One of the most notable aspects of Portlaoise are the neighbouring Slieve Bloom Mountains, which set the stage for many of the most popular activities in the area. Outdoor sports such as angling, cycling and golfing reign supreme.
The following is a brief overview of potential visitor activities in and around Portlaoise:
Fishing is a popular pastime in the countryside around Portlaoise – and particularly in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The most convenient place to cast a line is at the Laois Angling Centre
, which is located just 5 km off of the N7 in the town of Coolrain. Coarse and game fishing are both available here. It’s possible to catch brown trout in the River Barrow, and the surrounding countryside features spring-fed lakes and streams teeming with rudd, roach and bream.
While Portlaoise is not a booming shopping destination, this is still a fully equipped town at an important Irish crossroads. Laois Shopping Centre
is the largest department store in town, and it includes a variety of boutiques and restaurants. Visitors may have more luck at the farmers’ market, which meets at Market Square every Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Of course, the fresh produce, artisanal cheeses and cakes available at the market may not make for practical gifts, but the memory of enjoying them right here in Portlaoise is a souvenir in and of itself.
The laid-back outpost of Portlaoise was made to explore on two wheels, but that’s only the beginning of the region’s attraction to cyclists. Much more awaits in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, where quiet roads intersected by forestry trails offer days’ worth of cycling potential. There is a cycling outfitter on Railway Street that can assist with equipment hire and advice on where to bike in the region.
This would hardly be Ireland if golfers weren’t spoilt for choice. The Heath Golf Club Portlaoise
– an inland links
course – has been laid out around natural water features on an attractive open heath. Facilities also include a driving range and lakeside putting green. Other golf courses are situated in the outlying countryside.
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