Welcome To Kildare!
The inland county of Kildare is famous as a sporting, racing and hunting region.
Bordering Dublin to the west, it is situated on the edge of the central plain. The county's main features are big open grasslands, lush green pastures and large tracts of ancient bogland-all interspersed with trees and gentle rolling hills.
Horse mad County Kildare, as it’s known, is home to the Irish National Stud paddocks which features a foaling unit and intensive care stable, a stallion yard, the Oak and Tully Walks which flank the railed paddocks, and the Covering Shed where the mating takes place. A guided tour is available of the stud farm, established in 1900 by Colonel William Hall Walker. The colonel’s choice of the village of Tully (a mile south of Kildare town) was based on a number of factors – including the levels of calcium in the waters of the River Tully, which he felt would be good for strengthening the horses’ bones. He earned a lordship for the generous gift of the stud to the British Crown in the middle of the Great War.
St Fiachra’s Garden (first opened in 1999) can be found on the National Stud grounds too – it has among its trees hermit huts that are recent additions.
The Japanese Gardens, its senior cousin, with its Tunnel of Ignorance, Bridge of Marriage and Hill of Ambition, among other features, can be entered through the Gate of Oblivion, and the entirely contrived attraction is supposed to represent the journey through life. First developed in the earliest years of the twentieth century, the beauty of parts of the gardens mitigates the need for the symbolic gimmickry.
The Irish Horse Museum can also be found in County Kildare, where the skeleton of Irish steeplechaser Arkle is lies “in state”. Arkle’s body is complemented with displays of ancient horse related accessories and a portrait of the aforementioned Colonel Walker.
Kildare Town has among its attractions St Brigid’s Cathedral, on the grounds of which are located dining buildings and wattle huts, the living accommodations for members of the clergy.
The town of Celbridge is home to Castletown House, built in the 1720s for William Connolly. This grand home is the finest of its kind in the county.
General information Kildare
County Kildare (Contae Chill Dara in Irish) is located within the province of Leinster and was named after Kildare Town. The River Liffey runs through several towns and villages in the county.
Horse fans will enjoy the two local racecourses, Naas Racecourse and Punchestown Racecourse, home of the world famous Oxegen Festival. They may also be interested to visit the National Stud and Japanese Gardens near Kildare Town. Kildare borders Dublin and is considered to part of the greater Dublin area. Kildare is connected to the capital city thanks to the M7.Accommodation in Kildare
Kildare provides you with ample accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Bed & Breakfast, Guest Houses, Hostels, Hotels and Farm Houses are some of the possible alternatives for your stay in Kildare.Hotels in Kildare
Many of Kildare’s hotels mix the tranquility of the countryside with the convenience of near proximity to Dublin City. Rolling fields and historic monastic villages make Kildare an excellent place to stay. Hotels is the area include the Killashee House Hotel & Villa Spa, the K Club and the Osprey Hotel.Bed & Breakfast in Kildare
Kildare’s Bed & Breakfast provide you with a comfortable and affordable stay along with deliciously cooked breakfast to suit your budget. B&B in Kildare includes names such as Ryeview in Leixlip, Kilcar House in Maynooth and Malones Bed & Brrakfast in Naas.Kildare Restaurants
Kildare restaurants serve anything from traditional Irish stews to Mediterranean pasta dishes to exotic Thai meals. Popular restaurants in Kildare include Fallons in Kilcullen, Michelangelo Restaurant in Celbridge and Butt Mullins in Naas.Shopping in Kildare
Kildare provides shopping sprees with an enjoyable experience with a variety of shopping districts . These include the classy silverware of Newbridge and the sophisticated chic of Kildare Village Outlet Shopping.Kildare Car Rental
There are plenty of options for visitors looking to pick up some wheels in Kildare. Rental locations including Naas Car Hire, Maynooth Car Hire, Celbridge Car Hire, Clane Car Hire and Leixlip Car Hire.Kildare Golf
Kildare boasts some of Irelands finest parkland golf courses. The K Club, the venue for the Ryder Cup in one of the top parkland golf courses in Ireland. Carton House in Maynooth, which includes the Montgomery and O’Meara courses, has also hosted the Irish Open.
Attractions Kildare Ireland
Butterfly Farm - Straffan
Located at Ovidstown, Straffan, come and walk through a tropical Butterfly House with colourful butterflies flying around you. View a collection of reptiles, stick insects, tarantulas and bird eating spiders - safely behind glass! You can also learn about the interesting life and conservation of butterflies in the Exhibition centre, featuring butterfly collections.
Castletown House - Celbridge
Located at Celbridge, the most significant Palladian style country house in Ireland. Built c.1722 for the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, William Connolly, the designs of a number of important architects were used, notably Alessandro Galilei, Sir Edward Lovett Pearce and later Sir William Chambers. The entire estate was sold by the Connolly-Carew family in 1965, and in 1967 the house and some parkland were purchased by Hon Desmond Guinness. Both Mr Guinness and subsequently the Castletown Foundation, who acquired the house in 1979, devoted considerable effort and resources to the maintenance and restoration of the principal rooms.
Celbridge Abbey - Celbridge
Located at Clane Road, Celbridge and set amid the magnificent Celbridge Abbey Grounds, features of the abbey include historical guided tours, nature study tours, flora and fauna, themed walks and a model railway. There's also a restaurant, children's playground, natural woodland gardens and garden centre.
Coolcarrigan House & Gardens - Naas
Located at Naas, these gardens are approached by a long, woodland avenue with a large collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. The formal gardens around the house have a good herbaceous border, rockeries and fine Victorian greenhouse. The rest of the garden, divided by various paths and covering some eight acres, has a very interesting collection of shrubs and trees, mostly chosen by plantsman, Sir Harold Hillier.
Peatland World Museum - Rathangan
Located at Lullymore, Rathangan, you can explore the fascinating history and science of Ireland's boglands at Peatlands World Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored nineteenth century courtyard, it helps to explain the development of bogs, their exploitation and future importance. A series of trails have been established around the centre and guided walks are offered to visitors.