So @tourism_laois is doing a big campaign to get people to visit the county. With everyone holidaying at home this year, it’s a great opportunity to experience the joys of the O’Moore county. My highlights in the incoming 🧵
First of all, #Laois is really easy to get to. It’s well served by rail and road. County town Portlaoise is just over an hour from Dublin, 1h40 from Cork, 1h from Limerick, <2h from Galway, 1h20 from Waterford, 2h45 from Belfast, 3h40 from Derry.
For rail, Portlaoise is on the main line from Dublin to Cork, Limerick, Tralee and Killarney. Portarlington is on the same line as well as the line from Dublin to Galway, Westport and Ballina. #Laois
So what to see when you’re here? You name it. One of Ireland’s finest mansions and parklands, castle ruins, monastic sites, mountains, a major river source with a waterfall, woodlands, one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland… and more.
Emo Court, designed by James Gandon, architect of some of Ireland’s best known public buildings. The gardens are open to the public all year round. Visit on a Sunday and have lunch afterwards at Batoni’s restaurant in Emo village. #Laois
The Slieve Blooms are a paradise for walkers and hikers. The Ridge of Capard affords a fabulous view into several neighbouring counties. Glenbarrow is the source of the Barrow. Some nice walks around Clonaslee as well. #Laois
The walk around Monicknew is a good day out too. #laois
You want monastic sites? Three coming up. #Laois
Aghaboe Abbey was once the seat of the diocese of Ossory before it was moved to Kilkenny. Founded in the 6th century by St Canice, the present building dates from the 14th century. #Laois
Killeshin, in the south of the county near Carlow town. The 12th century Romanesque doorway is one of the finest in Ireland. #Laois
Timahoe Round Tower is one of the best preserved in the country. Built in the 12th century, it forms part of a monastic site dating back to the 7th century. #Laois
Want more history? The Rock of Dunamase, between Portlaoise and Stradbally was one of the main fortresses of the Norman era. #Laois
Having some technical issues here, so will finish this thread anon. #Laois
Back on the grid, so a few more gems of lovely #Laois to share.
Dunamase isn’t the only medieval castle in Laois. Lea, near Portarlington and Ballyadams (pictured), south of Stradbally, have long colourful histories too. Note that these are on private land, so permission from the landowners is needed before attempting to access them. #Laois
Gardens? Apart from Emo, which I described earlier, there is also Heywood in Ballinakill, near Durrow. Laid out by the famous English architect Edwin Lutyens, who also designed the Cenotaph in London, the War Memorial in Islandbrige, Dublin and Lambay Castle. #Laois
#Laois has some lovely woodland too. The trails are well marked out, so you can walk for as long as you like. Great for dogs too. 🐕 Carrick, with the Spire at its summit, is my local wood in Portarlington. Oughaval near Stradbally has a Mass Rock within. #Laois
Waterways play a big role here too. The Barrow is one of Laois’s defining features. The Grand Canal at one time had a branch from Monasterevin to Mountmellick via Portarlington, but sadly it closed in 1960. Another branch goes through Vicarstown. #Laois
So there you have it. My personal highlights of my adopted county. There’s plenty more of course - follow @tourism_laois for regular reminders. Almost everything I highlighted can be accessed for free. Do come and have a look at lovely #Laois this summer. /end
PS - anyone else from or living in another county fancy doing something similar? Pick out your favourite bits, post with photos if you have them.
You can follow @unlaoised.
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