County Laoise – Castles, Dunamase, Durrow, Scarecrow Festivals and Good Pubs

We get to visit some amazing places on our travels and take a lot of things for granted.

On our recent trip to Ireland we visited county Laoise in the middle of Ireland. Had we planned better we’d have got to see the Electric Picnic but as tickets sell out fast we missed out. The Electric Picnic is held yearly just outside Stradbally.

One of our stops was to Durrow – Durrow is about 4 miles west of Abbeyleix and amongst its attractions it has the magnificent   ‘Castle Durrow an impressive Georgian house in the village of Durrow,Co Laois. Built by Capt. William Flower (later to become Viscount Ashbrook) in 1716 as his family home in the Midlands of Ireland.

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Durrow also has a yearly Scarecrow festival which is absolutely top fun with wide community support attracting visitors from all over Ireland and countries worldwide.

If you visit, be sure to check out Bobs Bar too – it sits on the River Erkina and is a lovely place to spend some time and grab a refreshment or two. If you’re hungry, the Copper kettle takeaway over the road sells all manner of fayre which will sate the most demanding of appetites.

We also managed to visit the Rock of Dunamase. An impressive old set of ruins overlooking the lowlands of Portlaoise. Steeped in history, it’s the scene of the marriage of strongbow and Aoife Aoife being the daughter of the King of Leinster, Strongbow being Richard De Clare.


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The views are stunning and unfettered by any tourist nonsense. No queues to get in, no silly signs asking you to keep off the grass, just fantastic views and big old rock walls and archways. There’s a great blog here with pictures and a write up that puts this to shame, that said I hope you enjoy the ones below in the slide show 🙂

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