Kildare County Embraces A Handful Portion of Ireland’s Beauty

Kildare Castle

Updated On: March 29, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

There are so many places to get introduced to in Ireland. The significant part is that all of them will leave you fascinated and inspired. Ireland is a relatively large country with many cities to explore and many more attractions. Consequently, you may get lost in how big it is. However, one thing that everyone agrees on is that all the counties are indeed splendid. Kildare is one of the fascinating Irish counties. Its Irish name is actually Contae Cill Dara which means the Church of the Oak. There are numerous names that people refer to this county by. All the names have a fascinating tale behind them to narrate. Let’s learn more about the magnificent Irish city.

Kildare Castle

A Brief Glimpse into County Kildare

The whole land of Ireland is full of impressive sceneries to behold. It is a picturesque county that can easily astound you. Kildare, in particular, has a lot of coursing rivers, bog lands, thick forests, hills, and grasslands. There is always something wonderful to behold around that big city. For the record, Kildare is the second largest city in population. That was because a handful of European multinational companies moved their headquarters to Kildare. Regarding the size of the land, it is ranked the eighth largest county of all twelve Leinsters.

Interesting Facts about Kildare

The lands are fascinating and magnificent, and the county’s history is mesmerizing. Besides, being home to many pleasing sceneries, Kildare also embraces an excellent array of facts that will keep you entertained.

The Hometown of the Famous Irish Family, the Guinness

Arthur Guinness was known for being the founder of the black stuff. He was born in 1725 in Kildare and became wealthy upon the death of his godfather, Arthur Price. Price happened to be the Archbishop of the Church of Ireland of Cashel. The latter died in 1752 and left Guinness a sufficient amount of money. He was 27 years old back then.

Guinness used that money to establish a brewery; he was famous for brewing ale then. He was also married to Olivia Whitmore and had around twenty children. The place of death was in Dublin; however, he was buried in the family plot of his mother in Kildare.

The Grave of Wolfe Tone Lies There

The ancient parish church and Bodenstown, Co. Kildare graveyard, just outside the village of Clane, is the burial place of Theobald Wolfe Tone. Wolfe Tone was one of the leaders of the 1798 Rebellion and is generally regarded as the father of Irish Republicanism.

He was buried in Bodenstown upon his death on 19 November 1798, 8 days after attempting suicide by using a penknife to open an artery in his neck to avoid death by hanging for his part in the Rebellion. Historically, it is a very interesting site, with Wolfe Tone’s grave itself visible and several flagstones, including quotes from Padraig Pearse and Wolfe Tone himself.

Top Tourist Attractions in Kildare

Despite being home to amazing sceneries, most people tend to overlook Kildare. Unfortunately, they miss out on all of the magnificent sites out there. However, you can avoid making this mistake. Treat yourself to an unforgettable tour around the county’s exclusive attractions and magical wonders.


Agape happens to be one of the most significant cafes in Ireland. It is a tiny cafe; however, it is pretty popular. The word agape itself is a Greek one that means unconditional love. The reason for picking such a name may be the high-quality food the café offers. It is a symbol of providing people with unconditional love through the fresh food it serves. It is a trendy café serving the best food prepared with the best quality. There is also a bar for coffee, soups, salads, and hot sandwiches.

Ballindoolin House and Gardens

The Bors were a Dutch family who owned the Ballindoolin house. It was built in 1822 and is a historic Irish country house. One of the significant marks of the house is the presence of the walled garden. The walls are Victorian-style, and the whole place is quite appealing as a family place. Inside the house are several coffee and crafts shops for the visitor to enjoy.

There is also a museum and around it, there are ancient woods. People enjoy strolls around the trails of the house. There is also a well-known restaurant that people constantly visit. The house is sometimes used as a wedding venue as well. It is pretty huge and can serve as a hall to welcome a significant number of guests.

