If you’re in the Maynooth area, a stroll along the Royal Canal Greenway will be an ideal way to dust off the cobwebs and the inevitable post-Christmas food hangover. If you’re feeling especially energetic – you can opt to head off for a cycle, with both 6km and 13km routes available to both Kilcock and Enfield respectively, you can work up an appetite for lunch or coffee and a sweet treat in Shoda Market Café.
The Victorian Tea Rooms is also another great coffee and sandwich/ pastry option if you’re in the area.
There’ s a few different options if you’re in Naas as well, Naas Historic Trail is a great option to be a tourist locally and learn a little bit more about the history of Naas through some walking trail options which include landmarks like the Old Railway Station, the Moate Theatre and the Town Gates.
The grounds of Killashee Hotel are also a gorgeous idyllic option for a walk, with a small coffee shop also open and serving hot drinks, scones and pastries.
The Dew Drop Inn, in the area, also has a stellar reputation for producing some cult craft beers, but also has an award-winning gastro pub if you find that Christmas strolls are thirsty work.
A canal side walk taking in the sights and sounds along the Grand Canal is a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of normal life. Get the running shoes out or bring your bike and cycle the 13km route to the old train station in Hazelhatch to make a good morning out of it.
If it’s just a snack and coffee you’re after – don’t leave Sallins without some take away treats from Two Cooks 2C Café and Food Hall. You won’t regret it.
If it’s the full lunch and possibly a cheeky pint alongside a cosy fire you’re after – get yourself in to Lock 13 Brewpub.
If you’re in the Athy area, a stroll around the magical Mullaghreelan Woods is a great option for all the family. After a quick walk, why not stop off for a visit to The Old Yard where you can pick up some coffee, treats and beautiful festive goodies for home. For a fairytale festive experience, Kilkea Castle is close by and the grounds are also worth a look around.
If you’ve got 2023 weddings on your mind, make sure to stop by the Wishing Well, where traditionally women used to throw in some coins and make a wish to find a husband…
As it tends to be nippy this time of year, you can warm up by the fire in The Auld Shebeen post walk, or nip down to Bread & Beer which is located close to Moone High Cross and check out their festive menus for both lunch and dinner.
Just outside Kildare town is one of Kildare’s hidden gems when it comes to walking routes – the gorgeous Killinthomas Woods in Rathangan. With 10km of signposted walking trails, you pick the trail that’s right for you in this relatively undiscovered part of Kildare is brimming with natural beauty.
Seeing as you’re close, and there’s picnic tables along the routes – we recommend stopping off at Firecastle along the way for some delicious artisan takeaway food options – sweet or savoury.
If it’s a sit-down lunch or dinner you’re after post walk – Harte’s of Kildare are highly regarded too, as is Silken Thomas.
If you’re looking to get out and about with some wilder natural surroundings, the Curragh Plains is a great choice to immerse yourself in the rural countryside of Kildare and meet a few sheep while you’re at it.
Circle back through Newbridge on the way home and stop off at Newbridge Silverware who are currently showing an exhibition dedicated to funnyman Brendan Grace. They have an on-site café if you’re thirsty for a cuppa, or try their Vintage Afternoon Tea, while Harrigan’s nearby do some delicious lunch and dinner options.
Make like a Hollywood A-lister and head off on an adventure around the idyllic Castletown House Parklands if you’re in the Celbridge neighbourhood. If you’re looking for a coffee stop and a bite to eat, a visit to Cliff at Lyons is a must and browse the takeaway options from their on-site café, the Pantry, which is highly rated.
The Arthur’s Way Heritage Trail begins in Leixlip – and the first part of the trail will take you to Celbridge if it’s a longer walk you’re seeking. It’s steeping in history and you’ll pass some historical landmarks like Leixlip Castle and St Mary’s Church. Walk some of it, walk all of it – just make sure that you stop off for a spot of lunch and coffee in the Court Yard Hotel afterwards – the site of the original Guinness Brewery.
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