Laois is an inland county to the south-west of County Kildare. It forms part of the central plain, though the Slieve Bloom Mountains (Highest point Arderin, 1,734 feet) are a prominent feature in the north-west of the county. There is much interest and beauty in the quiet by-ways of this area, away from the main roads that lead from Dublin to Limerick and Cork. Sporting attractions include fishing, hunting, shooting and golf.
Laois (pronounced LEASH) is another of Ireland’s 12 land-locked counties. The center of Ireland is dominated by a flat plain, the lowest point of which is the Bog of Allen, and comprises most of the counties of Offaly and Laois. Bord-na-mona, or in English, “The Turf Board”, have for the past 50 years harvested the bog, stripping the wet turf in thin layers, drying it and using the turf for the production of Briquettes, a modern day version of ‘sods of turf’, Ireland’s prime source of fuel for fireplace/cooking/electricity generation, etc.
The heritage of the County includes one of the finest celtic fortificatoins in Ireland – the Rock of Dunamase and numerous fine houses of architectural merit. Visit the towns and villages associated with the Quakers and Huguenots or the waterfalls and valleys of the Slieve Bloom. There are several gardens of note, angling, golf and equestrian facilities for every level, and for the outdoor walker both long and short walks on which one can escape the stresses and rigour of everyday life. The good humour and hospitality offered by the people of Laois through the numerous places to stay, places to eat and pubs in which to enjoy the Irish traditional music and fun will ensure you will have a wonderful visit to the county.
Portlaoise and Portarlington are the two main towns, which though far from the sea, were actual ports for the barges that plied the Canals linking Dublin and the rest of Ireland, before the railways were built.