Best Outdoor Places in Laois for Family Fun
Coming into summer and with the good weather beginning to warm our souls we are all looking at finding new places for our families to explore.
Easy to reach location
Laois is a great location as it’s only an hour from Dublin & Limerick, an hour and a half from Cork, two hours from Galway and that drive is well worth it. With some wonderful places to stay it’s a great place as a base to explore or even just visit for the day.
One of the true joys of Laois is its unspoilt rural location. While there are a number of large towns in less than 20 mins you can truly escape into the outdoors.
Slieve Blooms for family trails, waterfalls and bogland
The scenic Slieve Bloom Mountains offer a range of trails of various lengths. Visit Glenbarrow Waterfall and even have a little dip in the copper coloured water. Or for some of the most spectacular marshland views take a trip to the Ridge of Cappard and enjoy view of 6 counties from the viewing platform. Why not follow the boardwalk across the bog taking in the local nature. Both have plenty of opportunities for kids to safely explore and lots of picnic spots. The nearby villages of Mountrath and Clonaslee are always good for a coffee and an ice-cream.
Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Track
If you have older children the new Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Track is worth checking out. There are 2 tracks interwoven across the mountains with the harder routes based in Baunreagh. The gentler track is based in Kinnity and promises to be a day full of adventure. Bikes can be rented from Mid Ireland Adventures who also offer mountain bike lessons for beginners and guided mountain bike tours of the Slieve Blooms as well as many other exciting activities including Stand up paddle boarding and archery.
Cycle along the Grand Canal
If you love to cycle but would rather a slower pace you can cycle along the Barrow Way and Grand Canal at Vicarstown. Bicycles can be rented from Barrow Way Bike Hire, who also rent out children’s bikes and trailers. They have electric bicycles too if you are feeling in a more relaxed mood! If you are looking for somewhere different to stay you can also hire a barge in Vicarstown from Barrowline Cruisers.
Western style horse-riding in Timahoe
Or perhaps your family is horse mad. Fossy Mountain Springs Ranch outside Timahoe offers western style horse riding along with other wild west activities including barrel racing, roping, archery and cattle drives to name a few. While in Timahoe don’t miss a visit to the Round Tower and Heritage Centre which is located just off the village green in this picture postcard village.
Bog adventures in Abbeyleix
At the very edge of the heritage town of Abbeyleix is Abbeyleix Bog which offers a wonderful trail across the bog. The area has been lovingly restored and maintained by local volunteers and it’s a explosion of local flora and fauna. A perfect place for little explorers to spot a frog or visit the bug hotel.
Explore the majestic Rock of Dunamase
The Rock of Dunamase is a must see for families in Laois. Exploring this ruined castle on top of a hill overlooking 5 counties is the stuff childhood memories are made of. There are so many stories about this site, its Norman past, Strongbow and Princess Aoife, Cromwell and the great battles. There is also lots of folklore about Fionn mac Cumhaill’s adventures on the Rock.
Perfect family fun in the outdoors
So if you want lots of different outdoor activities within easy reach of each other than Laois is the place to bring your family. We assure you that it will always delight and always create wonderful family experiences that will leave you wanting to coming back for more