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Explore the Hidden Gem of Ireland: Discover the Charm of County Carlow

Nestled in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East, County Carlow, adorned with the vibrant green, pure white, and golden hues of special shamrocks, invites travelers to experience its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. In partnership with BestIrelandGuide.com and Booking.com, we are delighted to offer a selection of accommodation options, ensuring your stay in Carlow is as enchanting as the landscapes and as warm as the Irish welcome.

🍀 Things To Do in Carlow 🍀

County Carlow, a serene and picturesque region, offers a multitude of activities for every type of traveler. From the majestic Blackstairs Mountains to the tranquil River Barrow, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to explore. Delve into the past at the Carlow County Museum, wander through the Delta Sensory Gardens, or enjoy a round of golf at one of Carlow’s premier courses. The county’s rich history and vibrant arts scene make it a perfect destination for those looking to immerse themselves in Irish culture and heritage.

🍀 Top Tourist Attractions in Carlow 🍀

  • Duckett’s Grove: Explore the ruins of this Gothic revival mansion, set amidst a sprawling walled garden.
  • Altamont Gardens: Known as the most romantic garden in Ireland, offering a stunning collection of flora and serene walkways.
  • Brownshill Dolmen: Marvel at one of Europe’s largest portal tombs, a testament to the county’s ancient past.
  • Carlow Castle: Discover the remnants of this 13th-century fortress that played a crucial role in Ireland’s medieval history.

🍀 Session Pubs in Carlow 🍀

Carlow’s session pubs are the cornerstone of its social life, where locals and visitors alike can enjoy traditional Irish music, friendly conversations, and a pint of the local brew. Experience the lively atmosphere at O’Loughlin’s Pub, a favorite among locals for its music nights, or enjoy a cozy evening at Reddy’s of Carlow, where the charm and character of the county are on full display.

🍀 Restaurants in Carlow 🍀

The culinary landscape in Carlow is a delightful mix of traditional Irish cuisine and contemporary flavors. Enjoy locally sourced, expertly prepared dishes at Sha-Roe Bistro in Clonegal, or indulge in the creative menu offerings at Mimosa Wine & Tapas Bar in Carlow Town. Carlow’s restaurants pride themselves on showcasing the best of local produce, providing a culinary experience that is both authentic and innovative.

Explore Carlow’s Tourist Towns

 
 

CARLOW TOWN

Carlow Town, Co Carlow, nestled in the lush valley of the River Barrow, is a vibrant and historical town that offers visitors a unique combination of cultural richness, natural beauty, and contemporary conveniences. Serving as a gateway to the South East of Ireland, Carlow Town is a perfect starting point for exploring the ancient East of Ireland, with its myriad of hidden gems and tranquil river paths.

Hotels:

  • The Seven Oaks Hotel: Situated just a short walk from the heart of Carlow Town, this hotel provides guests with a comfortable stay, featuring a leisure center with a pool and gym.
  • Dinn RĂ­ Hotel: Located in the center of town, offering stylish accommodations with easy access to Carlow’s shops, restaurants, and bars.

Things To Do:

  • Carlow County Museum: Immerse yourself in the town’s history with exhibits that span from ancient times to the modern era, located in the heart of Carlow.
  • Delta Sensory Gardens: Explore these enchanting gardens, a haven of peace and tranquility, featuring beautifully designed sensory and themed gardens.

Places To Go:

  • Carlow Castle: Visit the ruins of this 13th-century Norman castle, offering insights into Ireland’s medieval past and picturesque views of the River Barrow.
  • Visual Centre for Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre: A leading contemporary art space in Ireland, offering a dynamic program of exhibitions, performances, and cinema.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Carlow Golf Club: A prestigious 18-hole championship course set in old parkland, offering a challenging and enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels.

Restaurants:

  • Mimosa Wine & Tapas Bar: Known for its lively atmosphere and delicious selection of tapas, Mimosa offers a culinary journey with dishes inspired by global cuisines.
  • Teach Dolmain Pub & Restaurant: A favorite among locals and visitors, offering hearty Irish meals with a modern twist, in a cozy and welcoming setting.

Session Pubs:

  • Scraggs Alley: This lively pub is famous for its live music sessions, offering a great night out with a selection of local and craft beers.
  • The Fighting Cocks: An historic pub with a warm atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a quiet pint or engaging with Carlow’s local music scene.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Eden Beauty Group: A luxurious beauty salon offering a wide range of treatments to pamper and rejuvenate, located in the heart of Carlow Town.
  • The Powder Room: Offering the latest in hairdressing and beauty treatments, this salon is perfect for those looking to indulge in a bit of self-care.

Other Important Information:

  • Carlow Farmers Market: Takes place every Saturday, featuring a variety of local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, a great way to experience the local culture and flavors.
  • Carlow Town Park: A beautifully landscaped park along the River Barrow, ideal for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying the natural beauty of Carlow.