Castletown Estate & the Wonderful Barn

In honour of William Conolly, the Castletown came up. He was the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. Conolly died in 1729, and his wife stayed in Castletown right after. She was responsible for the great additions to the place. Many building ventures came up thanks to her, including the Wonderful Barn. She built that barn in the 1740s, right after the famine years were up. Her purpose was to store additional grains to avoid any blights in the future. Besides, she employed the local folks whom the famine negatively impacted.

Although Castletown was a private ownership, it now shares a state ownership. Visitors frequently come during summer from May through August. Thankfully, admission is free so that everyone can visit the place.

Coolcarrigan House Gardens

On the edge of the famous Bog of Allen is a hidden oasis called Coolcarrigan. It is one of the most incredible places to visit in Kildare. Nature is an excellent part of this area as the oasis features a vast garden housing eccentric forms of trees. Also, the best part is that people get to have their weddings around this magnificent area.

There is a small church that a moat surrounds and makes way for newlyweds to enjoy a fantastic place. Ireland has a lot of gardens all around. However, this one, in particular, is home to the rarest types of shrubs and trees.

Irish National Stud & Gardens

One of the most significant stud farms around Ireland is the Irish National Stud & Gardens. While in Kildare, you should head there and capture the beauty of the place. This should be your ultimate destination if you are a horse lover. Besides the stud, some gardens represent luxury and extravagance.

They are known as the Japanese Gardens and have been around since 1906. Besides, the reason behind their name, the Japanese Gardens, is a reference to the nationality of their designers. Tassa Eida was a Japanese horticulturist who laid those gardens out along with Minoru, his son.

However, a wealthy Scotsman, Colonel William Hall Walker, was the one to request those gardens. He belonged to one of the Irish famous Brewing families at that time. The gardens contain rocks, water, lawns, plants, flowers, and trees. The sole purpose of many natural elements is to represent the Life of Man.

Kilcock Art Gallery

Breda Smyth was the one who established the Kilcock Art Gallery. However, George Campbell, the Irish artist, opened the gallery back in 1978. It exhibits masterpieces of the finest arts of the Irish artists, including paintings, sculptures, and more.

Kildare Village

This village was founded in 1992. It is the best destination for shoppers and fashion gurus. The tiny village houses one of the biggest malls in Ireland. It is home to hundreds of brands from all over the world. Shoppers also love this place as they find their favourite brands at lower prices.  The design of the place represents inner streets, and there are many food trucks where you can buy gourmet meals. Value Retail also happens to be the operator of the Bicester Village Shopping Collection. They design luxurious outlet shopping brands.

Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park

Wants to spend your time in an unusual place? Well, it is time to head to Discovery Park. It is the perfect place for family outings, but you will always have great fun. They also offer a wide array of activities from which you will find interesting. The activities include a playground for adventure, crazy golf, a petting farm, and a miniature railway. There is also a hut that resembles those of the Iron Age, along with a fairy village.

Moone High Cross

Christianity arrived in Ireland a long time ago. It has been centuries since the land embraced Christians as most of the country’s population. Thus, it is pretty standard that we come across sites around the early times. Moone High Cross is a Christian monument that dates back to the early eras.

It is one of the most magnificent monuments in Ireland as well. The Moone High Cross is a masterpiece as old as the 9th century. You can find it within an abbey ruins in the 13th century. Carved into it are biblical scenes that tell old tales.

Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center & Museum of Style Icons

Are you interested in seeing somewhere that looks glamorous and lavishly designed? Well, Newbridge Silverware it is. This place used to be a company that dates back to the 30’s. The Kildare family owned the place. It has a long heritage, given that it survived the Second World War.

Not only that, but it also managed to succeed internationally as an Irish brand. It has an online store as well. The store contains a lot of jewellery and design exhibitions; however, it also has an on-site restaurant for everyone to enjoy. Silver Restaurant is known for being delightful and charming.

Besides silverware, there is also a museum that houses several iconic items belonging to celebrities. It all started with Audrey Hepburn’s dress, which joined the collection in the 2000s. After that, the museum was up and collecting items from public figures. Those include items from Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, and more.

