11 Best Things To Do in Kildare, Ireland

Kildare, or Cill-Dara in the Celtic language, means the church of the oak, for it was here that St. Brigid founded the first convent in Ireland. Kildare is situated in the west of Dublin, and because of the proximity, tourists often just pass through on their way to the west of Ireland. The town has much to offer though, and most are surprised that many interesting sights are in Kildare such as a huge stud farm with magnificent gardens, stunning monastic settlements, a scenic biodiverse park, architectural wonders, and even an unforgettable day at the races.

See and discover more of this town with this list of things to do in Kildare that will make you stop and spend more time in Kildare next time you’re headed out west.

 

11 Best Things To Do in Kildare, Ireland

1.Castletown Estate

Castletown House Kildare

Ireland Travel Guides contains affiliate links all throughout the site. If you choose to purchase a product or book services through our affiliate links, this earns us a commission at no extra cost to you. For our complete disclosure, click here

A trip to Castletown House is the perfect day out for any nature-lover, those into quirky architecture and history buffs. It was built for William Conolly, then Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and after his death in 1729, his wife, Katherine remained at Castletown and took over a number of building ventures, including the Wonderful Barn. The barn was built after the famine years of 1740 – 41, with the purpose of storing grain and of creating employment for the local people devastated by the famine.

The house is known for its corkscrew tower, spiralling up into the sky, flipped inside out, with stairs curling around the outside instead of the inside. It sits in acres of forests and fields and can be reached by a stunning walk along the River Liffey. Castletown House is also one of the best day trips from Dublin. 

Opening Hours

March 1st – March 31st:
Access by Guided Tour only.
Tour Times: 10.15, 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00, 16.45

April 1st-November 3rd:
Guided Tours at: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00
Self- Guided Tours: 10 am-6 pm (last entry 5 pm)

Admission Fee

Entry to House and Exhibitions
Adult €8
Senior €5
Student €3.50
Child (12-17) €3.50
Family €15

Entry to House and Exhibitions with Guided Tour
Adult €10
Senior €8
Student €5
Child (12-17) €5
Family (2 Adult + 3 Children) €25

The Castletown Experience
Adult €6
Senior €4
Student/Child (Over 3 years) €3
Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) €18

Contact Information

Address: Castletown House and Parklands, Celbridge, Co. Kildare W23 V9H3

Phone:+353 1 6288252

Email: castletown@opw.ie

2.Lullymore Heritage Park, Rathangan

Located at the farther end of Kildare, Lullymore Heritage Park is a quiet well-preserved spot of Irish history and culture. It is also considered an ideal resource for educating both adults and kids about biodiversity and environmental sustainability, making it one of the best things to see in Kildare.

Make sure you visit the Peatland Biodiversity Trail, a raised boardwalk trail through the bog, where you get to enjoy the stunning scenery, the unique flora, and fauna of the peatlands, as well as an 18th-century farmhouse, a famine cottage, and a stone age settlement.

RELATED READ:  11 Best Things to Do in Portrush, Northern Ireland

Opening Hours

March 16th, 2019 every day until 29th September 2019.
Monda-Sunday 10 am-6 pm (last admission is 4.30pm)

Admission Fee

Single Adult €9.00
Senior Citizen €8.00
Under 2 years (baby in arms) FREE
Special Needs €8.00 – Carer Free on presentation of Carers ID Card  (HSE, IAA, FC)
Peatland Heritage Railway €5.00 (Adult) €2.50 (Child)

Family rates
2 Adults – 2 Children €32.00
1 Adult – 3 Children €32.00
1 Adult – 2 Children €24.00
2 Adults – 1 Child €24.00
1 Adult – 1 Child €16.00
Extra Child €8.00

Contact Information

Address: Lullymore Heritage Park Lullymore, Rathangan, Co.Kildare.

Phone: +353 45 870238

Email: ray@lullymoreheritagepark.com

3.Irish National Stud & Gardens

Irish National Stud Co Kildare

A must visit for horse-lovers, especially if you visit during spring which is foaling season, and seeing the little ones find their feet through a frolic in the fields is quite a treat! The National Stud Farm located in Tully, Co. Kildare, is the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry, and one of the best places to see in Kildare.

Home to several of Ireland’s finest thoroughbreds, the stud also features a horse racing museum and two of the prettiest gardens to be found anywhere in the world.

