River Valleys in an Ancient Land - the catchphrase of the sunny south
eastern corner of Ireland. Its colourful patchwork of fertile valleys
and plains are carved from an ancient landscape known down the centuries
to invaders, traders, explorers and visitors. Five counties - Carlow,
Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford - and five great rivers
- the Barrow, Blackwater, Nore, Suire and Slaney - criss-cross the countryside
with old stone bridges, picturesque villages, thatched cottages and
peaceful seaside towns. This area is rich in history with castles and
abbeys, fortresses and settlements that recall the passage of the Celts,
Vikings, Normans and AngloSaxons. Come and enjoy the challenges of angling
on some of the cleanest waters in Europe, or a round of golf on our
famous 'Sunshine Circuit' of 25 golf courses. There are 28 approved
equestrian centres, numerous walking routes and cycling trails, 60 or
more visitor centres and a whole host of things to do in the evening.
Discover the friendly South East at your leisure - any time of year.
We'll make you feel very welcome.
A jewel of a county with a wealth of scenery - from rich pasture land
to colourful mountains - and of outdoor and sporting activities including
golf, River Barrow cruising, angling, walking, pony trekking and even
hang gliding. Everywhere is the almost palpable air and resonance of
her ancient, Celtic past, nurtured by the caring nature of the present
day people of this delightful inland County.
Bagenalstown (Muine Bheag)
Attractively situated in the Barrow Valley, this town gets its name
from Walter Bagenal who embarked on an ambitious plan to build a town
of great architectural pretensions. Many fine streetscapes of the original
plan may be seen.
Traditional centre of the Nolan Clan and the centre for their annual
A beautiful village full of charm, and heritage situated at the foothills
of the Blackstairs Mountains. Nearby is Borris House, hereditary home
of the McMurrough-Kavanagh's, ancient rulers of Leinster.
This is the county capital, a bright and modern market town situated
on the River Barrow. It's many attractions include Oak Park, Celtic
Crosses, Museum and Cathedral.
Ancient Historic Settlement with perhaps the greatest collection of
Irish High Crosses and other early Christian artefacts.
Situated by the River Barrow,a strategic tower known as The Black Castle
stands on its banks which was one of the earliest Norman castles erected
in 1181. The first Carmelite priory in Ireland was founded here in 1270.
This tiny village was recognised as a national tidy town 3 times. The
village has a commanding view of the surrounding country and mountain
St. Moling founded a monastery here and is said to be buried in the
churchyard. The village was of great importance and today several abbey
and church ruins are found here.
Tullow is the prinicipal town in east Carlow. It is a noted angling
centre and is famous for its shooting facilities.
A small village at the base of the Blackstairs Mountains.
Places of Interest
Altamont Gardens, Tullow
Beautiful, formal and informal gardens surrounding a large lake. Many
rare trees and shrubs lead to an imposing glen which in turn leads to
the River Slaney. signposted.
A field monument of huge proportions, the capstone is believed to be
the largest in Europe. The location, setting, and purpose of this Megalithic
structure have been the subject of conjecture for centuries.
Overlooking the Barrow, built by William the Earl Marshall in the early
years of the 13th Century. Ruined by 1765, the west side curtain wall
and the 2 towers now remain.
Operated by the Old Carlow Society, displays aspects of early 20th and
19th century domestic & commercial life in the Carlow area
Dunleckney Manor, Bagenalstown
Historic Building. Tours by appointment, admission charge.
Killeshin Romanesque Doorway, Killeshin
The church just outside Carlow built in the 12th century features the
Doorway (National Monument)
Lisnavagh Estate, Rathvilly
Private Gardens, open mid May through August. Admission Charge.
Myshall Memorial Church
The small memorial church modelled on Salisbury Cathedral. It was built
by a grieving father to commemorate the love of a local boy of his daughter,
following her death on the hunting field. The key is held locally.
Old Leighlin Cathedral
The present cathedral is a 13th century building which replaced a 7th
century monastery which accomodated up to 1,500 monks.Open seasonally
and by special request, there is no admission charge.
It is considered to be one of the finest courthouses in the country,
it was designed by W.V. Morrison in 1830.
