Things to do
Our location is the very perfect base for discovering all things IRELAND'S ANCIENT EAST ... Welcome to a Land of Stories...click here for more information to Plan Your Trip. Discover The Stories such as The Sport of Kings or Big Houses & Hard Times and let Ireland's Ancient East take you on a journey to discover 5000 years of history in lush green landscapes, with stories told by the best storytellers in the world!
You are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do during your stay at the Clanard Court, the hotel is located just 1km from the heritage walled town of Athy and former medieval stronghold of the Earls of Kildare right in the heart of South Kildare. Visit its fascinating Heritage Centre which also houses the only permanent exhibition anywhere dedicated to Ernest Shackleton the Great Polar Explorer (who was locally born!), Whites Castle, walks along the Barrow Line & Grand Canal (which meet in Athy) and where you can explore the local waterways even further with Athy Boat Tours... and not to mention one of the best Irish Trad Music bars in the country Clancy's, home to the longest music sessons in Ireland!
Whether you're looking into shopping, heritage, kids activities, gardens, horse racing, golf or walking, there is plenty on offer in Kildare and surrounds.
OUR TOP PICKS - click here for your 'Top Things to Do' Guide
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.
2. Kildare Village - Designer Outlet Shopping
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). There's a café, restaurant and Children’s Playground on site. Clanard Court is one of the very finest Hotels Near Kildare Village Outlet and the ideal base for a shopping break!
3. Day at the Races
Enjoy a day at the races in the Curragh Racecourse or Punchestown Racecourse. Click here for further information on their major annual racing events, the Irish Derby (June) and Punchestown Festival (April).
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 all new for 2017 is their exciting new 'Green Barn'.
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 the Heritage Town of Athy, enjoying the historic scenery and walking along the River Barrow - the Athy Heritage Centre can organise 'Medieval Walls Walking Tours', revealing the location of the old town walls and all the well researched stories behind them (please contact the centre in advance to book your tour). 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. Click here for more details on the 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.
7. Take a Boat Trip, Hire a Barge and a Bike along the Barrow Line (part of the Grand Canal) in Vicarstown
New to Athy Town, embark (and disembark!) on a wonderful cruise with ATHY BOAT TOURS, locally based next to the Athy Heritage Centre and really experience the local famous waterways of the Barrow & Grand Canal which meet in Athy.
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 new cafe right on the banks of the canal too.
Both are run by the same company.
Alternatively, contact Bargetrip.ie in Sallins.
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.
OUR OTHER RECOMMENDED NEARBY THINGS TO DO:
KILDARE FARM FOODS - Open Farm & Shop - another great spot for families and you can pick up some excellent farm produce at very good prices - click here for more information
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 - click here for more information
HARBOUR HOUSE SPORTS CLUB - if shooting and archery grab you, this is a superb facility right on our doostep - click here for more information
PEOPLES PARK, Athy - play park and skate park
AND FURTHER AFIELD:
LULLYMORE HERITAGE & DISCOVERY PARK - award-winning!
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