The deeper you venture into the great outdoors, the deeper your sense of being refreshed. Kildare’s pure, natural countryside—its smells, sounds, and sights—has the power to renew you. Embrace it and chase it—Kildare is rich with opportunity both on and off the beaten path. However you travel, however you challenge yourself, you’re rewarded with spectacular views of ancient wide open plains, enchanting forests, diverse wildlife, and meandering canals. Feel that? You’ve found it: room to breathe.
So, whether it’s a family friendly ramble or an energising power walk you’re after, Into Kildare has rounded up some favourite walking spots in the County:
The Curragh is much more than a premier racecourse, it’s Ireland’s largest, finest, and possibly only example of a surviving ancient lowland unenclosed grassland. With a 5,000 acre stretch of walkways from Kildare Town to Newbridge, the Curragh offers expansive walkways to explore.
The Park offers a range of walks for all levels of experience, from a short 30-minute stroll around the lake; the 1.6km Nature Trail is another, one which winds its way through some of the impressive architecture of the estate and finally, the Aylmer Walk is a 6km Slí na Slainte trail which takes you all around the park!
Just one mile outside of Rathangan village is this truly a beautiful and relatively undiscovered area of Co Kildare. Killinthomas Wood has 10km of signposted walks in the wood, offering walkers options for both short and long walks all starting from and finishing the carpark.
Talking walkers through some of Kildare’s most scenic small towns and villages, like Ardclough, Salllins and Roberstown, the Grand Canal Way follows pleasant grassy towpaths and tarmac canal-side roads all the way to Shannon Harbour and for a shorter stroll the route can easily be split into sections.
The Royal Canal is another fascinating walkway running from Ashtown, Co Dublin all the way to the Shannon. The surrounding area features Kildare’s countryside at its very best, as it traverses the historic University town of Maynooth and popular town of Leixlip. There are some worthy points of interest to entertain the eyes, like the impressive Ryewater Aquaduct.
The Barrow Way is a peaceful route through a quiet sylvan landscape, with the constantly expanding river, growing more majestic every mile for company. The walk can commence from one of many picturesque Kildare towns like Athy, Robertstown, Rathangan or Monastervin. Terrain consists mainly of grassy towpaths, tracks and quiet roads.
Arthur’s Way Heritage trail is a breathtakingly scenic 16km ramble through the northeast of Kildare as you follow in the footsteps of the stout maker, Arthur Guinness himself and take in some important historical landmarks along the way.
One of the county’s newest walking trails, St Brigid’s Trail takes in some of Kildare towns best-known landmarks. Starting at the Kildare Heritage Centre, the trail then takes in St Brigid’s Cathedral before heading south toward St Brigid’s Church, until walkers reach their final destination; the ancient St Brigid’s Well on Tully Road.
The Shackelton Trail follows the exploits of the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton around Athy and beyond. Here visitors can take a guided walking tour and also get to stop off and explore the only permanent exhibition devoted to the Kildare born Irish Antarctic explorer.
Join the Celbridge Heritage Trail and stroll through history, from early Christian Tea Lane, resting place of the Grattans; to Speaker Connolly’s Castletown, Ireland’s finest Georgian residence; then onwards to historic Celbridge Village by the tranquil riverside trail or the stately tree-lined avenue.
Kildare Monastic Trail takes visitors to the heart of the story of the dawn of Christianity in Ireland, and some of Ireland’s most famous saints like Brigid, Colmcille and Patrick have strong links with the county. The trail leads to ruins of ancient monasteries, round towers and high crosses.
Burtown House is surrounded by lush flower, vegetable and woodland gardens with beautiful park and farmland walks. As visitors walk, they can admire the manicured gardens at Burtown which are made up of several areas including large shrubberies, a sundial garden, an old orchard, a more formal stable yard garden, a walled organic vegetable garden and a large woodland garden surrounded on all sides by water.
Castletown House, one of Ireland’s largest and earliest Palladian style house was built in the year 1722. Explore and walk the 18th century restored Parklands and River Walks, from the back of the house, roughly two miles, an Obelisk can be seen.
Pollardstown Fen offers a unique walk on unique soil! Situated approximately 3km from Newbridge, County Kildare, the Fen is 220 hectares of alkaline peatland. Its location is of international importance, as this type of system is now rare in Ireland and Western Europe. In addition, it contains a number of rare vegetation types and invertebrates, along with an uninterrupted pollen record of the changes in the composition of its vegetation going back to the last ice age.
Take a stroll around the Bog of Allen and learn the history of one of Ireland’s most historic and precious fuels. This ‘peatland walk’ is an eye-opening look at Kildare’s boglands’ contribution to Ireland and the little ones will be fascinated by the greenhouse of carnivorous plants.