With a population of around , this pretty place is not somewhere you'd go to hide but, says Emma Keogh, who moved there in , that's kind of the point. When Keogh, who is from nearby Kill, and her husband, who is from Wexford, started looking for houses, they were open-minded when it came to location.
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When the couple first moved to Straffan she was working at PayPal, and getting out of the rat race — even if she ended up in an equally taxing position, owning and running a small business in — was just a happy side effect of the move. Close proximity to Dublin city centre, with a direct bus service Bus Eireann's from Wellington Quay on a light traffic day, it takes just 35 minutes according to Google , Straffan is a small village with big charm.
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It's as bougie as it gets, with lovely shops and restaurants, manicured surrounds, a plethora of picturesque walks to take and an astonishing number of afternoon tea options. In addition to standalone builds with large gardens set back from manicured verges, there are new housing developments and period properties too.
Families will like the Beeches estate, while those looking for a new build scheme could opt for the Hammerstone development.
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Google notes that by car, the N7 is about 15 minutes from the village, while the N4 is a minute drive. The village is well serviced by bus, too; Bus Eireann offers its bus service from Straffan village to Wellington Quay and, in the opposite direction, it will take you to Tullamore via Clane and Edenderry. North Kildare and its surrounding area is well supplied for educational options, something families will appreciate. And, for those progressing to further education, Maynooth University is just a few kilometres away. Straffan surely boasts one of the highest rates of scones per capita, with afternoon tea options coming out of its ears.
Straffan Co Kildare combines village charm with easy access to Dublin
Take your pick from offerings at Barberstown Castle , where, in spring and summer, the patio area is a treat; the K Club , of course, where cream is clotted and post-prandial walks through the ground are worth the trip alone. Of course, any mention of Straffan and its environs must include mention of Aimsir , the three Michelin-starred restaurant on the grounds of the Lyons Estate whose tasting menu opens for bookings three months ahead, and sells out almost instantly.
Apply for a table on any date, at any time, between now and and you'll have to add your name to their extensive waiting list. Outdoor pursuits are more important now than ever and this leafy enclave boasts its fair share. From golf — at the K Club, Clane's Millicent Golf Club or nearby at Castlewarden Golf Club — to horse riding at Sunnyside Stables , there is a plethora of activities on offer for the outdoors enthusiast. A trip to nearby Castletown House , in Celbridge is worth for the art and architecture - this Palladian country house, built in , is one of the finest in the country - and also for dog walking in its extensive parklands.
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One of the area's most famous residents was, of course, Arthur Guinness, whose gravestone can be found in the nearby Oughterard Cemetery. Local legend has it that the name Oughterard was exported from Kildare to Galway when Cromwell began to push residents westward. The cemetery itself is the site of one of Ireland's ancient round towers, and the crumbling stone church has stone steps leading up to a rooftop from which it is said that, on a clear day, you can see nine counties.
For a pint of the black stuff, there's nowhere better than The Straffan Inn in the heart of the village where, according to Keogh, you'll get to know the locals in no time.
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