Compared to Ireland’s well-traveled cities like Dublin, Cork, and Galway, Maynooth doesn’t get quite as much publicity. Here at AIFS Abroad, though, we think this small town is actually one of Ireland’s best.
These are just a few reasons to visit Maynooth, Ireland and prove that this small town is 100% worth your stop – or extended stay.
1. St. Patrick’s College/Maynooth University
Did you know that Maynooth is Ireland’s only university town?
Right in the heart of Maynooth is St. Joseph’s Square, part of St. Patrick’s College and Maynooth University.
Walking along St. Joseph’s Square will make you feel like you’re on the set of a Harry Potter film. Its internationally recognized “Hogwarts-esque” appearance attracts students – and sightseers – from all over.
2. Maynooth Castle
Maynooth Castle is one of County Kildare’s most well-known historic sites.
Founded in the early 13th century, this stone castle became the house of the Great Earl of Kildare. Its original Keep was constructed in 1203 and was one of the largest of its kind in Ireland. Now, it serves as an impressive entryway for St. Patrick’s College and Maynooth University.
3. Castletown House
The Castletown House sits on the bank of the River Liffey and is the first and largest Palladian style mansion in Ireland. It was built in the 1720s and influenced the design of many great eighteenth-century Irish houses.
Today, this iconic Irish heritage site is just a short ride from the center of Maynooth and is open daily for the public to explore.
4. Abbeyfield Farm: Horse Trekking
Not far from Maynooth, Abbeyfield Farm is located in the town of Clane and provides enchanting horse trekking excursions.
Their guides take visitors on fun treks through County Kildare’s quiet lanes and rolling countryside. It’s a one of a kind way to fully experience rural Ireland.
5. Donadea Forest
Resting between Maynooth and neighboring town Kilcock, Donadea forest is a lovely place to wander and relax.
There are various trails throughout this forest, making it a tranquil getaway for those who wish to escape the bustle of nearby Dublin. As the leaves change color in the fall, this is an especially popular destination.