Laois

County Laois - in Irish: Contae Laoise, is part of the Midlaands Region in Leinster.  Laois is a county landlocked
and one of it’s unique features is that it does not border any other county which touches the coast.  Therefore it is
considered to be “the most landlocked county in Ireland”.

Tucked away in the heart of the midlands, Laois has a rich history and a surprising range of activities to keep the
whole family entertained. Amble in the Slieve Blooms - (Sliabh Bladhma) on foot or alternatively take to the water on
a barge.  The mountains stretch from near Roscrea in the South West to Rosenallis in the North West, thus forming
a link between County Laois and County Offaly.

Places to visit in Laois:

Aghaboe Abbey

In the village of Aghaboe, which is approximately 30 minutes southwest of Portaloise, County Laois, you can visit
the site where in 576 St Canice founded an abbey.   After centuries of attacks and fires, the abbey was the rebuilt.

Killeshin Monastic Site

The village of Killeshin in County Laois was an important monastic centre founded in either the 5th or 6th century.  
Even though the round tower was destroyed in the 1700s, there are still the remains of a beautiful Romanesque
church dating to the 12th century.

Rock of Dunamase

The Rock of Dunamase - a popular historic site is to be found just outside Portlaoise in County Laoise.  The location
of an early Christian settlement known as Dun Masc it was later to become an important Anglo-Norman fortification.

Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum

This evocative museum is housed in a restored workhouse that was originally built in the Midlands during the early
1850’s. It is located in Donaghmore, near Portlaoise off the M7.

Ballaghmore Castle

Ballaghmore Castle is a unique and special place.  It is set in the Irish midlands in County Laois, and is the perfect
setting for a relaxing rural break.

Steam Museum

The Steam Museum at The Green Stradbally, County Laois, houses various steam, fire and farm engines. It is a
wonderful family Museum run by the Irish Steam Preservation Society.

Castle Durrow

Castle Durrow has been completely restored as a luxury country house hotel and is decorated in a very relaxing and
contemporary style. All rooms have been given their own modern identity.


Portlaoise is the county capital of Laois. It stands at a major crossroads within the Irish roads network.  Portlaoise is
on the main roads from Dublin leading to the South and South-West.

Portlaoise is a vibrant town, with various activities on offer.

Some places to visit include:  Aghaboe Abbey and The Rock of Dunamase.

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