Summary: Carlow Town is an inviting destination that promises a blend of historical exploration, cultural experiences, and relaxation amidst natural beauty. From visiting ancient ruins and engaging with contemporary art to enjoying the vibrant local dining and pub scene, Carlow provides a rich tapestry of activities and attractions. With a variety of accommodations ranging from comfortable hotels to charming B&Bs, Carlow is a convenient and delightful base for those wishing to explore Ireland’s Ancient East. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of history, the arts, or simply the pleasure of exploring the Irish countryside, Carlow Town ensures a memorable and enjoyable stay. Accommodations can be easily booked through the Booking.com map booking area below, making it easy to secure the perfect place to stay during your visit to this charming Irish town.

TULLOW

Tullow, Co Carlow, a gem nestled in the serene countryside of Ireland’s South-East, offers a quaint and charming escape that blends historical allure, natural splendor, and contemporary conveniences. Known as “The Chocolate Box of Ireland,” Tullow is a gateway to the pastoral beauty of Carlow and the rich heritage of the region, making it a perfect spot for those looking to explore Ireland’s Ancient East.

Hotels:

  • Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort: Just outside Tullow, this luxurious resort offers guests an exceptional stay with its championship golf course, serene spa, and fine dining.
  • Laburnum Lodge: A cozy and welcoming bed and breakfast located near Tullow’s town center, providing a homely base from which to explore the surrounding countryside.

Things To Do:

  • Altamont Gardens: Wander through one of the most beautiful and romantic gardens in Ireland, boasting a diverse collection of plants and serene walks by the River Slaney.
  • Rathwood Home and Garden World: Enjoy a family day out with a blend of shopping, dining, and adventure, including forest walks, a maze, and a mini train ride.

Places To Go:

  • Tullow Museum: Delve into the local history with exhibits that showcase the town’s development, including its connection to the famous Captain Palliser and the 1798 rebellion.
  • The Chocolate Garden of Ireland: A sweet treat for all ages, offering workshops and a chance to learn about chocolate making, complete with tastings.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Mount Wolseley Golf Club: Experience golfing excellence on this 18-hole championship course, designed by Christy O’Connor Jr., set in a lush, parkland setting.

Restaurants:

  • The Tara Arms: Offering delicious, hearty meals in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, this family-run pub is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Lena’s Tea Room: A delightful spot for a light lunch or afternoon tea, serving homemade cakes and pastries in a quaint, vintage setting.

Session Pubs:

  • The Wolseley Arms: Enjoy the ambiance of a traditional Irish pub with a modern twist, offering live music sessions and a wide selection of drinks.
  • Molloy’s Pub: Steeped in history, this pub provides a cozy retreat with its open fire, regular music nights, and a genuine Irish welcome.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • The Spa at Mount Wolseley: Indulge in a pampering session with a variety of treatments designed to rejuvenate mind, body, and soul, set within the tranquil grounds of the resort.
  • Elegance Beauty Salon: Located in Tullow town, offering a comprehensive range of beauty and relaxation treatments to make you look and feel your best.

Other Important Information:

  • Tullow Farmers Market: Takes place every Saturday morning, where you can find fresh, local produce, artisan foods, and unique crafts, a true taste of Carlow’s bounty.
  • The Slaney River Walk: A scenic pathway that runs along the river, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a morning jog, offering picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.

Summary: Tullow, Co Carlow, is a captivating destination that offers something special for everyone. From exploring enchanting gardens and delving into local history to indulging in gourmet chocolate and enjoying the great outdoors, Tullow embodies the charm of rural Ireland with the comforts of modern amenities. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, foodie, or just in need of relaxation, Tullow provides a rich experience. Accommodations ranging from luxurious resorts to cozy B&Bs ensure a comfortable stay for all. Discover the beauty and hospitality of Tullow, an ideal base for exploring Ireland’s Ancient East and ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit. Accommodations can be easily booked through the Booking.com map booking area below, inviting you to experience the warmth and charm of this beautiful Irish town.

BORRIS

Borris, Co Carlow, a picturesque and historic town nestled in the lush valleys of the Barrow River against the backdrop of the Blackstairs Mountains, is a hidden gem that offers a serene escape with its blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and modern amenities. This charming town, with its unique Victorian charm and scenic surroundings, serves as an ideal gateway to explore the South-East of Ireland, including the majestic River Barrow and the sweeping landscapes of the Blackstairs Mountains.

Hotels:

  • Step House Hotel: A boutique hotel located in the heart of Borris, offering luxurious accommodations with a personal touch, set in a beautiful Georgian townhouse with a renowned restaurant and bar.
  • Borris House: The ancestral home of the McMurrough Kavanaghs, kings of Leinster, offers unique accommodation in a historic setting, with stunning gardens and estate grounds to explore.