There’s the Japanese Garden, designed by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and is known to be the finest of its kind in Europe.  The second garden is dedicated to the patron saint of gardeners, St. Fiachra, and is said to represent Ireland in its natural state during the monastic period.

Opening Hours

Monday -Sunday (including Bank Holidays)
9.00am- 6.00pm-Last Admission 5.00pm

Daily Guided Tour Times
10.30am, 12.oopm, 2.00pm and 4.00pm
Car Park Closes-6.15pm Sharp

Admission Fee

Adult-€12.50
Admits one child (Aged 5- 16 years old) -€7.00
Children under 5-Free
Senior-€9.50
Family ticket-€29.50
Student-€9.50
Family Ticket (2 Adults & Up to 4 Children 16 years of age and under)-€29.50

Season ticket price
1 Adult-€48.00
2 Adults-€72.00
Family Ticket-2 Adults and up to 4 Children under 16 years old-€110.00

Contact Information

Address: Irish National Stud And Garden, Kildare County, Kildare Ireland R51 KX25

Phone: +353 (0) 45 521 617

Email: cbeale@irishnationalstud.ie

4.Get to Know St. Brigid

St. Brigid is Ireland’s patroness saint, equal to St Patrick in significance to many Irish people. She is also known as the founder of Kildare, and her influence remains. A tour of the town exploring the many St. Brigid sites is one of the best activities to do in Kildare as it gets you acquainted not just with the patroness but bits of local history as well.

Around Kildare, there’s the Saint Brigid cathedral which was consecrated in 1230, also a National Monument and holds regular services. It has a 12th century round tower that still stands, a replica of the Fire Temple, known for being the original location of St. Brigid’s perpetual flame, and nearby, the Solas Bhride, a centre celebrating the legacy of St Brigid of Kildare.

5.Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center & Museum of Style Icons

Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center

A haven for pop culture fans and anyone interested in fashion and accessories, the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center & Museum of Style Icons is one of the more unique places to see in Kildare. Owned by the Kildare family, Newbridge Silverware is synonymous with modern Irish glamour, design, and jewelry. It has gone through so much until it became an internationally successful Irish brand.

RELATED READ:  12 Best Things To Do in County Clare

During the 2000s the chance acquisition of an iconic dress belonging to Audrey Hepburn led to the creation of Newbridge’s Museum of Style Icons. The silver shop is now home to fashion collections, accessories, and artifacts of some of the most famous style icons in history such as Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Greta Garbo The Beatles and Marilyn Monroe. A definite must-visit, it is now one of the most popular attractions outside Ireland’s capital city.

Opening Hours

Museum
Monday- Saturday: 9 am-4.30pm
Sunday & Public Holidays: 10am-4.30pm

Factory Tour Admission Times
Monday-Sunday: 10:30, 11:30 and 14:00

Contact Information

Address: Newbridge Silverware Athgarvan Road, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland, W12 HT 62

Phone: +353 (0)45-431-301

Email: visitorcentre@newbridgesilverware.com

6.Kildare Heritage Center

Located in the centre of Kildare in the area often referred to as Market Square, you can’t miss the Heritage Center. Housed in a charming refurbished 19th-century market house, it fits just right in its location.

One of the top attractions in Kildare, the Heritage Center has a multimedia exhibit on the history of Kildare town and its surrounding areas. If you’re up to seeing more of Kildare they can also make arrangements for a guided heritage walk through the town which includes St. Brigid’s Cathedral and holy well, and the remains of Kildare Castle.  The centre also provides information for other attractions in the area.

Opening Hours

Monday-Saturday- 9:30 am-5pm
Sunday-closed

Contact Information

Address: Market Square, Kildare, Ireland

Phone: +353 45 530 672

7.The Bog of Allen Nature Center

The Bog of Allen Nature Center Kildare

A national centre of excellence for peatland education, research, and conservation — the Bog of Allen Nature Center features a peatland museum, exhibitions about the Bog of Allen, a research library, habitats and gardens including the largest collection of carnivorous plants in Ireland and the U.K. A must visit and one of the best things to do in Kildare on weekends, there’s a lot that tourists of all ages can do here such as pond dipping, nature crafts, frog hunt, bog walk, checking out insect-eating plants, a creepy crawly search, as well as a museum and garden tour. The Bog of Allen Nature Center is run by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council.

