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Free Things To Do in Laois

Header Image: Emo Court


At Laois Tourism, we want to make sure everyone can enjoy Laois no matter the budget, so we have compiled an abundance of fun things to do when you visit our place this year. A county rich in natural beauty and steeped in history, it’s the perfect place to explore. Here are some of the best free things to do in Laois.


Take a hike in the Slieve Bloom Mountains

The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a beautiful range, offering some of the best hiking routes and tracks in Ireland. Some of the most popular hikes are the Ridge of Capard, Glenbarrow Falls and Monicknew. There are plenty of trails to choose from, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. The views from the top are breathtaking, and it’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the natural beauty of the area. If you don’t want to walk or hike, why not hire a bike and explore the bike trails on the mountain? Explore the mountains by bike here. 

Find out more about the Slieve Bloom Mountain Trails here.


Wander around Emo Court

With  250-acres owned and managed by the Office of Public Works, there is so much to explore in Emo Court & Parklands. The gardens are particularly impressive with a large lake, woodlands, and a walled garden with marked paths leading all around the grounds making it the perfect place for all ages, and buggy friendly too! 


Visit the Rock of Dunamase

The Rock of Dunamase is an ancient fortification perched atop a hill that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The site has been inhabited for thousands of years and played an important role in Irish history. It’s a great place to take a stroll and soak up the history of the area.


Take a stroll around Heywood Gardens

This 50-acres of woodland, lakes and formal gardens including the famous sunken garden designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens is simply stunning. Heywood Gardens is the site of two garden types: the great park created by Frederick Trench and the small interlocked formal gardens created by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. With no entry fee, it’s perfect for a family day out.


Go birdwatching at Abbeyleix Bog

Abbeyleix Bog is a nature reserve that is home to a wide variety of bird species. It’s a great place to take a walk and enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside while keeping an eye out for some of the rare and unusual birds that call the area home. It’s also the perfect place if you want to meet and go for a walk. With Polly’s located in the car park, why not grab a hot drink and take it with you as you explore the bog walk?


From festivals & concerts to family-friendly events there are always plenty of things to do in Laois all year round. The best bit is a lot of these events have free entry! See what’s happening in Laois during your stay here.


These are just some of the most common free things to do in Laois but there are also plenty of playgrounds and woodland walks across the county that are free to enter and most importantly fun to explore! 


There are also plenty of budget-friendly things to see and do around the county where the great outdoors meets great indoors. From events to museums, there’s plenty to see and do with small entry fees making Laois a beautiful and historic county that has plenty to offer visitors on a budget. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or art, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, pack a picnic, put on your walking shoes, and explore all that Laois has to offer for free.


Great Outdoors Meet Great Indoors with

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