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Steeped in heritage importance Co Kildare enjoys heritage towns such as Athy, Kildare town, Leixlip and Celbridge – the birthplace of Arthur Guinness and home to the first brewed pint of Guinness! Considered a suburb of Dublin, County Kildare has excellent access routes to the beautiful countryside yet is only a short hop to Dublin’s vibrant city centre. The scenery is also adorned with beautiful and extremely historic cathedrals, canals, and abbeys such as the Franciscan Abbey and St. Brigid's Cathedral.
If there is anywhere in Ireland you would like to have a holiday home - it's Kildare! A holiday home in Kildare would bring you and your family closer to many activities including equestrian, golfing, cycling, walking and the food is simply marvellous- don’t forget to check out the unique French-Irish dishes found at Annamar's in Kildare. Steeped in cultural attractions, Castletown House, built in 1722 by William Connolly, the then speaker of the House of Commons – is recognised as the finest Palladian style mansion in Ireland. Visitors to the county can enjoy guided tours of the main house, have tea and scones in the café or extend their stay in any of the self catering holiday homes. Naas is the largest town and is beautifully adorned with the pure green outdoors and the plains are perhaps the best place to golf in all of Ireland! The K Club played host to the most prestigious international golf event ‘The Ryder Cup’ in September 2006. Kildare is also well known for its horse racing- all around the world; The Curragh Racecourse holds the Irish Derby in late June every year. Some of Ireland's horses have been bred at the Irish National stud located at Tully, a small village in the heart of the County.
Visitors to Co Kildare will experience unique lodgings and freedom to explore the county at their own pace. Whether it is shopping at Kildare Village Outlet or attending the Riverbank Arts Centre to enjoy a comedy festival or touring performance group – Co Kildare will present many wonderful surprises on your self catering get-a-way.
Boasting 365 lakes, one for every day of the year, County Cavan is rich in breathtaking scenery and has long been associated as a fishing haven and a water-sports enthusiasts dream! Much of the county is covered with thick forests and bogs, and the majority of the population is rurally located. However, there are a handful of major cities including Cavan Town, Belturbet, and Cootehill. The wetlands throughout the county are defined by over 300 lakes. Historically, the area was a part of the Kingdom of Breifne, and the distinctive bogs proved to be a strong defensive feature.
With a predominantly rural population, it is no wonder that the majority of recreational options in Cavan are in the great outdoors. The scenery is often notable, with gorgeous vistas, especially overlooking the lakes. In particular, many people are impressed with Lough Oughter, one of the most distinctively shaped lakes in all of Ireland. The lakes are good for coarse fishing, swimming, or other water leisure activities. With so many lakes, guests have plentiful options to choose from. Lough Sheelin provides a different fishing opportunity with brown trout. For those who wish to enjoy a vibrant bustling community, Cavan Town is a wonderful choice, with an old world feel and a good variety of welcoming pubs.
Overall, guests certainly have some spectacular options when it comes to holiday homes in Cavan. Picking Cavan is a great way to truly relax on a holiday, with a laid back and low key feel that can be just right to recharge one's batteries. Even the quaint villages have a unique feel, providing a true escape for holiday-seekers. Whether one wishes to try out the fantastic fishing opportunities or just soak in the natural beauty of the area, choosing a home in Cavan can make all the difference.
County Laois located in the south central part of Ireland, is one of Ireland’s 32 enchanting counties full of myth and legend. The scenery of Laois varies from spacious fields to beautiful gardens to majestic mountains giving credence to the magic of Ireland. Getting around Laois proves to be simple to visitors with one of Ireland’s busiest motorways running through the county. Should you be without a car, County Laois is also well served by rail travel and a regular intercity bus service. Self catering holiday homes in County Laois are also abundant and great places for visitors to stay.
Laois County boasts an abundant array of activities to suit all members of the family. From fishing, to golfing, to horse riding, to long country walks in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, to enjoying a relaxing river cruise on the Grand Canal. Other fun activities include paintballing in Stradbally Woods, enjoying a family day out at Portlaoise Pet Farm or taking part in the Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run. Popular Places you won’t want to miss are (1) historical site of Rock of Dunamase with castle dating back to the 12th century, (2) hiking the Slieve Bloom Mountains to see the beautiful Glenbarrow waterfalls or Ballyfin Falls, (3) taking a tour of the large neo-classical mansion and magnificent gardens at Emo Court, (4) attending the Electric Picnic, an annual boutique arts-and-music festival located at Stradbally Hall, and (5) visiting the town of Mountmellick to see the biggest artificial Christmas tree in Europe.
If you want to holiday in a beautifully serene land full of historical sites, festival music, and magnificent scenery, then visit the county of Laois. Laois is the perfect destination for those who want to see Ireland’s unspoiled natural beauty while being surrounded by its rich history full of myth and legend.
“County Longford, part of the ancient land of Annaly and ancestral home of the Farrell Clan, is a tranquil and mainly low-lying county, situated in the basin of the River Shannon and the upper catchment area of the River Erne. It is ideally located in the heart of the Lakelands region and is within easy reach of many stunning and historic tourist attractions, including its own Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre, Ardagh Heritage Village and Ballinamuck Visitor Centre to name a few.
It's accessibility to many of Irelands main towns and cities make it a prime location as a holiday base. Tourist Trails which criss-cross the county, bringing the visitor to quaint towns and villages while taking in glorious landscape and scenery, provide memorable days of discovery for drivers, walkers, and cyclists. Longford unique biodiversity is of particular interest to the nature lover with large stretches of bogland, some in relatively pristine condition, and distinct to the midlands of Ireland as well as places such as Glen Lough bird sanctuary.