Carlow Mini Brewery, 'The Goods Store'
A mini brewery, currently providing two types of beer, and served in
a themed transport bar, decorated in 1950's style
The Barrow Navigation
Widely considered to be the most picturesque of all Irish Waterways,
and is curently navigable for hire cruisers from St. Mullins to Athy
in Co. Kildare.
Walking Tours of Carlow Town
Enjoy the vibrant present, and relive the fascinating past of Carlow
Town with Ryan Line Tours
EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITIES - GENERAL INFORMATION
Equestrian Centres in County Carlow offer a wide range of services to
the beginner and experienced rider, all of the following centres have
been approved by the Association of Irish Riding Establishments.
The Carrigbeg Riding Centre has a cross-country course on farmland with
a mixture of natural and man-made fences.
County Carlow offers a wide variety of golf courses to choose from,
including testing parkland courses, and lots of small clubs ideal for
families, and the less experienced. The beginner is also well catered
for with Driving Ranges, Pitch & Putt, and Par 3 courses:
Carlow Golf Club
The 18 hole course in Carlow town is ranked among the top twenty Championship
courses in Ireland.
Mount Wolseley Golf & Country Club
Captured between the Wicklow and Blackstairs Mountains, the mature estate
of the Wolsely family provided the inspiration for Christy O'Connor
Junior, who designed this challenging parkland golf course.
Carlow Golf Driving Range
This is a 15 bay floodlit golf range offers lessons for individuals
or groups with professional Ian Kerr.
ANGLING - GENERAL INFORMATION
In County Carlow, the angling enthusiast can enjoy good fishing on some
of the most delightful stretches of waterway in Ireland. The two main
rivers are the Barrow, and parts of the Slaney in the East of the County
Long sections of the River Barrow hold good stocks of quality fish including
Bream, Tench, Pike & Perch, with some stocks of Dace also. The best
coarse fishing is in the deeper water and in the canals that form part
of the navigable section. Coarse Angling centres along the Barrow in
Co. Carlow are at Carlow, Leighlinbridge, and Bagenalstown
The shallow more rapid waters of the Barrow (downstream of the weirs)
is where the greater number of Brown Trout can be found. The Barrow
Trout, while not as numerous as in the Suir or Nore, tend to grow slightly
larger. Best places to go are Milford, Borris & St. Mullins Brown
Trout stocks in the River Slaney tend to be sparse, but the tributaries
Dereen and Bann hold reasonable numbers
Salmon can be found throughout the River Barrow, but the best places
to fish are downstream of the weirs that divert waters to the canals.
BOATING / CRUISING
The Barrow River is fast becoming one of Irelands foremost cruising
destinations, and is navigable for hire cruisers from Athy in Co. Kildare
to St. Mullins. The following cruising operators are dedicated to providing
you with the best of boats and the best of service.
Valley Boats, Graiguenamanagh
Offer new 2-7 berth narrow and wide beam barges for hire.
South Star Cruisers
Provide new custom designed 5/6 berth steel cruisers.
Family owned and operated cruiser hire company offering 2-7 berth barges
WALKING - GENERAL INFORMATION
County Carlow is a perfect place for walking with a number of ideal
locations on offer,and at least two planned trails in the county.
The South Leinster Way
The Co. Carlow stretch of this varied trail, from Kildavin, climbs over
forested hills, across the steep and heathery slopes of Mount Leinster,
and along by the River Barrow tracing the towpath to the historic town
The Barrow Way
This walk follows the old towpath by the river, formerly used for access
to the river and towing of barges.
County Carlow provides many wonderful routes for the cyclist. The mountain
ranges of Mount Leinster and Mount Brandon, together with the River
Barrow provide a truly scenic backdrop.
Lorum Old Rectory, Bagenalstown. Offering the visitor a relaxing holiday
with organised 7 or 14 day cycling breaks.
GENERAL LEISURE PURSUITS
Borris, Co. Carlow. Provide All-terrain vehicles for use on a specially
designed cross-country course
Barrack Street. Facilities include Bowling Alley, Pool, Air Hockey and