The beautiful heritage town of Abbeyleix just south of Porlaoise is a perfect base for exploring the south of the county or for people looking for a smaller town location.
When the de Vesci family acquired Abbeyleix in 1750 they levelled the old town of Abbeyleix and moved its people to a new planned town. Abbeyleix prospered in its new location and by 1837, had grown to 140 houses. Local farmers traded at the Market House and business premises lined its crescent. Over the next century the main industries included flour mills, a brewery, and a factory that made carpets used all over the world, including on the luxury liner Titanic prospered. This history can be explored today at Abbeyleix Heritage House where many displays can be enjoyed or take the tour and find out all about life in Abbeyleix of the past.
The town boasts a family run hotel and a number of guesthouses. There’s also a luxury glampsite nearby. Whatever you choose you are guaranteed a warm welcome and high quality accommodation. Dine in a number of characterful coffee shops and explore the fine bakery. The Abbeyleix Manor hotel is a great spot for something more substantial or try Mac’s Steakhouse or Papa Nonis for an Italian fix.
Abbeyleix Bog on the southern edge of the town is a wonderful escape. The beautiful loops take walkers through woodland and forestry paths and bog. The walks are family friendly with boardwalks over the bog. Keep an eye out for frogs and unique flora and fauna.
Heywood Garden’s and woodlands are just 4km from Abbeyleix where you can enjoy the formal Lutyen’s designed sunken garden which is a gardener’s delight. The surrounding 50 acres of woodlands boasts 2 lakes, a number of folly’s and a number of looped walks and cycles.
If you plan to head further afield, a day trip Kilkenny is just 4omins away.