County Longford is also a haven for outdoor sporting activities offering facilities of the highest standard and quality. The Royal Canal, Lough Ree, Lough Gowna, the River Shannon and the many smaller lakes and rivers of the county offer endless opportunity to take part in energetic water sports such as water polo, canoeing and kayaking, white water rafting and water tubing or the more leisurely canal cruising, boating, coarse and game angling. Steeped in ancient Irish Mythology, most significantly the ancient legend of Midhir and Étain set at Brí Leith in Ardagh Heritage Village, the county also has several impressive archaeological sites and a wealth of literary and musical tradition to enthral visitors to this most enchanting area.
The true beauty of County Longford lies in it's rural charm, the hospitality of its people and the breathtaking views of it's quiet countryside of farmland, lakes, bogs and the occasional low hill.”
The County of Monaghan, located north of the Republic of Ireland and just south of its northern territory, is one of Ireland's unique hidden gems. With a rough population of about 56,000 and growing, it is becoming a popular home base for many residents, and an-up-and coming tourist destination for those seeking a relaxed get-away to some of Ireland's most pristine countryside. Monaghan boasts a lush landscape of soft hills, beautiful lakes, dense forests, and quaint farmhouses throughout the numerous towns and villages. Whether one is looking to enjoy the countryside or get lost in the charm of Monaghan Town's 19th century Victorian architecture, holiday homes in Monaghan are perfectly situated to fit anyone's needs!
The beautiful landscape provides ample scenery for visitors to explore relaxing outdoor activities like horse-back riding, fishing, golfing, tennis, cycling and walking. The vast countryside of Monaghan allows for seclusion of her visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday living, and the historic town centres provide for an intriguing cultural scene filled with traditional music, cuisine and local arts and crafts; especially lace-making! Monaghan is also host to two annual festivals: the Harvest Time Blues Festival in September and the Feile Oriel Festival in May, both of which draw large local crowds and enduring festivities. Added to County Monaghans uniqueness is the Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen, birthplace of the poet. Many visitors are most intrigued by the elegant Victorian limestone architecture of Monaghan's historical buildings and town centres.
Visitors looking to acquire a rich, relaxing, cultural experience should truly consider researching a holiday home in Monaghan County. Far removed from Ireland's touristy cities like Dublin and Belfast, visitors will be captivated by the charm and unique character that inspired famous poets and writers such as Patrick Kavanagh and Patrick McCabe! It is undeniable that Monaghan is one of Ireland's best kept secrets and up and coming destinations.
The sweeping countryside of Offaly is dotted with the ruins of ancient castles, cathedrals, monasteries and the remnants of the Lost City of Clonmacnoise, once a great centre of learning. Visitors marvel at the beautifully carved Celtic crosses with their mystic messages and the ceremonial Celtic burial mounds with their cryptic legends that surround the modern cities and quaint traditional Irish villages. County Offaly is located in the midlands of Ireland near Dublin, and is bordered by the flood plains of the River Shannon to the northeast and the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the south. Tullamore is the largest, and fastest growing, town in Offally, where the majority of the 15,000 citizens reside has become a major commercial centre Tullamore is probably best known for the fine Irish whiskey of the same name once distilled here, and visitors can still tour the historic distillery and enjoy samples of the Tullamore Dew, originally formulated in 1829.
Visitors often decide to stay in Offaly holiday homes, either in town or out in the countryside, to get in the spirit of the region and to have insider tips on local attractions. One very popular site is the free self-guided tour of the Sculpture in the Parklands, a 50 acre wildlife refuge on the Lough Boora Parklands which currently has twenty fascinating site-specific sculptures dotting the landscape, with more added each year. Visiting fishermen enjoy trying to hook one of the 'big ones' in the River Shannon, or join in the fun at the man-made fishery at Loch Aisling where there are wooden stands for the angler's convenience.
Undoubtedly, the biggest celebration of the year in Offaly centres around St. Patrick's Day, when the guests of Offaly holiday homes are invited to join in the fun and watch the parade, dance to the street musicians and sample the local green brews. The Offaly Fleadh Cheoil, a vibrant summer music festival, has attracted over 200,000 guests and participants who gather to watch competitions in traditional Irish music and dance.
Centrally located, in the heart of Lakelands country, Co Westmeath is famous for its rivers and lakes, from the Shannon and Lough Ree to the Mullingar lakes and the Royal Canal. Popular water activities include cruising down the River Shannon passing by major tourists centres such as Athlone and Mullingar – two vibrant urban centres.
While in Westmeath, there are a number of activities for visitors. For avid golfers, there are a number of courses and country clubs in the area. Mt. Temple and Mullingar Golf Clubs are two of the more prominent courses in the county to play. History buffs and whiskey aficionados alike can see the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world at Locke's Distillery Museum. The museum includes a whiskey bar for visitors who would like to do more than just look at the old machinery and buildings. The most popular sight in Westmeath, however, is probably Athlone Castle. This impressive fortification was built by the English King John in 1210 to protect the crossing on the River Shannon. If castles are not interesting enough, there is also the ruined Fore Abbey.
Westmeath makes for a wonderful location for a holiday. There are a surprisingly large number of local sights and points of interest for such a small geographic area. This is made doubly impressive when the local scenery is taken into account. Westmeath is no exception to Ireland's famous landscape, and boasts vistas that are nothing short of breathtaking. In fact, there is 33 kilometres of walking path called the Westmeath Way to take advantage of just such natural beauty. Whether relaxing or active, Westmeath offers a lot of holiday potential.