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Introducing Inistioge

The little village of Inistioge (in-ish-teeg) is a picture. Its 18th-century, 10-arch stone bridge spans the River Nore and the central tranquil square is a delight . Somewhere so inviting could hardly hope to escape the attention of movie-location scouts: Inistioge's film credits include Widow's Peak (1993), Circle of Friends (1994) and Where the Sun is King (1996). After you have wandered through the tiny centre, take a river walk heading south from town.

With a scenic stretch of the South Leinster Way coursing through town, this is a good base for exploring the region. The R700 from Thomastown makes for a lovely scenic drive through the river valley, which features views of the ruined 13th-century Grennan Castle. Better yet, try the hiking trails that follow the river and side trails leading up into the hills.

Approximately 500m south, on Mt Alto, is the heavily forested Woodstock Gardens, a beauty of a park with expansive 19th-century gardens, picnic areas and trails. The panorama of the valley and village below is spectacular. Coming from town, follow the signs for Woodstock Estate and enter the large gates then continue along the road for about 1km until you reach the car park. There are tearooms that open during the summer months.