With a great location in the sunny South East, Carlow basks in rich history
Sports & Entertainment
From golf to rowing, Carlow’s got it covered.
This walking festival allows experienced walkers to enjoy the invigorating challenge of County Carlow’s mountain treks while novices will find peace and tranquility on quiet country routes.
There are lots of lovely cycling routes in Carlow with the Mount Leinster mountain ranges, the Blackstairs and Mount Brandon, and the Rivers Barrow, Nore and Suir providing a truly scenic backdrop.
Expect salmon, brown trout, roach, rudd, pike, perch and tench when you ply your rod at the River Barrow, which is renowned for its excellent recreational fishing with both game and coarse angling.
Carlow Golf Club boasts one of the finest golf courses in the country, and is laid out in a former wild deer park attached to the former Bruen Estate. Mount Wolseley also boasts an excellent championship golf course.
With the River Barrow at the center of Carlow’s sporting life, it’s no surprise that rowing is one of the county’s favorite sports with a tradition that dates back to 1859. The annual regatta attracts thousands of entries from Ireland and overseas.
Fabulous farm animals and vintage curiosities
A charming farm where kids can get close to farm animals in a safe environment. The farmyard is filled with ducks, turkeys, hens, peafowl, geese and dogs; the fields are filled with horses, ponies, deer, goats and sheep; while gerbils, hedgehogs, mice, chipmunks, exotic birds and guinea pigs are housed in the stone outbuildings and paddocks.
This fascinating collection of artifacts is ideal for kids who are interested in things of the past. Housed in a pretty cottage, the collection includes vintage radios, wind-up gramaphones, sewing machines and toys.
Culture & Festivals
From multi-coloured floral extravaganzas to small but perfectly formed museums
Some of the top names in Irish gardening converge on Carlow in August to celebrate all things green. This floral extravaganza includes lectures and demonstrations.
Interesting museum that details life in 19th and 20th century Carlow.
One of the largest arts festivals in the country, Éigse is a 10-day bonanza of visual arts, street entertainment, exhibitions, workshops and talks.
Formerly a Methodist chapel that dates back to 1860, Tullow Museum now houses a small collection of local items.
Eating, Drinking & Luxury
Sumptuous luxury hotels, plus where to find one of the best pints in the world
This sumptuous country house has recently been refurbished and guests can now enjoy a high standard of accommodation with all the charm of the original house. Deluxe rooms enjoy four-poster beds and sunken spa baths.
Excellent micro-brewery in the heart of Carlow town. Try O’Hara’s Celtic Stout, which was voted the World’s Number One Stout at the Brewing Industry International Awards in 2000.
An elegant country house hotel with luxurious four-star accommodation, Mount Wolseley is very well equipped with a spa, championship parkland golf course, leisure centre, restaurant and bars.
Enjoy a mix of high fashion and traditional arts and crafts
Try Bev Carberry (Pembroke Studio, 1 Pembroke) for original hand-sculpted ceramics; and John Kemp (Beech Lodge, Mortarstown Upper) for innovative wood designs including tables, bowls, table lamps and even lampshades!
A good spot if you’re looking to go clothes shopping while in Carlow. Fairgreen has good-sized branches of top Irish and UK fashion stores including a|wear, Sasha, Pamela Scott and Next.
Charming towns, 5,000-year old dolmens and 17th-century castles
This pretty town was founded in the 18th century by Walter Bagnel who rather fancied the idea of creating a kind of Versailles in Ireland. Instead of building a replica of Louis XIV’s palace, Bagnel started off building an imposing courthouse modelled on the Parthenon in Athens. Shortly after this, Bagnel’s plans became frustrated. But Bagnestown today is a pleasant town with lovely riverside walks, picnic spots and a picturesque lock.
This dolmen’s date of construction has been estimated at between 4,900 and 5,500 years ago, and at 100 tonnes, the capstone is the largest in Europe.
Home of the Durdin-Robertson family, and continuously occupied since the original tower house was built in 1625, this exceptional castle is filled with fascinating family memorabilia and features.
This old town enjoys an original Norman fortress, Black Castle, which was built in 1181 and is one of the oldest Norman fortresses in Ireland. The 14th-century bridge gives a lovely aspect to the town, which has won numerous awards for its environmental beauty.