Laois in a Time of Covid-19

Pond at Laois Garden Trail Ballintubbert House - Laois Tourism

We are stuck, sheltered away in our homes, not able to do what people love to do most, socialise, explore, visit and discover. The Laois landscape awaits us and feels like the perfect place to practice social distancing, but unfortunately a lot of people have the same idea!

The fear and uncertainty around Covid-19 is real and palpable. Coffee shops and restaurants that we love have closed their doors. Hairdressers and beauticians will not keep the grey hairs at bay for us for a while. But these businesses will open again, those walks will wait for us. Glenbarrow will delight us with its cascades of water, the wind will whip the hair around our faces again as we walk across the boardwalk on Abbeyleix Bog.

To keep your favourite Laois Tourism member businesses alive check their Facebook pages. Reassure them you will be doing business again when this passes. Buy a voucher, to use at a later date. There are some business that are operating on line. Blackhilll Woods Retreat is holding daily on-line yoga and meditation classes. They are working it on an honesty box system where you can choose what amount to pay, if you are being hit hard financially by Covid-19 there is an option not to pay.

If it is organic oats and porridge you are looking for, The Merry Mill is offering a collection service from their premises in Vicarstown. You simply phone in your order and they will deliver it to your car when you arrive.

Apo Ena Chocolates are still operating on line. They offer a fabulous range of handmade artisan chocolates. Great for that chocolate craving and maybe some pre-Easter testing!

The Village Dairy in Killeshin is doing door to door milk and local food produce deliveries, perfect for those self-isolating.

Ratheniska Farm Fresh do weekly seasonal veg boxes for collection. Their winter veg is starting to run low though, so ring them quickly if you are interested.

If you do need to get out of the house and want to go somewhere quiet, Ballintubbert Gardens have opened from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday free of charge for the coming weeks. Be assured this is a private garden and numbers will be controlled so social distancing can be practiced.

And if you would like to experience the splendour of Ballyfin, Demesne there is a virtual tour at https://www.virtualvisittours.com/category/hotels-co-laois/. Don’t forget to look up and the magnificent ceilings and down at the carpets!

This is a hard time for everyone. We are exploring new territory. Do everything possible to keep yourself and others safe, and if you can, support local businesses as much as possible.