Uncover a world of hidden gems in Carlow when you wander off the track 

Welcome to County Carlow where country roads and winding lanes, tow-paths and waterways, mountain trails and forest tracks lead the visitor to stunning gardens, ancient monastic sites and archaeological wonders from another age.

Exploring Carlow’s Rich Heritage

Here you’ll walk in the footsteps of Neolithic ancestors at the Brownshill Dolmen and marvel at the Norman castles that dot the countryside. Salute the alchemy of ancient craftsmen who smelted metal in the sacred circle of Rathgall ring fort outside Tullow or surmise why Ballon Hill is the foremost Bronze-Age burial site in Ireland. Visiting Carlow County Museum is a must, which provides a great snapshot of the surprising history and heritage of County Carlow and its people.

Scenic Drives and Majestic Landscapes

One of the most dramatic scenic drives in County Carlow begins in the village of Myshall and winds its way across the slope of Mount Leinster to the Nine Stones viewing point on the Blackstairs Mountains. Take in the panoramic vista of the Myshall plain, dotted with comfortable homesteads, sheltered by the mountain and surrounded on three sides by gentle slopes. The Blackstairs Mountains with its labyrinth of forest paths and hill trails deserves a day to itself!

Historic Borris and Beyond

From Mount Leinster it is a short drive to beautiful and historic Borris, seat of the McMorrough Kavanagh family whose ancestor Dermot so impressed the Normans as to the beauty of Carlow that they stayed for 800 years! Beyond Borris and Ballymurphy one can enjoy the dappled splendour of the Blackstairs Mountains as one drives to St. Mullins, the unspoilt jewel in Carlow’s crown.

Borris House from Golf Course
St Mullins seventh century religious site and River Barrow. Credit Carlow Weather.
St Mullins seventh century religious site and River Barrow

Spiritual Connections 

Strategically set in a saucer of hills and surrounded by a delightful dispersed village, the monastic enclosure of St Mullins holds together sixteen hundred years of local and regional history. Other spiritual connections abound throughout the county – St. Willibrord who became Patron Saint of Luxembourg pursued his studies at nearby Killogan. Another connection can be found in atmospheric Old Leighlin where St. Laserian on his return from Rome held a Synod in 630 A.D. to discuss the alignment of the Celtic Church with Rome on the matter of the date of Easter. St. Columbanus, recognised as Ireland’s first great European saint was born near the village of Myshall in the shadow of Mount Leinster. The story of Carlow’s rich, spiritual and ecclesiastical heritage is presented in Carlow – Trails of the Saints.

A Haven for the Outdoors

In Carlow adventure awaits at every turn. Whether you’re hiking or walking through scenic trails, canoeing or paddle boarding  along tranquil waterways or golfing on some of the country’s finest courses, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Family walking at Milford, Barrow Way

Cultural Delights

The county buzzes with cultural and artistic activities from the electrifying atmosphere of the annual Carlow Arts Festival to thought-provoking discussions at the Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas. Discover vibrant exhibitions and performances at the iconic VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or a curious explorer, Carlow’s cultural offerings promise to inspire and ignite your senses. 

From its majestic landscapes to its rich cultural heritage, County Carlow invites you to uncover its many treasures. Come wander off the track in Carlow and discover the magic of this truly authentic and unspoiled area.