Just a few minutes’ drive from the campus Carton House is set in magnificent grounds that feature two championship golf courses – the Montgomerie and the O’Meara – as well as extensive walks and a new hotel and restaurant. The K Club, host to the Ryder Cup in 2006, is in Straffan, just 8km from Maynooth. Numerous other golf courses, including Knockanally, Rathcore, Millicent and Killeen, are within easy reach.
Straffan Butterfly Farm is open daily for three months from 1 June each year. Also in Straffan are the Steam Museum and Lodge Park Walled Garden.
Castletown House, the finest Palladian mansion in Ireland, is located in Celbridge, less than 7km from Maynooth.
12km west of Maynooth is Donadea Forest Park, the old Aylmer family estate, with a network of delightful walks traced across over 240 hectares of mixed woodland.
Kildare is famed for its horses and Maynooth is surrounded by some of the finest stud farms. Copperalley Equestrian Centre is just a few km north of Maynooth and is one of several within easy reach of the town.
As well as enjoying the buzz of a genuinely lively town visitors can indulge in excellent shopping on Main Street and in Manor Mills, including several exclusive boutiques. Maynooth has a range of cafés and restaurants, covering Chinese, Thai, Indian, Italian and Irish cuisine, while the numerous local taverns offer quality pub food. Most pubs have music nights featuring piano and traditional music.
There are pleasant walks in Maynooth and its environs. Visitors are welcome to stroll in the extensive parkland on the south campus where there are magnificent gardens on view. Carton Walk off the east end of Main Street takes you to the perimeter of the Montgomerie Course in Carton House. A walk along the Royal Canal, towards either Leixlip or Kilcock, is also recommended.
The National Science Museum is located on the south campus and features in particular items associated with the renowned Nicholas Callan.
The College Chapel on the south campus is a must for all visitors. From the floor mosaics and carved wooden stalls to the Rose Window and the canvas medallions adorning the ceiling the experience is sublime.
For fishing enthusiasts Maynooth Fisheries, on the outskirts of the town on the Dunboyne Road, boasts four lakes and two rivers.