County Carlow

Borris House

Explore the under-the-radar beauty of Ireland’s second-smallest county and you’ll discover a bounty of magnificent gardens, wonderful walking trails through the Blackstairs Mountains and the tranquil charms of the River Barrow

Ireland may have 40 shades of green, but Carlow can cater for 40 shades of green fingers. The Carlow Garden Trail is one of the island’s best, while the wild, natural-style gardens at Altamont House are home to an explosion of snowdrops every February.

Dive into the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East and wander the ancient yew tree walk at Huntington Castle, where the ghosts of monks have been known to mosey. Then there are the Delta Sensory Gardens on the outskirts of Carlow town, a therapeutic and multi-sensory oasis for visitors of all abilities.

Watery beauty

Of course, you don’t have to be a gardener to get the most out of Carlow’s gardens, as it’s replete with other seductive landscapes, such as the meandering River Barrow.

Slicing through the west of the county on its route towards the southern coast, the Barrow was once crowded with boats ferrying goods and people, but today it’s a much quieter affair.

Passing through historic towns like Leighlinbridge and St Mullins, the river is bordered with the husks of old mills and warehouses, and accessorised with Victorian locks and leafy towpaths.

Mountains and Middle Ages

Though Carlow’s countryside is peppered with nuggets such as Borris House, Duckett’s Grove and the striking motte (mound) at St Mullins (recalling the village’s origins as a Norman fording point), there’s more to Carlow than gentle gardens and meandering history.

Think of Mount Leinster, the highest peak in the Blackstairs Mountains, where you’ll see adrenaline junkies paragliding on the thermals, their colourful chutes bursting like bubblegum as they hit the valley floor.

No matter how you chose to explore County Carlow, you're sure to find 40 shades of adventure here!

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