St. Brigid’s Cathedral

The Cathedral dates back to the 13th century and holds the name of one of Ireland’s significant saints. However, the cathedral happens to present more saints than just Brigid. It depicts Patrick and Colmcille as well. Those three saints were the most significant Irish saints. Inside the church is also the tomb of the Bishop of Kildare, Walter Wellesley. It stayed there after it was restored in 1971. Legends have it that the tomb of the deceased bishop disappeared when he was dead. But it is back in the church in the early 70s.

On one side of the cathedral, a round tower is relatively high. It belongs to the 10th century and is known to be the second-highest tower in Ireland. Besides, a wishing stone sits very close to the tower. People go there where they touch their shoulders and put their arms through the hole, wishing for whatever they desire. According to their beliefs and history, people have their wishes granted by wishing upon this holy stone.

The Bog of Allen Nature Center

It is a national centre that Kildare holds. The Irish Peatland Conservation Council runs the whole centre. Their main goal is to keep a symbolic part of the peatlands for the upcoming generations. This centre specializes in exhibiting education on peat land as well as research. The centre has different facilities, including a museum, habitats, gardens, exhibitions, and a research library.

The museum revolves around education in peatland. On the other hand, the exhibitions display all you need to know about the Bog of Allen. While there are many gardens, one of them is the most extensive carnivorous plants garden in Ireland. It offers several activities such as frog hunting, nature crafts, dipping in ponds, and tours around the garden or the museum.

The Curragh Racecourse

The Curragh Racecourse is one of the most famous race platforms in Kildare. Besides, it happened not to be the only one there. Kildare houses several racecourses, starting from Punchestown and to The Curragh. Despite their abundance, The Curragh, in particular, is the foremost horse racing venue nationwide.

This international horse racing platform witnesses the Irish Derby Festival on an annual basis. It takes place in June if this may pique your interest. You can spend a whole day there and enjoy the splendid activities. Some bars and restaurants serve the best food and drink to ensure the ultimate entertainment. You can also take your kids along; there is a place specified for them to play around all day.

The Steam Museum

Kildare houses a lot of museums, including the Steam Museum. This destination is by far the perfect one for families. There is a lot to witness at that museum, including a fine collection of models of steam locomotives. Over and beyond, the museum houses steam engines of the finest kinds. They are used for industrial propulsion. Those include an enormous beam engine that operated the whiskey distillery in Cork. It also consists of the engine in the Jameson Distillery in Dublin and another in the Smithwick Brewery in Kilkenny.

Aside from the engine industry, there is a shop at the entrance. This shop sells steamed items; however, it also has items that serve gardens. You can also find the Steaming Kettle Teahouse, a café that provides visitors hot beverages and light meals.

The Wet Paint Gallery

This gallery sits in Emily Square in Athy. Art lovers will fall in love with this place. Besides, It launches parties every Friday. The gallery is open to artists of all forms and styles. They can exhibit their work there and have the chance of getting exposure. The place promotes the works of the local artists and pleases those who have a thing for art. Head there and watch unique pieces of artwork by various artists. It displays the masterpieces of photographers, painters, sculptors, and more.

Wallaby Woods

Wallaby Woods has been around since 2013. It is the best destination for the lovers of the animal world. The place houses over 35 species of animals, reptiles, and insects. They were formerly exhibited in the Straffen Butterfly Farm but then moved there when the place shut down for good. No matter your age, you will have fun and an entertaining experience. This place encourages visitors to approach animals without fear. It helps you establish a great bond with those fabulous creatures. Besides, you will get to meet exotic kinds of animals for the first time in your life.

Don’t forget to check out other places and attractions around the north and south of Ireland: County Kerry| Kilkenny| Bundoran- Donegal| Kildare| County Laois| Dublin City| County Monaghan| Ballygally and Ballintoy|

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