Emo Court House and Gardens, Emo, Co. Laois

Emo Court House and Parklands

Emo Court House and Parklands is one of our favourite family days out. During the cooler months of Spring and Autumn we go for a stroll around the gardens and parklands and warm up with treats in the Tea Rooms on site. During the warmer weathered Summer months it’s the perfect place for a picnic. After which we usually take a stroll through the gardens, enjoy playtime on the lawn or meadow that leads to the lake, and always kick ourselves for not bringing food for the ducks.


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For me, visiting places we’ve been to as a couple, then as a family of three and now as a family of four brings with it nostalgia as we reminisce. But it also brings the excitement of creating beautiful new memories.

Emo Court House and Gardens, Emo, Co. Laois

Opening Times

Emo Court Parklands opens Monday through to Sunday:

  • January, February, November and December 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • March and October 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • April and September 8:30am – 7:00pm
  • May, June, July and August 8:30am – 8:30pm

It’s the perfect place to visit for a historic tour, a romantic walk, a lively jog or a family picnic.

Emo Gardens & Parklands

Although most websites will tell you there are no dogs allowed at Emo Court Parklands we always witness happy leashed dogs with their owners. It’s an ideal place to bring your loyal friend as they are sure to love exploring the woods and meadow.


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Speaking of exploration if fitness is your passion, then pack your trainers as the terrain makes for great running or walking. The estate in its entirety is 250 acres. This includes a lake, and some walks that cover up to 25 acres. Entry to the Gardens and Parkland walks are free. However if it’s a Garden Tour you are interested in, then you need to book in advance.

Emo Court House and Gardens, Emo, Co. Laois

Emo Court

Access to Emo Court is by guided tour. Guided tours of Emo Court are available from 10:00am to 6:00pm, with the last entry to House and Exhibitions at 5:00pm.

Emo Court tours do not need to be booked in advance unless you are part of a large group. Tours normally run on the hour every hour from opening until an hour before closing. They last about 50 minutes.

The House is steeped in history. It was designed by Architect James Gandon in 1790. London born, Mr Gandon was one of the leading Architects of his time here in Ireland. You may have heard of some other small designs he created at the time, buildings like The Custom House and Four Courts in Dublin.

We experienced a tour of the ground floor a number of years ago before the first floor was refurbished (and so we must return). We enjoyed seeing the beautiful house with its antique furniture and artwork, and learning of its history. It was lovely to take a step back in time and see the house from the inside looking out onto the gardens and the vast estate.

The Tea Rooms

If you find yourself with a hunger after your walk or game of footie with the kids (there are a number of parkland areas you’re allowed to ‘walk on’), but you haven’t packed the ol’ hang sandwiches and tae, once you have a few bob in your pocket or purse you’ll be happy to know that there are lovely Tea Rooms on site called Catoca. We often stop off to enjoy sweet treats like cake, coffee and milk shakes. When there you can sit inside and look out at the gardens, or sit out in the Tea Room’s walled garden.

For more information on Emo Court House and Parklands you can visit emocourt.ie

Further Reading: Visit Laois – 10 Fabulous Free Things to Do Outdoors

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*This Emo Court article was originally published in August 2015 but has since been updated.

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