There is something unequivocally charming about Naas, a picturesque town nestled in County Kildare, Ireland. Not as famous as Dublin or Galway, yet it’s teeming with rich cultural history, picturesque landscapes, and incredible culinary experiences. This article is your ultimate guide for “Things to do in Naas”, offering a unique blend of top attractions and hidden gems that will make your visit truly unforgettable.
Popular Tourist Attractions in Naas
Known as the heart of the Irish racing community, Naas Racecourse is a must-visit for horse racing enthusiasts. This venue delivers the thrill of witnessing some of the finest horses and jockeys in Ireland. With regular events throughout the year, there’s always a chance to experience the buzz of race day.
A bit further out from Naas, but definitely worth a visit, is Punchestown Racecourse. Home to the Irish National Hunt Festival, it’s a lively hub for locals and visitors alike. Don’t miss the opportunity to place a flutter and enjoy the palpable excitement in the air!
As Ireland’s premier motor racing circuit, Mondello Park offers the thrill of speed and adrenaline. Whether you’re a racing enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, the circuit’s car and motorcycle races, driving experiences and track days provide entertainment like no other.
The Moat Theatre
Experience local culture at The Moat Theatre, Naas. This vibrant cultural hub hosts a variety of performances, from local plays and musicals to concerts and comedy nights. It’s a perfect evening destination for any arts lover.
Top Things to do in Naas
Naas Farmers Market
What better way to immerse yourself in local life than by exploring the Naas Farmers Market? Held every Saturday, you’ll find an array of local produce, artisan breads, and delectable treats that showcase the town’s agricultural roots.
Visit the Grand Canal
Walking along the Grand Canal is an absolute must for any visitor to Naas. As the sun sets, the canal becomes an enchanting spectacle, with the waters reflecting the colors of the setting sun. The canal is also ideal for leisurely bike rides, picnics, and spotting wildlife.
Naas Wild Food Festival
If you’re visiting Naas in September, make sure to partake in the Wild Food Festival. This event celebrates wild food and foraging, where you can sample everything from wild mushroom risotto to elderflower champagne.
Take a Golf Lesson at Craddockstown Golf Club
Experience the charm of Irish golf at Craddockstown Golf Club. This excellent facility offers professional golf lessons, making it a perfect place to refine your swing amidst the tranquil Irish landscape.
Must-See Places in Naas
Built in the 18th century, Russborough House is one of Ireland’s most beautiful stately homes. The mansion’s splendid architecture, magnificent gardens, and impressive art collection make it a must-see for all Naas visitors.
The Blessington Lakes
Just a stone’s throw from Naas are the Blessington Lakes. These lakes offer a tranquil retreat for anyone looking to escape into nature. You can hire a kayak, go fishing, or simply admire the scenic beauty on a leisurely walk.
Saint David’s Church
Saint David’s Church, a beautiful castellated church in the heart of Naas, exudes an old-world charm. Its picturesque garden is an oasis of calm, making it a peaceful retreat from the bustling town.
Steeped in history, Jigginstown Castle is an impressive architectural gem from the 17th century. This partially restored structure offers a window into Naas’s rich past.
Best Places to Visit in Naas for First-Time Visitors
Naas Town Hall
Naas Town Hall is a distinctive architectural landmark that stands out in the town’s skyline. It’s an excellent starting point for first-time visitors to get a sense of the local history and civic life.
The Kildare Maze
For a fun-filled family outing, head to The Kildare Maze. It’s Ireland’s largest hedge maze, providing a thrilling experience as you navigate through the labyrinthine paths.
Just a short distance from Naas lies Bodenstown Cemetery, the resting place of Theobald Wolfe Tone, a significant figure in Irish history. A visit here is a poignant tribute to Ireland’s struggle for independence.
Situated on the outskirts of Naas, the Naas Ball is a quirky roadside art piece that’s worth a visit for a unique photo opportunity.
Best Places to Visit in Naas for Families
Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park
Take the kids on a journey back in time at Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park. It offers fun and educational experiences, from a petting farm to interactive exhibits about Irish history and heritage.
Coolcarrigan House and Gardens
Coolcarrigan House and Gardens provide a delightful day out for families. The well-maintained gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll, and children will love exploring the many pathways.
For some indoor fun, K Bowl offers ten-pin bowling for all ages. It’s a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon in Naas.
Take a family-friendly cruise along the Grand Canal with BargeTrip. It’s a unique way to see the Irish countryside, with the slow-paced journey offering a relaxed atmosphere for family bonding.
Best Places to Visit in Naas for Couples
Enjoy a romantic stroll at The Harbour, a quiet haven away from the bustling town center. With its tranquil setting and beautiful views, it’s an idyllic spot for couples.
Lawlor’s of Naas
A boutique hotel located in the heart of Naas, Lawlor’s offers a romantic getaway for couples. Enjoy a candlelit dinner in their gourmet restaurant or unwind in their cozy bar with a local craft beer.
Craddockstown Golf Club
A round of golf at Craddockstown Golf Club is a perfect date for sports-loving couples. The course offers a fun challenge, coupled with stunning views of the Irish countryside.
Palmerstown House Estate
For couples seeking a luxurious retreat, Palmerstown House Estate offers a refined stay in a historic manor. It’s also home to a championship golf course and a renowned restaurant, making it a perfect place for a romantic getaway.
Best Places to Visit in Naas on a Budget
The Grand Canal Walk
The Grand Canal offers a picturesque and cost-free way to enjoy Naas. Pack a picnic, put on your walking shoes, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty.
Visit Naas Library to learn about the local history and culture. With free entry and regular community events, it’s a budget-friendly option for those looking to delve into the rich heritage of the area.
