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County Kildare (Irish: Contae Chill Dara) is in Ireland's East Coast and Midlands. It is south of Dublin and also borders County Wicklow and County Laois as well as County Meath.


Map of County Kildare

  • 1 Naas the county town has its own racecourse, with Punchestown a few km south.
  • 2 Maynooth is a college town, with an RC seminary. Along with Celbridge and Leixlip it has several historic mansions.
  • 3 Newbridge or Droichead Nua is a commuter town near The Curragh racecourse.
  • 4 Kildare has a cathedral with a fine Round Tower, and is near the Irish National Stud.
  • 5 Carbury has a ruined castle.
  • 6 Clane has a ruined abbey.
  • 7 Athy has a white castle guarding the bridge over the River Barrow.
  • 8 Blessington on the Wicklow boundary stands by Poulaphouca reservoir lake and grand Russborough House.


Kildare is known as "the shortgrass county", revealing its fame for sheep farming in the plains to the south. It is the horsebreeding capital of Ireland and home to the Curragh Racecourse, as well as many studfarms. Historically, it was inside the Anglised area known as "The Pale" and ruled by landlords such as the Fitzgeralds. County Kildare is Ireland's wealthiest county outside Dublin with many middle and upper class residents mainly in the north east of the county eg Naas and Maynooth. The largest town is Naas with a population of 30,000 and is also is the county town.

Neither the county nor the town of Kildare inspired the fictional "Dr Kildare". He first appeared in print in 1936, then in the TV soap opera of 1961-66 played by Richard Chamberlain. The doctor was a Faustian invention, created by Frederick Schiller Faust under the pen name Max Brand. The real role model was George Winthrop Fish, a distinguished New York urologist who had played for the US Olympic rugby union team.

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Get around[edit]


  • In Kildare see the Irish National Stud Farm, which contains the Japanese Gardens.
  • Castletown House is a grand Palladian mansion in Celbridge near Maynooth.


  • Go to the races: 1 The Curragh is between Newbridge and Kildare, while 2 Punchestown is south of Naas.
  • Gaelic games: Kildare GAA play football and hurling at St Conleth's Park in Newbridge. There are some 50 GAA clubs across the county.
  • Golf: There are some excellent golf courses in Kildare, such as The K Club (which hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup), Carton House, and Castlewarden Golf Clubs.
  • Canal boats: the Barrow Navigation meets the Grand Canal (which is navigable from the Liffey in Dublin to the Shannon near Longford) at Robertstown in County Kildare. It courses south to Athy, Carlow, Bagenalstown, Graignamanagh and St Mullins, where it joins the tidal river down to New Ross, Waterford and out to sea. Check Waterways Ireland for current status of locks, moorings and so on. There are restrictions on how far rented boats may be taken from base, and they won't let you venture into tidal waters.


Naas and Kildare town have the most choice.


See Kildare and Naas for a selection of pubs and hotel bars.

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This region travel guide to County Kildare is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!