Top Things To Do

'Our Top Things to Do' Guide + Maps


Here are our recommendations for the must see or do attractions during your stay with us.

1. Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens
Take a tour around the National Stud and enjoy the museum dedicated to the Irish Horse. The Japanese Gardens are a living monument to the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures and there is also a café on site. Nowhere better symbolises all that is great about County Kildare, the beating heart of Ireland's thoroughbred industry, from horses to horticulture, the Irish National Stud offers a unique experience that can be enjoyed at your own leisure or as part of a guided tour.

Highly recommended for Families.

The hotel offers a special discount to all its guests which they can avail of from the hotel reception in advance of a visit to this attraction (only 15 minutes drive away)

2. Kildare Village
Kildare Village is only 15 minutes from the hotel in Kildare Town with a host of designer shops at outlet prices (up to 70% off). We can offer you a VIP Card too as our Guest for a 10% discount - visit our GUEST INFORMATION page here to find out more.

3. Day at the Races +  Thoroughbred Country

Enjoy a day at the races in the Curragh Racecourse or Punchestown Racecourse. Click here for further information on their race day schedules and major annual racing events, the Irish Derby (June) and Punchestown Festival (April).

The hotel is a proud member of Thoroughbred Country. Ireland’s global reputation as a leader in the breeding and racing of the Thoroughbred is long established. The Thoroughbred Country exclusive experiences provide an unparalleled chance to immerse yourself in the heart and passion of Irish racing and breeding. There are a handpicked an array of captivating visitor experiences and attractions where you can meet the key figures responsible for upholding the global acclaim of the Irish thoroughbred; the breeders, the trainers, the jockeys and the unsung heroes. 

In addition to the Irish National Stud experience as listed above, our recommended (and most local) Throughbred Country experiences from what's on offer are:  

Kildangan Stud - Foal to Fame Tour

Jessica Harrington Racing Experience

The Curragh - Behind The Scenes

Combine your Race Day with one of the above experiences to really allow yourself to immerse yourself in all things Thoroughbred Country! 

4. Burtown House & Gardens
Located just minutes from the Hotel and provides an ideal place to spend an afternoon exploring lush flower, vegetable and woodlands gardens with beautiful park and farmland walks. Stop by their cafe and relax with a tea or coffee and some yummy baked treats to cap off a leisurely afternoon. Open April-September and for the two last weeks of February for 'Early Spring Flowers'and their 'Green Barn' is very worthwhile a visit if you are a big foodie!

5. Ireland's longest running Trad Session at Clancy's Bar Athy
Considered one of the great music pubs of the eastern Ireland. Every Thursday night somewhere between 12 and 25 musicians now congregate here. They play fiddles, bodhrans, flutes and mandolins and sing songs about long gone tyrants, rising moons and rose peppered valleys. 

6. Explore South Kildare's Heritage Icons
Take a stroll around Emily Square, the heritage heart of Athy town whilst enjoying medieval White's Castle and the historic courthouse building whilst discovering the River Barrow tow path / Barrow Blueway. Within a short driving distance of Athy, just outside Moone village is the Moone High Cross. Marked by the ruins of a medieval church near the vicinty of Moone Abbey, is the site of this ancient monastery and where you can visit one of Ireland's best preserved High Crosses. Not to mention the neighbouring Quaker settlement village of Ballitore, visit the library and museum (former home of Mary Leadbeater, author of the Annals of Ballitore which tells of the inhabitants and events of Ballitore from 1766 to 1823) for a fascinating insight into the local Quaker heritage that is on our doorstep - more details here South Kildare Heritage Trail - Explorer's Way.

Drive into to Kildare Town (only 20 minutes away), learn about the mythology of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and St Brigid, patroness of the Gaels. Key stops along the route include St Brigid’s Cathedral, a Norman tower house, the site of the Turf Club, and the twelfth century Franciscan Abbey.

Please note Athy Heritage Centre/Shackleton Museum is currently undergoing an exciting redevelopment and will re-open in 2025.


7. Waterways - The Barrow Way / Local Tow Path Trails / Take a Boat Trip, Hire a Barge and a Bike along the Barrow (part of the Grand Canal) in Vicarstown

Discover the local Barrow Way and the Tow Path Trails of Kildare 

Barges/narrowboats and bikes are the perfect combination to explore and enjoy the local waterways and bike trails. Both can be hired for the day through Barrowline Cruisers and Barrow Way Bikes - choose from hybrid, mountain and electric bikes, plus kids bikes are available too! All within a stone's throw of Clanard Court and you can board your barge/pick up your bike in neighbouring Vicarstown Village, where there's a great old pub Vicarstown Inn and cafe right on the banks of the canal too.

Barrowline Cruises

Barrow Way Bike Hire 

Both are run by the same company. 

Alternatively, contact Bargetrip in Sallins.

Great Waterway Walks - Athy


8. Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware

Located at the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre, the Museum of Style Icons is a permanent exhibition dedicated to design and style excellence. Showcasing artifacts and outfits associated with some of the most legendary of stars of the silver screen, iconic celebrities and royalty including Princess Diana, Princess Grace of Monaco, Audrey Hepburn, The Beatles and Michael Jackson. All located along with the famous Newbridge Silverware Shop and Cafe - the hotel has a special discount card for all guests.


Other recommended nearby Things To Do:

Athy Golf Club - 18 holes, located a minute's drive behind the hotel & Athy Driving Range is located next door to it 

Kildare Farm Foods - Open Farm & Shop - another great spot for families and you can pick up some excellent farm produce at very good prices

Stradbally Woods, Mullaghreelan & Kellivelle Lake - all within a 10 minute drive of Athy

Gordon Bennett Route - an historic journey across the picturesque towns and villages of counties Kildare, Carlow and Laois, offering a unique insight into the historic car race that roared across this 166km (104 mile) route in 1903 - 

Harbour House Sports Club - if shooting and archery grab you, this is a superb facility right on our doostep - click here for more information

People's Park, Athy  - play park and skate park 


And further afield... 

Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park

Dunmore Cave

Castlecomer Discovery Park

Delta Sensory Gardens, Carlow

Oak Forest Park, Carlow 

...and of course 'All Things Kilkenny' is only 45 minutes down the road from us - click here for more