Laois Accommodation Guide- Hotels, Guesthouses, Cottages and more..
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Located in the midlands of the island of Ireland, County Laois is part of the province of Leinster in the Republic. The area has a rich agricultural landscape, grazing and cereal cultivation being the county's main industries. Geologically, County Laois can be divided into three areas; the Slieve Bloom uplands in the northwest, the Castlecomer Plateau (Leinster Coalfield) in the southeast and the Carboniferous Lowlands.
The main town in the county is called Port Laoise. The town's origins date back to the English Plantations in the late 16th century, under Queen Mary Tudor. The town of Port Laoise, then called Marybourough, was founded in 1556. Despite the modern name, it is an inland town with no port. The name comes from the Irish 'Portlaoighise', which has been partially anglicised.
The Slieve Bloom Mountains are the county's most popular attraction. They boast an almost unlimited amount of different activities including walking, cycling, driving, heritage tours, equestrian trails and Irish music and dancing festivals. They are one of the oldest mountain ranges in Ireland. The Slieve Blooms are the best-known area in the county for walking, with the National Waymarked Walking Route, the Slieve Bloom Way, a 69 kilometre circular trek. The route takes the walker past deep glens, rocky areas, waterfalls and lofty summits. The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a birdwatchers paradise. They are home to some sixty-five species of birds and provide an excellent habitat for the Peregrine Falcon, a rare bird of prey. Breeding pairs are known to reside here.