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Ireland's Ancient East

Take it all in with Só Hotels

Explore Ireland’s Ancient East and enjoy luxury and comfort during your family adventures. The Killeshin Hotel is ideally located just outside the centre of Portlaoise town, the perfect starting point with amazing attractions within easy driving distance of our doors.

Day 1: Emo Court, Rock of Dunamaise, Lullymore Heritage Park

15 minutes from The Killeshin Hotel

 

As you set off on your Ancient East adventures, begin your travels exploring the midlands with a break to The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise. Easily accessible from the M7, the hotel is located just five minutes from junction 16. From here, there’s so much within easy driving distance to explore. Start with Emo Court & Parklands, just 15 minutes from our doors. Enjoy a stroll around the lake and keep an eye out for the native squirrels! The house itself is rich in history as one of Ireland’s largest country manor houses. Just another 15 minutes from here, you must visit the impressive Rock of Dunamase while you’re in the area. Dating back to the ninth century, this imposing structure is of great historical significance to the area. Climb to the top and take in spectacular views of the Laois countryside below. For a fun family afternoon, we highly recommend a trip to Lullymore Heritage Park, just over 30 minutes from the hotel. Located in the Bog of Allen, learn about Ireland’s peatlands with a walk through the bogland on the biodiversity boardwalk. Discover the history of Ireland during the famine and the 1798 rebellion with a replica Irish cottage and exhibition, 19th century famine soup kitchen, hedge-school and neolithic farmstead. There’s lots for keeping the kids entertained too with a petting farm, playground, indoor play area and 18-hole mini golf course! You’re guaranteed hours of family fun. When you return to the Killeshin in the evening, why not indulge in a delicious meal in the Cedar Bar and unwind with a cocktail prepared freshly by our team.

Day 2: Abbeyleix Heritage House, Castlecomer Discovery Park

20 minutes from The Killeshin Hotel

 

On your second day, there’s still so much more to discover in Ireland’s Ancient East. After a delicious breakfast in the Cedar Rooms Restaurant, set off for Abbeyleix Heritage House where you can learn about the historic town of Abbeyleix in the museum located in the building of the old boys’ national school. Learn about the link the town has to the Titanic and the landlord family that once ruled the area. From there, adventure and family fun await at Castlecomer Discovery Park, just a short drive away. Set across 80 acres of woodland, the park is home to exciting outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. Choose from like Ireland’s longest zip-line, tree-top walk high above the sycamores, archery with trained instructors, canoeing on the lake and even axe throwing! There’s lots for smaller children to try too with their Junior Woodland Adventure Course, Bouncing Net and Elf & Fairy Village. Explore the park with an orienteering session and follow one of the four walking trails through the natural woodland. You can prebook your chosen activities in advance online so you get the most out of your visit. There is a café at the park to enjoy tea or coffee between your activities or we can prepare a picnic basket for you before you leave in the morning so you can enjoy your lunch under the trees! When you return to the hotel, relax and unwind in our Leisure Club. Enjoy a soak in our Jacuzzi and take some time out in our sauna and steam room to rest your muscles after your day of adventure.

Day 3 – National Reptile Zoo, Kilkenny Castle

55 minutes from The Killeshin Hotel

 

After checking out from the Killeshin Hotel, set off for Kilkenny in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Just under an hour’s drive from us, discover this medieval city with a rich history dating back to the 12th century. The city is full of wonderful cafes, restaurants, boutiques and gift shops. A trip to Kilkenny city would not be complete without visiting the impressive Kilkenny  Castle located in the heart of the city on The Parade. Set upon over 50 acres of rolling parkland, visit the remodelled 12th century castle, restored to its previous Victorian splendour. The Castle is home to an extraordinary collection of paintings, tapestries, furniture and objets d’art. Wander through the the Ante Room, Drawing Room, Library and Picture Gallery and view the intricate furniture and decorative pieces from a bygone age of wealth and luxury. The estate itself is also a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with mature woodland, manmade lake, terraced rose garden and a large playground for the little ones to enjoy! While you’re in the city, we highly recommend a visit to the National Reptile Zoo, guaranteed to keep the kids entertained! Explore over 50 exhibits including snakes, lizards, iguanas, crocodiles and alligators. Take a tour through the zoo and learn some interesting facts about the exotic reptiles they care for. When you’re ready to head off for the evening, why not extend your break and explore more of Ireland’s Ancient East with a stay at our sister hotel, Charleville Park, located in the heart of Ballyhoura.