Things To Do:

  • Borris Viaduct Walk: Take a leisurely stroll along the viaduct, an impressive 16-arch structure offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the River Barrow.
  • Blackstairs Eco Trails: Embark on a guided nature walk in the Blackstairs Mountains, discovering the local flora and fauna with an experienced ecologist.

Places To Go:

  • Borris House and Gardens: Explore the rich history and beautiful grounds of Borris House, a significant historical residence with a fascinating story and a warm welcome.
  • The Barrow Way: Enjoy walking, cycling, or canoeing along the tranquil and scenic River Barrow, one of Ireland’s most picturesque waterways.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Borris Golf Club: A challenging and beautifully landscaped 9-hole golf course that offers players stunning views of the Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs Mountains.

Restaurants:

  • The Step House Hotel Restaurant: Renowned for its exquisite dining and use of local, seasonal ingredients, offering a gourmet experience in an elegant setting.
  • Clashganny House Restaurant: Located a short drive from Borris, this restaurant is celebrated for its creative dishes, picturesque setting, and warm hospitality.

Session Pubs:

  • Joyce’s Pub: A traditional Irish pub in the heart of Borris, known for its live music sessions, friendly atmosphere, and a great selection of drinks.
  • O’Shea’s Pub: A classic pub offering a genuine slice of Irish pub culture, with regular events, music nights, and a welcoming local crowd.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • The Powder Room Beauty Salon: Offering a range of beauty treatments and services to pamper and refresh, located conveniently in Borris town.
  • Serenity Day Spa: A short drive away, this spa provides a tranquil retreat for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, with a variety of spa treatments available.

Other Important Information:

  • Borris Farmers Market: Takes place every Friday, showcasing the best of local produce, artisan foods, and crafts, reflecting the rich agricultural heritage of the area.
  • Borris Lace: Celebrated for its intricate craftsmanship, visitors can explore the history of Borris Lace and see demonstrations of this traditional skill.

Summary: Borris, Co Carlow, is a captivating destination that offers visitors an enchanting mix of historical depth, cultural richness, and natural splendor. From strolling along ancient viaducts and exploring grand estates to enjoying the serenity of the River Barrow and the rugged beauty of the Blackstairs Mountains, Borris provides a peaceful yet engaging experience. With accommodation options ranging from charming hotels to historic estates, Borris caters to all preferences, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of Ireland’s past, the tranquility of its river valleys, or simply the warmth of its small-town hospitality, Borris is a perfect base for exploring the Southeast’s hidden treasures. Accommodations can be easily booked, making it simple to immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this unique Irish town.

BAGENALSTOWN

Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, often referred to by its Irish name Muine Bheag, is a charming and picturesque town situated along the beautiful River Barrow. With its Georgian architecture, tree-lined streets, and vibrant community, Bagenalstown offers a peaceful yet engaging experience, blending its rich cultural heritage with the natural beauty of the Carlow countryside. This town serves as a splendid gateway to explore the scenic South-East of Ireland, including the tranquil waterways of the River Barrow and the lush landscapes of the surrounding area.

Hotels:

  • The Lord Bagenal Inn: Located on the banks of the River Barrow, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations with a modern twist, featuring a renowned restaurant and bar.
  • Waterside: Combining the charm of a guesthouse with the beauty of its riverside setting, Waterside provides a cozy retreat with stunning views and a warm welcome.

Things To Do:

  • River Barrow Walks: Enjoy the tranquility of the River Barrow with its towpath that is perfect for walking, cycling, or fishing, offering picturesque views and peaceful surroundings.
  • Bagenalstown Swimming Pool: An outdoor, heated swimming pool that provides a refreshing escape during the summer months, ideal for families and visitors of all ages.

Places To Go:

  • Dunleckney Manor: Explore the grounds of this historical manor house, which dates back to the 17th century and offers a glimpse into the architectural and social history of the area.
  • Bagenalstown Railway Station: A beautifully restored Victorian railway station, offering a unique insight into the town’s transport history and heritage.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Mount Wolseley Golf Resort: A short drive away, this championship golf course offers golfers a challenging and enjoyable experience in a stunning parkland setting.

Restaurants:

  • The Lord Bagenal Restaurant: Known for its award-winning cuisine, this restaurant prides itself on using local, seasonal ingredients to create mouthwatering dishes.
  • Rachel’s CafĂ©: A delightful spot for homemade cakes, light lunches, and excellent coffee, offering a friendly atmosphere in the heart of Bagenalstown.

