Built around a compact, triangular square beneath an impressive cathedral, Kildare town is closely associated with Ireland's second-most important saint, Brigid. Although there aren't a lot of attractions within the town itself, it's a shopping destination and a centre for equestrian enthusiasts, with the Irish National Stud and the Curragh racecourse both nearby.
Stretching from Kildare town to Newbridge, the Curragh is one of the country's largest tracts of unfenced grassland and the centre of the Irish horse-racing industry. The name derives from the Irish for 'place of the running horse', and they've been doing just that on this rolling sward since the 1700s, although there are tales of chariot races as far back as the 13th century.
Low-key Ballitore is the only planned and permanent Quaker settlement in Ireland, founded by incomers from Yorkshire in 1726. About 2km west is Rath of Mullaghmast, an Iron Age hill fort and standing stone where Daniel O'Connell, champion of Catholic emancipation, held one of his 'monster rallies' in 1843.