Top 5 things to do this Autumn in Laois
During Your Stay at Midlands Park Hotel
The 4 star Midlands Park Hotel is conveniently located in Portlaoise Town Centre in the heart of beautiful County Laois. With its mountains, canals, gardens, castles, forest trails, rivers & lakes, Laois is truly an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, set in the Heart of Ireland. At Midlands Park Hotel we have chosen some of the best things to see and do in Laois this Autumn.
History of Laois
Laois is full to the brim and steeped with history and has been home to the Vikings, Quakers, French Huguenots to name but a few.
Discover local history at the Rock of Dunamase, just 11 minutes by car from our hotel. The Rock of Dunamase is an imposing and magnificent example of a Celtic fortification overlooking the valley of the O’Moores, just outside Portlaoise, County Laois. The site of an early Christian settlement pillaged by the Vikings in 842, Dunamase became one of the most important Anglo-Norman strongholds in Laois. It was part of the dowry of Aoife, the daughter of Diarmuid Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, when she was given in marriage to the Norman conqueror Strongbow in 1170. Experience and explore the stunning views of the surrounding countryside with the historic fortress ruins of the Rock of Dunamase. Sunsets and sunrises are especially incredible on the rock and the perfect opportunity for you to capture some stunning pictures of the scenic Laois countryside.
Step back in time and visit Timahoe Round Tower, located just 15-minutes from Midlands Park Hotel, The carved Romanesque doorway gives the Timahoe Round Tower the designation of one of the most elegant round towers in Ireland. Built at some point in the 1100s, it is on the site of a monastery founded by Saint Mochua around 600A.D.
Visit the neo-classical mansion at Emo Court. Located just 20 minutes from us here at Midlands Park Hotel, Emo Court House & Gardens is definitely worth a visit during your stay in Laois. Emo Court is magnificent example of the neo-classical style, designed by architect James Gandon in 1790 for John Dawson, the first Earl of Portarlington. During the middle of this century, it was owned by the Jesuits and it was then acquired and extensively restored by Mr Cholmeley Harrison in the 1960s. The house and gardens were taken into state ownership in 1994.
Autumn Walks in Laois
Grab the jackets and a picnic and explore the unspoiled outdoors, a treasure trove of natural beauty is waiting to be discovered. The Slieve Bloom Mountains are well worth a visit, these rolling hills link County Offaly with County Laois, ambling through the countryside and setting the stage for scenic hikes. There are so many fantastic trails to choose from with something for all levels of fitness and from beginners to experienced hikers. The Glenbarrow looped walks are a must whether you want to just experience the wonderful Glenbarrow waterfall or a hike into the heart of the Slieve Blooms there is a loop walk for you. The Ridge of Capard boasts a sensational panoramic view and the viewing platform is just 300m from the trailhead starting point so ideal for all ages.
Gorgeous Gardens of Laois
Wander through and enjoy the serenity and beauty of some of the many magnificent gardens in Laois.
Heywood Gardens are located in Ballinakil, approx 20 minutes from us here at Midlands Park Hotel. Completed in 1912, the property consists of 50 acres of gardens, lakes, woodland and architectural features. In the sunken garden, circular terraces descend to an elongated pool, where small statues of turtles gaze inquisitively at the grand fountain. On the top level a loggia, roofed with red tiles, includes an inscription taken from the writings of Alexander Pope. Highlights include a rose called Natalie Naples and Johnston’s Blue geraniums, to name just a few.
Another popular garden situated just 20 minutes away from our hotel is Gash Gardens. Gash Gardens are beautiful and perfect to take a leisurely stroll around the gardens or riverside walk and enjoy a picnic along the way or perhaps sit inside the Moon House, a rocky cavern where you can watch the water cascade from above or experience the tranquillity of the wandering streams. The gardens are considered to be a treasure trove of interesting and unusual plants in an enchanting and peaceful environment.
Family Activities in Laois
If you feel like getting out and about, there is always something to do in Co. Laois. With an abundance of family activities and attractions all year round suitable for all members of the family located within close proximity of our hotel here in Laois, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Fancy trotting through beautiful scenic woodland by horseback at Fossey Mountain Springs or cycle across the unspoiled countryside to the renowned Emo Court and Gardens. For jam-packed family fun visit the alpacas, pigs and sheep at Castleview Open Farm or take a Barrowline Cruise and explore the Grand Canal & River Barrow in Vickarstown, Laois.
Laois Culture & Heritage
Dunamaise Arts Centre is a gem in the heart of the Midlands. Located in the centre of Portlaoise, County Laois, it comprises of an intimate and state of the art 240 seat theatre, a cinema, gallery, café and workshop spaces. The Arts Centre plays host to a wide range of national and international performing and visual arts including theatre, music, dance, film, literature, comedy, and pantomime. The centre is also a host venue for workshops and many local performance groups. As one of the earliest established and most highly regarded professional arts centres in the country, Dunamaise Arts Centre is firmly established as a regional keystone of the arts in Ireland. or information on events, please contact the Box Office directly.
When looking for a hotel break in Laois, the Midlands Park Hotel is the perfect choice for all ages and is a wonderful base from which to explore the treasures and gems of County Laois. After a fun day out return to a warm welcome, luxury guestrooms and award-winning cuisine with unrivalled service and state of the art leisure facilities. Book your break in Laois today!
Why Stay With Us
at Midlands Park Hotel
All of our guestrooms are spacious and equipped with the modern essentials you will need to ensure that you enjoy your getaway here at the Midlands Park Hotel in Laois.READ MORE
Dine in Kelly’s Steakhouse with large windows, private square and round booths plus an open kitchen. Alternatively, dine in our 3 Tier Charter Bar & EateryREAD MORE
Leisure & Spa Facilities
All guests staying at Midlands Park Hotel receive complimentary access to our Leisure Centre for the duration of your stay.READ MORE