‘Unexplored Paths lead to Undiscovered Treasures’…
There’s a certain excitement to finding experiences that feel more authentic or undiscovered by travellers. Whether it’s hidden gems like woodlands, historic ruins and ancient houses that lurk off the beaten track, some of the most memorable and unique travel moments can be found when you veer away from the guidebooks. Here, Into Kildare reveals its top 5 Hidden Gems in the County.
With 10km of signposted walks, this is one of the few yet to be discovered areas of outstanding natural beauty in Co Kildare. Killinthomas Wood has a mixed hardwood conifer forest with very diverse flora and fauna, and is a great place to visit. You can go for a short or a longer walk, the paths will always get you back to the carpark.
Just north of the Village of Prosperous in the Ballynafagh Townland lie the ruins of two churches. The larger is the former RC church of Ballynafagh built in the 1830’s and was maintained until the 20th century but then fell into disuse and was eventually de-roofed in 1985. The smaller ruins are the scant remains of the original medieval church which sit on a mound at the South-East corner of the larger church. Both are contained in a rectangular walled enclosure which is located surprisingly like an island in a field of wheat.
The Wonderful Barn is a distinctive, corkscrew-shaped building just outside Lexlip village. Dating back to 1743, with external stairs winding around its surface, the building is believed to have originally been a grain store and is a joy to behold!
Moore Abbey Woods in Monasterevin is a mixed woodland with a choice of walking routes on the site of the 5th century monastery founded by St Evin which can seen from a look out within the forest. Monasterevein features a series of fabulous hidden gems as it is located along the Barrow Blueway and also has an impressive distillery currently in production with hopes of it opening within the next year.
Find the remains of Donadea Castle and walled gardens that have been reclaimed by nature. See the church and tower built by the Aylmer family and the home that was inhabited until the last of the family died in 1935. The 5km long Aylmer Loop brings you across streams and through native broadleaf woods. See marine life all around you on a walk around the lake and see squirrels and birds in the trees on the nature trail. After your walk, relax with a hot drink and tasty snack in the café in the forest park.