On a recent, fantastic visit to Barberstown Castle, I also took the opportunity to explore the village that Barberstown lies on the edge of, Straffan. Straffan boasts a Steam Museum and a Butterfly Farm, but I was there off season, so I had to get a bit more creative about my activities. (Apparently when the Steam Museum is open, Robert Guinness himself sometimes leads tours around the steam engine, tea house and walled garden).
There's the Straffan Inn, the quintessential Irish village pub, which offers a warm welcome even on a rather bleak February evening. I enjoyed a very pleasant glass of Merlot and some low key people watching.
There's also a pretty church and graveyard and a convenience store that I became slightly obsessed by, because it sold rather exotic Irish versions of things like crisps and sandwiches. All in all, it's a very beguiling short walk from Barberstown and a lovely place to spend an hour or two. I don't know how it feels in July, but on my visit it was a small community getting on with its business and totally uninterested in the stranger in the hired Skoda bombing around its country lanes.