Opening Hours

Monday-Saturday-10am-4pm
Sunday-closed

Contact Information

Address:  Lullymore West, Rathangan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Phone: +353 45 860 133

8.The Curragh Racecourse

The Curragh Racecourse

Home to some of Ireland’s most famous and exciting racecourses, watching an actual horse race in Curragh is one of the best things to do in Kildare. The famous racecourse plays host to 19 international horse racing matches from March to October, which includes all 5 Irish classic races. A must see is the Irish Derby Festival, which happens every June. It’s a definite must-see for family and friends, as you enjoy a day of excitement, equine athleticism, and glamour, good food and drinks.

Contact Information

Address: Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare, R56 RR67, Ireland.

Phone: + 353 (0) 45 441 205

Email: info@curragh.ie

9.The Steam Museum

The Steam Museum Kildare

One way of getting to know a place you visit is to learn about its industrial heritage. In Kildare, there’s a specific place where you get to know more about the age of steam, and it offers interesting discoveries.

We may be familiar with steam locomotives because of their role in many movies, but a trip to The Steam Museum will tell you that steam once powered more than train engines.  Being the main power source for a lot of things almost a century and a half ago, knowing more about steam technology is one of the best activities to do in Kildare.

RELATED READ:  8 Best Things To Do In Naas, Ireland

Not much of it remains today as many technological advancements have occurred since then, but the Age of Steam lasted for 150 years during the Industrial Revolution.  A tour of the Steam Museum takes you through an impressive collection of steam engines used for different purposes, from washing machines in a Dublin laundry to beam engines from the Jameson Distillery, and even an engine for degaussing military ships to counteract magnetic mines. There are also demonstrations of different types of steam processes which are quite fascinating to watch for kids and adults alike.

Opening Hours

May and September
Saturday & Sunday
2:00pm – 6:00pm

Bank Holidays
2:00pm – 6:00pm

June, July & August
Friday – Sunday
2:00pm – 6:00pm

Bank Holidays
2:00pm – 6:00pm
Steam up every Sunday

Heritage Week
Sunday – Sunday
2:00pm – 6:00pm
Last entry: 5:00pm
Any other time by arrangement.

Admission Fee

Adults-€7:50
Child / OAP / Student /
Group of Twenty-€5:00
Family Admission-€20:00
Horticultural / Technology student with card- FOC

Contact Information

Address: The Steam Museum & Lodge Park Walled Garden Lodge Park Straffan Co. Kildare Ireland

Email: info@steam-museum.ie

10.Curragh Military Museum

Ireland being neutral during WWII for a number of different reasons, may be one of the last places to seek any sort of  World War II tourism. Back then, they’ve just won their independence from Britain and barely into the recovery from centuries of oppression. However, Ireland’s position adjacent to Britain, and as an island nation, often resulted in soldiers coming to the island. In 1939 the K-Lines internment camp was built to detain these soldiers until the end of the war, making Ireland party to a bit of WW2  military history.

A place run by soldiers and one of the best things to do in Kildare whether you’re into history or just wanted to see something different, the Curragh Military Museum features a number of displays about military history in Ireland and a bit about the camp. Drop by for a visit and stay for a chat with experts who can give more in-depth information at any time.

Opening Hours

Monday to Wednesday
10:00am-1230pm, 2:00pm-4:30pm

Thursday
2:00 pm-8:00pm

Friday, Saturday, Bank holidays
Closed

Sunday
2:00pm-5:00pm

Admission Fee

Free

Contact Information

Address: Curragh, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Phone: 00 353 45 445342

11.Grand Canal

Grand Canal Tullamore

The Grand Canal is not unique to County Kildare, as it is part of the Irish Waterways, which connects the River Liffey in the east to the River Shannon in the west. It is a very important part of the region’s history as well as a nice place for a stroll while enjoying the scenery.

This Grand Canal runs 64 kilometres and used by walkers, cyclists, fishermen, and hosts various festivals and events. One of the best things to do in Kildare is to either stroll or bike along the canal, take in the. picturesque townscapes and discover flora and fauna through the bogland.

Get your FREE Ireland Travel Starter Kit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2019 Ireland Travel Guides · Theme by 17th Avenue

error: Content is protected !!