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Free Days Out around Leinster



NameDescription
Kilmacurragh Arboretum
Kilmacurragh Arboretum
Kilmacurragh Arboretum is now managed by the National Botanic Gardens. It is the remnants of a large estate planted during the 19th century. The different soil and climatic conditions at Kilmacurragh resulted in many of these specimens succeeding there while struggling or failing at Glasnevin. Kilmacurragh is particularly famous for its conifers and rhododendron collections. Free events are ongoing throughout the year so please check out the link.
w: www.heritageireland.ie Kilmacurragh, Kilbride, Wicklow (Phone: 0404 48844)
Times: All year round. Please see link for opening times.

Castlecomer Discovery Park
For families wanting to spend a day at Castlecomer Discovery Park, there are plenty of FREE activities on offer:
Children's Playground - Woodland Walks - Riverside Park - Estate Yard Craft Centre - Picnic Areas - Animal Viewing & Duck Feeding Areas
w: www.discoverypark.ie The Estate Yard, Castlecomer Kilkenny
Heywood Gardens
Heywood Gardens
Completed in 1912, the property consists of gardens, lakes, woodland and architectural features. It was transferred to State ownership in November 1993 from the Salesian Fathers who had taken care of it since 1941. The formal Gardens form the centre-piece of the property and were designed by the famous architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944).
w: www.heritageireland.ie Heywood Gardens, Ballinakill, Laois (Phone: 057 8733563 )
Times: All year round. Please see link for opening times.
Ferns Castle
Ferns Castle
The castle was built in the 13th century. Originally, the castle formed a square, with large corner towers. Only half of the castle now remains. The most complete tower contains a fine circular chapel, with carved ornament. The tower also has several original fireplaces and a vaulted basement. Ferns Castle is one of a number of historic sites in Ferns. Others include St. Mary's, a 12th century Augustinian Priory; the remains of a 13th century cathedral, St. Peter's, a small nave and chancel church; and some High Crosses and parts of crosses, which stand in the cathedral grounds.
w: www.heritageireland.ie e: jerpointabbey@opw.ie
Ferns, Co. Wexford (Phone: 053 936 6411)
Times: 27th May - 29th September: Daily 10.00 - 18.00
Ballyahack Castle
Ballyahack Castle
Ballyahack Castle is located on a steep slope in a commanding position overlooking Waterford estuary. The castle, a large tower house, is thought to have been built c. 1450 by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John, one of the two great military orders founded at the beginning of the 12th century at the time of the Crusades.
w: www.heritageireland.ie e: jerpointabbey@opw.ie
Ballyhack, Co. Wexford (Phone: 051 389468)
Times: 24th June - 25th August: Daily 10.00 - 18.00
Altamont Gardens
Altamont Gardens
Large, beautiful old world garden, Robinsonian in style with a strong emphasis on the informal tradition of combining a good plant collection within the natural landscape of its environment. Lawns and clipped yews slope down to a lake surrounded by rare trees, shrubs and a profusion of roses
w: www.heritageireland.ie e: altamontgardens@opw.ie
Tullow, Co. Carlow (Phone: 059 915 9444. )
Times: May - End August: 9am - 7.30pm September: 9am - 6.30pm October: 9am - 5.00pm Call for Winter times. Admission: Free, except for pre-booked guided tours.
The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
The Wexford Slobs are internationally famous for wild geese which spend the winter months here. Currently about 10,000 Greenland White-fronted Geese, one-third of the world population, spend the winter on the Wexford Slobs. The Visitor Centre has many interesting exhibitions and an audio-visual show.
w: www.wexfordwildfowlreserve.ie e: dominic.berridge@environ.ie
National Parks and Wildlife Service, North Slob, Ardcavan Lane, Co. Wexford (Phone: 053 91 23406 )
Times: Open all year: Daily 09.00 - 17.00
St Marys Church
St Marys Church
This collegiate church, was built in the late 13th century on the site of an earlier monastery. It was served by a "college" - clerics who lived in a community but who did not submit to the rule of a monastery. They lived in a house, now destroyed, beside the church. The church was a large and elaborate structure, with an aisled nave (the main part of the church where the congregation sat) and a long chancel (the section of the church where the altar was placed) and has high quality architectural sculpture used throughout.
w: www.heritageireland.ie e: info@heritageireland.ie
Gowran, Co. Kilkenny (Phone: 056 7726894)
Times: 27th May - 1st Sept: Daily 9.30 - 18.00
Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre
Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre
The centre interprets an Iron Age bog road that was built in the year 148 B.C. across the boglands of Longford, close to the River Shannon. The oak road is the largest of its kind to have been uncovered in Europe. Inside the interpretative centre, an eighteen-metre stretch of the preserved trackway is on permanent display in a hall specially designed to preserve the ancient wooden structure. There is also a 17 minute Audiovisual Presentation entitled 'Crossing the Centuries'.
w: www.heritageireland.ie 3km from Kenagh village and accessed on the Longford-Kenagh road, R357 (Phone: 043 3322386 )
Start: 01/04 End: 29/09 Times: 10am - 6pm (Last admission 5:15)
Dwyer McAllister Cottage
Dwyer McAllister Cottage
It was from this cottage, in the Winter of 1799, that the famed rebel, Michael Dwyer, fought the encircling British groups and finally made good his escape. The cottage nestles in the shade of Kaedeen mountain at the top of a grassy lane off the Donard to Rathdangan road in Co. Wicklow. It is a fine example of a traditional thatched cottage built with local stone and whitewashed inside and out.
w: www.heritageireland.ie Derrynamuck, Knockanarrigan, Wicklow (Phone: 0404 45325)
Start: 01/06 End: 01/09 Times: 2pm - 6pm (Last admission 5:15)