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County Town: Naas
Population: 186,075
Area: 1,693 sq km
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Kildare - 4 places to stay

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Located to the south west of Dublin, County Kildare is a tranquil inland region of verdant pastures, gentle hills, grasslands and peat bogs - landscapes that are criss-crossed by the great Liffey and Barrow rivers and some 75 miles of canals. Designed to fit naturally into their surroundings, the canals support a wide variety of plant and animal life, and there are many delightfully scenic walking routes and fishing spots along their banks. Canal cruises are a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the quiet beauty of the countryside with its fields and farms, forests and wildflowers. Kildare, known as The Thoroughbred County, is also famous for horse racing, being home to the renowned Curragh, Naas and Punchestown racecourses. The Irish National Stud, with its fine thoroughbreds, is open to the public at the village of Tully, and there are numerous riding centres across the county catering for beginners and experts alike. Fans of motor sport, meanwhile, are in the right place. Mondello Park, near Naas, is the only international racing circuit in Ireland. Golf courses are plentiful in Kildare. They include the esteemed K Club in Straffan, the PGA National Ireland in the Palmerstown House estate in Johnstown, and the idyllic Kilkea Castle, set in the grounds of a medieval castle, in Castledermot. Other popular activities include angling, cycling and hiking, with dozens of marked rambling and heritage trails through the great outdoors, while history and mythology enthusiasts will enjoy the walking tour of Kildare town. The county is full of fascinating places to explore, from abbeys, castles and country houses to museums and ancient crosses, towers and burial stones. Attractions include Donadea Forest Park, the exotic Japanese Gardens at Tully, Ballindoolin House & Gardens at Carbury, the Steam Museum and Butterfly Farm at Straffan, the Irish Pewtermill at Moone and the Peatland World exhibition at Rathangan

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Coronation of King George I - 1714, First Edition of Sunday Times - 1822, Battle of Navarino - 1827, Big Ben Winched into Place - 1858
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