Culture and heritage enthusiasts are increasingly using Maynooth as an ideal base from which to explore Ireland’s Ancient East. Ireland’s only university town is located just half an hour west of Dublin, at the heart of an historic hinterland featuring country houses, castles, pre-Christian monuments, gardens and walks.
Location is a big plus, according to Katja Nolan of Maynooth Campus Conference & Accommodation. “The university is a few minutes from the motorway network connecting us to major sites such as Glendalough and Newgrange. We’re on Dublin’s doorstep, so all the treasures of the capital are easily accessible. Also, local attractions such Maynooth College and Castletown House, and a host of restaurants and pubs, make the town an ideal place to mix sightseeing and leisure.”
The university campus offers a range of accommodation for tour groups all year round. The south campus offers a selection of en-suite rooms in Georgian and Gothic Revival buildings that date back to the foundation of St Patrick’s College in 1795. History and modernity live side-by-side in an inspiring blend.
“The unique environment has captured the imagination of visitors,” says Ms Nolan. “Groups really respond to the fact that the place they’re staying in is itself of real historical significance. Our guided tour reveals memorable stories of political upheaval, scientific discovery and religious dedication. Visitors get a kick out of the living heritage they experience along the cloisters and in the gardens. The College Chapel, with its carved stalls bathed in sunlight streaming through the Rose Window, has a real wow factor for guests.”
The new tourism initiative, Ireland’s Ancient East, will add further to the enjoyment of visitors. “Ireland’s Ancient East joins the dots in terms of all there is to see, not just in the immediate area, but further afield. It’s easier to plot your way around what Ireland has to offer in terms of heritage and culture. What’s really interesting is that compelling experiences are now coming to light in addition to the major attractions. Quirky sites, great storytellers, unexpected glimpses of the past – there’s more to see and more to make you want to come back again.”
“Unlike other universities Maynooth offers a visitor service throughout the year. We have had the pleasure of welcoming many international groups over the years. And it’s really gratifying that the groups return.”
For further information
Tel: 00353 17086910