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Our Top 5 Picnic Spots in Laois

With so much wide open space and fantastic mountains, bogs, forests, rivers and lakes to explore there is no end of picnic spots in Laois. Pack up your sandwiches, fill the flasks and grab an apple because these are our top 5 places to picnic in Laois.

1. The Rock of Dunamase.

This iconic Laois landmark makes the perfect spot for a picnic with a view. With only a short uphill walk form the road not only can you can view Laois, Carlow, Kildare, Offaly and beyond but you are immersed in Laois’ past. Spread out your blanket where battles were waged and marriages made and just soak it all in.

2. Emo Court and Parklands

Sweeping lawns, ancient trees, flower filled meadows and the magnificent Neo-Classical Emo House will fill your picnic with a touch of elegance. After a walk around the lake or down Wellingtonia Avenue, flanked by giant Sequoia trees planted in 1853, pick the perfect picnic spot and indulge yourself in a bit of grandeur.

3. Monicknew Riverside Walk

Escape to the Slieve Blooms and enjoy picnicking in Europe’s oldest mountain range. The river side walk at Moniknew is perfect for all the family. The walk itself is only 1.5km and the beauty of this spot is that it is at the start! After crossing the road, you follow the blue arrows and find yourself beside the river. There is a lovely open space before you go under the bridge that is ideal for setting down the blanket. The river is shallow here so bring a towel to dry toes and then sit back, relax and listen to the river gurgling along.

4. The Ridge of Capard

This one is for those who like to have a good walk before they tuck into the crisp sambo! The Ridge of Capard again offers spectacular views over the whole of the midlands. The walk can be as long or as short as you like, with a couple of looped walks near the beginning. We recommend trekking up to the ‘Stony Man’ before taking a bite. It is a small stone cairn, conical in shape, built on the highest peak of the Slieve Blooms. It is well worth every step and shouldn’t take more than an hour to reach.

5. Castletown

If you fancy getting the canoe or kayak out for a paddle before your picnic, then Castletown is the answer. With the shallow waters of the River Nore running through it this is a very safe place to kayak or just paddle. There is a lovely wide open space on the riverbank perfect for getting comfy on the picnic blanket and for running around and having fun. If you would like a quieter spot, just cross the road and eat away at the foot of the ruined castle across the river from the old mill.

From grand country estates to mountains and rivers there is a picnic spot to suit everyone. Which one will you choose?