as has the appreciation and value for tourism.  Laois has become a haven for “city escapers”.  Only an hour from Dublin, 1hr 40 from Cork, 1hr from Limerick and 1h 30 from Galway, the county is becoming a meeting point for people all over the country.  The quality and breath of accommodation from 5 star to glamsites is better than a lot of other bordering counties and offers fantastic value for money.  Our attractions like Emo Court and Parklands, the Rock of Dunamase, Heywood Gardens & the Slieve Bloom Mountains offer fantastic access to major historical sites and best of all dogs (on leads) are welcome in most.

Eat out with dogs is a little tricker as under health & safety guidelines dogs (unless guide dogs) are not allowed in restaurants.  However when chatting to our local restaurants and coffee shops, where there is seating outside, dogs are welcome and we will give you a list of some of these places

Slieve Bloom Mountains

The Slieve Bloom Mountains  are a perfect place to escape to with your pet. There are a number of marked walking routes also throughout the Slieve Blooms.

Monicknew Forest Car Park is another great starting point.

The looped walks around Glenbarrow are all marked and are made up of forest trails and boardwalks.  The location is stunning and both humans and our 4 legged friends will love to get out and about in any weather.

Where to stay in the Slieve Bloom Mountains (pet friendly).

The Slieve Blooms are spectacular and span a number of small towns and villages around Laois.  If you really want a getaway this is the place for you.   Think small village, one shop, pub, little restaurant, friendly locals and slower pace of life.  Most of the accommodation around here is self catering.

Roundwood House

Roundwood House is set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, just over an hour from Dublin, Roundwood is a beautiful and historically significant 18th century Irish country house.  Part of the hidden Ireland collection it’s a little gem.  Dogs are welcome in the self catering cottage in the grounds and dinner/food can always be arranged.

The Old Forge (sleeps 2 & pull-out couch bed)

A beautiful open plan, split-level apartment occupies what used to be the old Forge at Roundwood House. Filled with books and paintings and set in 18 acres of park and woodland, the Forge is a perfect escape, or a great base for exploring the midlands. Walking trails, cycling routes, horseback riding and fishing are all available locally in the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

We stayed at the Forge. It was magical. We kept the fire lit, listened to the rain come down outside, made friends with the cats and dogs, had morning walks around the house and enjoyed the stunning views of the countryside. There’s a library that’s everything you could ever imagine it to be, at least for a person who is ever so fascinated by different cultures around the world. We were taken care of in a way that we had never experienced before. It was warm and wonderful.” – Rowena B., TripAdvisor

Mountmellick Town – The Forum Boutique Hostel

Another great spot located in the heart on Mountmellick town, The Forum is less than 15mins drive to the Slieve Blooms or 15 mins to Portlaoise and right across the road from an artesian chocolatier shop.

The Forum-Mountmellick Boutique Hostel Accommodation is a pet friendly tourist hostel. We have had people stay with their pets and were very impressed with our hostel which is close to Emo Court, Slieve Bloom, Garryhinch woods and our local bog.

This is not your run of the mill hostel. It’s a converted church which has an amazing common room that is often used for art exhibitions and local events so there is always a gentle buzz around this place.  Dogs are very welcome.  Good value accommodation without skimping on a bit of comfort.  It’s ideal for groups of walkers or friends.

Durrow /Abbeyleix

On the south side of the county Durrow and Abbeyleix and beautiful towns. Abbeyleix Bog is an dog’s delight and full of diversity in terms of plants and wildlife.  Situated just at the edge of the town its an ideal place to take in a walk and then potter up to Mueller and O’Connell and have a coffee.  There is a lovely outdoor seating area on the main street that is perfect for sitting with your dog and also watching the world go by.

Head out the Heywood Gardens and woodlands approx. 5km from Abbeyleix. Acres of woodland walks, lakes and a fabulous formal garden (dogs are not allowed into the formal gardens).

In Durrow, there is the Dunmore Woods, the Leafy Loop routes with a number of woodland walks of various distances.  Follow along the river Erkina and across the bottom of the grounds of Castle Durrow.

Where to stay in Durrow/Abbeyleix

Blackhills Wood Retreat

Another beautiful Georgian house set in the woods, just outside Abbeyleix.  Beautifully restored and also a yoga and mindfulness retreat.  Dogs are very welcome in this very special place.

Other great places to visit in Laois

Emo Court and Parklands

Emo Court and Parklands is acres of woodlands and gardens.  The main house was the only other building in Ireland to be designed by James Gandon, who designed the Customs House, in Dublin.  The gardens and lake walk will be enjoyed by humans and dogs alike.  There is acres of woodlands to be explored and finish off your walk with something good to eat in the coffee shop. This is really a hidden gem and well worth a visit.

The Rock of Dunamase

Just outside Portlaoise on the Stradbally road are the ruins of the Rock of Dunamase.  Once home to Aoife and Strongbow and destroyed by Cromwell.  The views are breath taking and its free to visit and opened during daylight hours.  Amazingly you can bring your dog up here and if you were looking for a longer walk head on to the local woods.