Session Pubs:

  • Walter’s Bar and Grill: A popular local pub with a welcoming atmosphere, regular live music, and a wide selection of drinks.
  • McCarthy’s Bar: Offers the charm of a traditional Irish pub, perfect for enjoying a pint and experiencing the local camaraderie.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • Serenity Beauty Salon: Offering a range of beauty treatments and services to help you unwind and rejuvenate during your stay.
  • The Hair Lounge: A stylish salon providing a wide array of haircare services to ensure you look and feel your best.

Other Important Information:

  • Bagenalstown Farmers Market: Takes place every Saturday, featuring local produce, crafts, and gourmet foods, showcasing the best of the region’s agricultural produce.
  • The River Barrow: Ideal for boating, canoeing, and kayaking, offering visitors the chance to explore the waterways and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Summary: Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, is a delightful destination that offers a tranquil escape with plenty to see and do. From historical landmarks and cultural attractions to the beauty of the River Barrow and excellent dining options, Bagenalstown provides a rich experience for all who visit. Whether you’re interested in exploring Ireland’s past, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply relaxing in the picturesque countryside, Bagenalstown is an ideal base. Accommodations ranging from cozy guesthouses to comfortable hotels ensure a pleasant and enjoyable stay. Discover the charm and hospitality of Bagenalstown, a perfect spot to explore the hidden gems of Ireland’s South-East. Accommodations can be easily booked through the Booking.com map booking area below, inviting you to experience the warmth and beauty of this unique Irish town.

ST MULLINS

St Mullins, Co Carlow, is a serene and picturesque village that lies at the scenic meeting point of the River Barrow and the Blackstairs Mountains. Renowned for its historical depth, spiritual heritage, and natural beauty, St Mullins offers a tranquil retreat and a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. This enchanting village serves as a perfect gateway to explore the ancient East of Ireland, offering visitors a blend of peaceful river walks, historical explorations, and the untouched beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

Hotels:

  • Mulvarra House: Nestled in the heart of St Mullins, this cozy bed and breakfast offers comfortable accommodations with stunning views of the River Barrow and the countryside, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and exploration.
  • Brandon View House B&B: Located in the lush countryside near St Mullins, this charming guesthouse provides a warm welcome and a tranquil setting, ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Things To Do:

  • St Mullins Monastic Site: Explore the ancient ruins of this monastic settlement, founded by St Moling in the 7th century, featuring a round tower, high crosses, and a beautiful ecclesiastical setting.
  • River Barrow Walks: Enjoy the tranquility of the River Barrow, with its towpath offering picturesque walks, ideal for nature lovers, bird watchers, and those seeking peace and quiet.

Places To Go:

  • St Mullins Heritage Centre: Dive into the rich history of the area, from its monastic beginnings to its involvement in the 1798 Rebellion, and learn about the life of St Moling.
  • The St Mullins Lock: A key feature on the River Barrow, the lock and its surroundings offer a glimpse into the river’s importance for transport and milling throughout the centuries.

Golf Courses Nearby:

  • Borris Golf Club: A short drive from St Mullins, this 9-hole golf course offers a challenging game with stunning views of the Mount Leinster and the surrounding countryside.

Restaurants:

  • The Mullicháin CafĂ©: Located along the riverbank, this quaint cafĂ© serves delicious homemade cakes, light meals, and coffee, with outdoor seating to enjoy the riverside ambiance.
  • Clashganny House Restaurant: Just a short journey up the river, offering fine dining in a restored 19th-century lock keeper’s house, known for its exquisite use of local ingredients.

Session Pubs:

  • Phelan’s Pub: A traditional Irish pub in the village, providing a warm atmosphere, friendly locals, and occasional live music sessions, making it a cozy spot to unwind after a day of exploring.
  • The Local at St Mullins: Offering a relaxed setting to enjoy a pint of Guinness and chat with the locals, this pub is the heart of the community, with a welcoming fire and stories to share.

Hair & Beauty Salons, Spas:

  • While St Mullins may not have its own beauty salons or spas, the tranquility and natural beauty of the area itself provide a natural retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Other Important Information:

  • St Mullins Annual Pattern Day: Celebrated on the Sunday after July 25th, this traditional gathering honors the village’s patron saint, St Moling, with a day of religious ceremonies, music, and community festivities.
  • River Activities: The River Barrow offers opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and boating, perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Ireland’s waterways.

Summary: St Mullins, Co Carlow, is a captivating destination that provides a serene and enriching experience for all who visit. From its ancient monastic ruins and rich historical narratives to the idyllic walks along the River Barrow and the warm hospitality of its community, St Mullins is a haven of peace and natural beauty. Whether you’re drawn to exploring Ireland’s spiritual heritage, enjoying the tranquility of its rivers and mountains, or simply seeking a quiet retreat in the countryside, St Mullins offers a memorable escape. Accommodations ranging from charming B&Bs to comfortable guesthouses ensure a pleasant stay, inviting visitors to discover the quiet charm and hidden wonders of this beautiful Irish village.

 

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