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Guides & Trip Ideas

5 Hidden Gems in Kildare you Won’t Find in a Guide Book

‘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 o 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.

1

Killinthomas Woods

Rathangan, Kildare
Killinthomas Woods - damienkellyphotography
Killinthomas Woods - damienkellyphotography

With 10km of signposted walks, Killinthomas Wood is one of the few yet to be discovered areas of outstanding natural beauty in Co Kildare. The 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.

2

Ballynafagh Church

Prosperous, Clane
Ballynafagh Church Waldemar Grzanka
Ballynafagh Church Waldemar Grzanka

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.

3

The Wonderful Barn

Leixlip
Wonderful Barn Ourlittlehiker
Wonderful Barn Ourlittlehiker

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!

4

Burton House and Gardens

Athy
The Green Barn Joanna.stich
The Green Barn Joanna.stich

Burtown House is one of two 17th century houses in Kildare to never have been sold and the only house that you can visit and have guided tours by family members. Surrounded by flower gardens, vegetable patches, parklands and woodland walks, Burtown House also boasts a series of secret gardens and a café, making it ideal for a wander with the whole family.

5

Donadea Castle

Donadea Demesne
Donadea Castle
Donadea Castle

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.