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We stayed at Castle Durrow for my brothers’ wedding and it was one of the best hotels I have stayed in anywhere in the world! — Trip Advisor

Activities at Castle Durrow Hotel and Things to Do in Laois

Castle Durrow is a haven for the most discerning of guests and offers lots of enjoyable outdoor activities. From our local Durrow Leafy Loops walks to Clay Pigeon Shooting and Archery, which are regular activities at Castle Durrow and can be arranged at a few days notice. Minimum number is 8 maximum 20. Competitions can be arranged for your group.

Golf in County Laois

  • A choice of four woodland clubs nearby. Green Fees from only €18. Usually no difficulty in booking tee times.
  • Seve Ballesteros designed Championship course at The Heritage, Killenard. Green Fees from €95 for Castle Durrow guests. Check out www.laoistourism.ie for details of this new annual event.

Tennis on our Omni Court all weather Court. Arrange a small group and we will set up a Barbecue in our Pavilion.

Take long walks in the spectacular Slieve Bloom Mountains and follow the Heritage Trails of Laois, go fishing on the Rivers Nore and Erkina, visit nearby historical landmarks, go golfing in one of the many golf courses in Laois, or just sit back and relax and do nothing while we attend to your every desire.

Local Heritage Castle Durrow and the surrounding areas possess a myriad of hidden treasures of heritage and cultural interest for the visitor to explore. The Village of Durrow was developed under the patronage of the Viscounts of Ashbrook and is home to a number of historic buildings around the village green. Castle Durrow itself is one of the last large pre-Palladian houses to be built in Ireland and attracts many historians from both near and far. Durrow Village has a lovely, rustic atmosphere and friendly people. Nearby towns such as the ancient city of Kilkenny, Abbeyleix, and Cashel are among the most important heritage sites in Ireland and are a must for all touring visitors.

Woodenbridge Paddlers Canoe Club

The Wooden bridge which spans the river Erkina is situated in the towns land of Ballyboden, half way between the villages of Durrow, Ballacolla and Cullohill. For a number of years a group of local water enthusiasts were exploring ways of enjoying the calm waters here. Canoing was introduced in the late 1990′s when the first fiver glass kayaks were acquired. Outings were arranged for a small group one of which a 22-mile trip from the Wooden bridge to Kilkenny City in September 1999. Numbers have grown over the years and the club is now affiliated to the Irish Canoe Union. We have three rivers to enjoy:

The River Nore

The Nore joins the Laois border three miles west of Borris’n’ Ossary and flows through the county to below the tally hoe bridge on the Attanagh Road outside Durrow. On route it traverses places of interest such as Castletown, one of Irelands tidy villages, Mountrath Golf Club, “The Mash”, a haven for wildlife, the famous DeVasey estate and the scenic countryside around Durrow.

The Erkina River

The Erkina which has its source in an area close to the point where County Laois, Tipperary and Kilkenny meet can be navigated by kayak from Johnstown Glebe, two miles south of Rathdowney and the Golf Course, the wooden bridge – the only one of its kind still carrying traffic in this country and the bridge from where to local canoe clubs gets their names, “the Curragh” home to bird watchers as illustrated in Don Conroy and Jim Wilson’s book Bird Life in Ireland, and the beautiful Castle Durrow as you approach the town.

The Goul River

The River Goul is also worthy of exploring. This river was once the home to the milling industry with Bartons Mill at Ballinfrase, Beagdons Mill at Historical Aghmacart and Baileys Mill in Newtown all situated on its Banks.

In June the wooden bridge paddlers hold an annual sponsored charity Fundraiser. The 2005 Event took place on the river Nore with the proceeds being donated to the Cuisle Centre (Laois Cancer Support House Portlaoise). Other club activities include away trips to Bennetsbridge, Thomastown and Inistioge. The association, which have their own constitution, hold a very strict rule on safety.

Slieve Bloom Mountains

One of the most popular attractions for visitors are the majestic Slieve Bloom Mountains, boasting short and long walking routes, revealing hidden gems including waterfalls, geological sites and overwhelming scenery.

Castle Durrow Gardens tour with Bart our organic kitchen garden expert. Crop rotation, organically grown vegetables and green house management. Let us know in advance and Bart will show you how its done.

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