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10 Excellent Outdoor Activities for Adventure Seekers

Our favourite activity while staying at Roundwood was relaxing in the Drawing Room at the end of each busy day, surrounded by books and with the wood fire blazing!

Our favourite activity while staying at Roundwood was relaxing in the Drawing Room at the end of each busy day, surrounded by books and with the wood fire blazing!

JerseyGirl555, TripAdvisor Review, September 2018

JerseyGirl555, TripAdvisor Review, September 2018

Foraging

Take a 2-hour foraging walk with Wild Food Mary, followed by a delicious 4-course dinner that evening, incorporating many of the wild mushrooms and plants gathered during the forage.

Participants will learn how to identify edible wild food and how to avoid poisonous look-alikes. They will also gain tips on best places to look and be encouraged to forage in a sustainable way. Finally, they will get to enjoy the fruits of their labour at dinner, while getting great ideas on how best to use wild ingredients in their own kitchens at home.

Contact: Mary BulfinMinimum Group Size: 4
Tel: +353 (0)87 7418536Web: www.wildfoodmary.com

Foraging

Take a 2-hour foraging walk with Wild Food Mary, followed by a delicious 4-course dinner that evening, incorporating many of the wild mushrooms and plants gathered during the forage.

Participants will learn how to identify edible wild food and how to avoid poisonous look-alikes. They will also gain tips on best places to look and be encouraged to forage in a sustainable way. Finally, they will get to enjoy the fruits of their labour at dinner, while getting great ideas on how best to use wild ingredients in their own kitchens at home.

Contact: Mary Bulfin
Minimum Group Size: 4
Tel: +353 (0)87 7418536
Web: www.wildfoodmary.com

Hiking and Hill Walking

Reconnect with nature in the peaceful Slieve Bloom Mountains where you will find a great choice of walking trails to suit all levels of fitness. Choose from 17 Slieve Bloom Looped Walks of varying length, with trailheads at Kinnitty, Cadamstown, Clonaslee, Glenbarrow and Monicknew. Organised walks take place on most weekends throughout the year.

Serious hill walkers will love The Slieve Bloom Way, an 84-kilometre (52-mile) circular route, beginning and ending in Glenbarrow, and typically completed in four days.

Web: www.slievebloom.ie

Mountain Biking

If you like fast action, you will love the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trail, opened in 2020. This network of purpose-built single-track trails and forest roads is designed for use by mountain bikes on a waymarked circular route (blue and red grade).

The Bike Centre located in Kinnitty village offers guided mountain bike tours of the Slieve Blooms, MTB Rental and Mountain Bike Core Skill Lessons for beginners. Choose from a selection of Full-suspension, Hardtail or electronic MTB bikes.

Contact: Jonathan
Tel: +353 (0)85 1735204 - Web: www.midirelandadventure.ie

Road Cycling

Described by some as Ireland’s best kept secret, the Slieve Bloom Mountains offer excellent road cycling with impressive climbs and descents, quiet roads, stunning views, pretty villages, waterfalls, forests and blanket bog. Our unspoiled environment is a rich habitat for local wildlife and a scenic delight for those who take the time to appreciate it.

Try out the fantastic Three Peak Challenge - The Cut, Wolftrap Mountain and Glendine, 92km in total with a height gain of 1,363m (Grade 5).

Bikes can be hired from Slieve Bloom Bicycle Hire
Contact: Lorraine - Tel: +353 (0)57 913 7010

Roundwood Activities

Fishing

Located just 10km from Roundwood, the Laois Angling Centre has 4 large spring fed lakes situated on the beautiful grounds of Clonohill House. The lakes are stocked regularly with brown & rainbow trout, as well as carp & bream, ensuring a varied and interesting experience.

There is ample parking, picnic and barbeque areas, and tackle is available for hire. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the Laois Angling Centre provides the complete fishing experience and John or Enda will be on hand to offer help wherever needed.
Contact: John
Tel: +353 (0)87 996 2864 - Web: www.laoisanglingcentre.ie

Horse Riding

Birr Equestrian Centre offers a daily trekking experience in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, departing from the grounds of Kinnitty Castle. The horses and ponies are experienced and the terrain is beautiful and varied. Explore valleys and glens, navigate over wild bogland, and cross streams and meandering rivers from the comfortable vantage point of your horse.

Treks can be tailored to suit riders of all abilities, and the dedicated instructors will accompany you all the way. Treks can be 1 Hour, 2 Hours, Half Day or Full Day.

Contact: Noel
Tel: +353 (0)87 244 5545 - Web: www.birrequestrian.ie

Golf

There are no less than seven golf clubs in Co. Laois, and the nearest to Roundwood, Mountrath Golf Club, is only 5km away. By all accounts it is a “charming” 18-hole course, known for its friendly atmosphere. Clubs are available to rent.

Other well-known courses in the area include Abbeyleix, the oldest and probably most scenic in Laois, the Heath, laid out on open heathland, and Killenard, a Steve Ballesteros designed Championship course. All are 18 holes.

Contact: Mountrath Golf Course
Tel: +353 (0)57 8732558 - Email: mountrathgc@gmail.com

Lake and River Swimming

Although Laois is the most landlocked county in Ireland (known for our mountains rather than coastline), there are some good outdoor swimming options for those that like to activate their body’s endorphins
by immersing themselves in cold water.

Two favourite spots for locals are Castletown River and The Catholes. Both offer deep pools for swimming, but also shallow areas that are perfect for children to paddle in. Picnic areas are available at both.

Take a Boat Trip ...

... on the Grand Canal or River Barrow with BoatTrips.ie as they cut through a landscape steeped in heritage. Trips are by booking only, are 1hr, 3hr or 5hr in duration and run throughout the Irish summer, April to October.

Witness the wildlife that thrives in these unique environments and that have shared the waterways with man for hundreds of years. Be sure to bring your camera as you'll have the opportunity to capture some very unique views and remote areas of county Laois.

Contact: Cliff Reid
Tel: +353 (0)87 2061999 - Web: www.boattrips.ie

Clay Pidgeon Shooting

Clay Pigeon shooting is available on the grounds of Roundwood, courtesy of Birr Equestrian Centre, and is a great activity for groups of family or friends who feel like spicing up their day with a bit of competition. Experience is not necessary but calm concentration, a keen eye and quick reactions very much are.  Advance reservation is required.

Note: These are clay pigeons, not real birds, and therefore, no animals are harmed in the carrying out of this activity.

Contact: Noel
Tel: +353 (0)87 244 5545 - Web: www.birrequestrian.ie

Roundwood reminds you that pleasures of the past can be just what the doctor ordered to escape the pace of life we all tend to keep these days.. 

Roundwood reminds you that pleasures of the past can be just what the doctor ordered to escape the pace of life we all tend to keep these days.

Darina Coffey, thetaste.ie

Darina Coffey, thetaste.ie