Canal Walk Market
Canal Walk Market is a vibrant hub of local crafts, food, and entertainment. Exploring this lively market won’t cost a penny unless you’re tempted by the artisanal products on offer!
Kerry Bog Village Museum
Just a short drive from Naas, the Kerry Bog Village Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. While there’s an entrance fee, it’s modest and well worth the insightful journey through history.
Best Day Trips from Naas
Just a short drive away, Dublin is perfect for a day trip. From visiting the iconic Guinness Storehouse to exploring the historic Trinity College, the capital offers endless entertainment.
Escape to the verdant landscapes of Glendalough, a glacial valley in Wicklow Mountains National Park. Its monastic ruins, stunning hiking trails, and serene lakes make it a must-visit.
Take a trip to Kilkenny, known for its medieval architecture and lively arts scene. Don’t miss Kilkenny Castle, St Canice’s Cathedral, and the buzzing local pubs.
Venture a little further to Newgrange, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient burial mound, older than the pyramids, is a testament to Ireland’s fascinating prehistoric culture.
Hidden Gems in Naas
Poplar Square is a quaint spot away from the tourist trail. With charming cafes, unique shops, and beautiful old buildings, it’s worth a visit.
The Canal Walk to Sallins
Take the less-traveled path along the Grand Canal towards the village of Sallins. You’ll be rewarded with tranquil scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities.
Housed in an old convent, McAuley Place is a community hub that offers art exhibitions, concerts, and craft fairs. It’s a charming place to enjoy a slice of local life.
Just a short drive from Naas, Kildare Village is a premier shopping destination that’s often overlooked by tourists. With high-end brands at discounted prices, it’s a shopaholic’s paradise!
Off-The-Beaten-Path Places in Naas
The Old Bog Road
Discover a forgotten piece of Naas at The Old Bog Road. This scenic pathway offers a serene walk through untamed nature, far from the beaten path.
The Curragh Plains
Experience the vastness of The Curragh Plains, a unique natural landscape dotted with sheep and horses. It’s a tranquil spot away from the crowds, offering magnificent views.
This small village just outside Naas is known for its picturesque setting and friendly locals. Visit for a quiet, relaxing day in an authentic Irish village.
Castlekealy is an often-overlooked historic site near Naas. Its rich history and stunning views make it a worthwhile detour on your visit to Naas.
Best Places to Eat in Naas
Trax Brasserie offers contemporary Irish cuisine in a stylish setting. The locally sourced ingredients and creative menu make it a must-visit for foodies.
Vie de Châteaux
Indulge in fine French dining at Vie de Châteaux. Its sophisticated menu and extensive wine list make it a memorable culinary experience.
One New Row
A hidden gem in Naas, One New Row is a gastropub offering exceptional food and craft beers. Their modern twist on traditional Irish dishes is sure to impress.
FAQ: Best Things to Do in Naas
Q: What are some of the best things to do in Naas?
A: Naas, a town in County Kildare, Ireland, offers a range of enjoyable activities. Here are some of the best things to do in Naas:
Q: Are there any historical sites to visit in Naas?
A: Yes, Naas has a rich history, and there are several historical sites to explore. Don’t miss Naas Castle, a medieval fortress with an intriguing past. You can also visit the nearby site of the ancient Hill of Allen, associated with Irish mythology and folklore.
Q: What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Naas?
A: Naas offers beautiful natural surroundings, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. You can explore the stunning Blessington Lakes and enjoy activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing. The nearby Curragh Plains, known for its horse racing heritage, is also great for walks, picnics, and horseback riding.
Q: Are there any parks or gardens to visit in Naas?
A: Absolutely! Spend a relaxing day at the beautiful Naas Town Park, where you can take leisurely walks, enjoy the playgrounds, have a picnic, or feed the ducks in the pond. The Kildare Maze, located just outside Naas, offers a fun-filled adventure with hedge mazes, zip lines, and a crazy golf course.
Q: Can you recommend any cultural or heritage attractions in Naas?
A: Naas is home to the Moat Theatre, a vibrant cultural center hosting a variety of theatrical performances, concerts, and art exhibitions. If you’re interested in local heritage, visit the Kildare County Museum, where you can explore exhibits showcasing the history and culture of the county.
Q: What about shopping and dining options in Naas?
A: Naas boasts a range of shops and boutiques, offering everything from high-street brands to unique, independent stores. Explore the town center to find fashion, homeware, and local crafts. When it comes to dining, Naas offers an array of restaurants, cafes, and pubs serving delicious cuisine to suit all tastes.
Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Naas?
A: Yes, Naas hosts several events and festivals throughout the year. The Punchestown Festival, a renowned horse racing event, takes place in April and attracts visitors from far and wide. The Naas Races also offer exciting race days and entertainment for all ages.
Q: Can you recommend any nearby attractions to visit from Naas?
A: If you have time, consider visiting the Irish National Stud and Gardens, located near Kildare town. It’s a fantastic place to learn about Ireland’s thoroughbred horse breeding industry and stroll through beautiful gardens. The quaint village of Sallins, with its picturesque canal and lovely walks, is also worth a visit.
Q: How can I explore Naas and its surroundings?
A: Naas and its surrounding areas can be easily explored on foot or by bike. There are also various local tour operators offering guided tours that provide insights into the town’s history and attractions. If you prefer a self-guided experience, you can obtain maps and information from the Naas Tourist Information Centre.
Q: Are there any accommodation options in Naas?
A: Yes, Naas offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfast establishments. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious retreat or a cozy and affordable stay, you’ll find suitable options to suit your preferences.