Information Carlow Ireland

Welcome To Carlow!

Is a tiny inland county south of County Kildare and south-west of County Wicklow. The River Slaney flows through its eastern part, which is an extension of the granite area of County Wicklow. West of this lies the fertile limestone land of Barrow Valley, and beyond to the north-west is pleasant upland country. The county has much to offer the sightseer, the sportsman and the climber.

  • Hotels
  • Bed and Breakfasts
  • Self Catering

The otherwise landlocked County Carlow’s beautiful scenery is crisscrossed by two rivers – in the east of the county is the Slaney and in the west, the Barrow. On the banks of the Barrow, if you don’t want to take part in the coarse fishing, you will find Black Castle at Leighlinsbridge. A twelfth century ruin, it is one of many castles in Carlow (Ballymoon Castle being another) due to the frontier nature of the county during Anglo Norman settlement (more about that later).

Between Carlow and Wexford, you’ll find the Blackstairs Mountains. The South Leinster Way is just one of the hill walks you can take in the foothills.

For those with an interest in early history, you can follow the signs from Hacketstown Road to Browne’s Hill Dolmen. This is the four and a half millennium old burial place of an important figure from Ireland’s distant past. The ruler was of a high enough rank to earn a tomb with a covering stone weighing many tons, but his (or her) name has been lost to posterity.

The town of Carlow itself, meanwhile, was for centuries the frontier town in Anglo Norman and English eyes – the Wild West beyond the Pale of Dublin is what lay to the west of the town, with the sphere of British influence only extending as far as the town itself. You ventured past Carlow town at your peril. Bearing this in mind, a castle was built in the town itself, a bulwark against the wild Irish clans that lived beyond it. Now a ruin, all that is left of it is a castellated wall flanked by a pair of towers. Also in Carlow town is the courthouse, built in 1828. Its architecture is based on the Parthenon.

Carlow is a small often overlooked county that’s well worth a visit.

General information Carlow

Carlow (from the Irish Ceatharlach meaning "place of cattle") is one of Ireland’s smallest counties, and is bordered by the scenic Blackstairs Mountains on its east. The fertile limestone land of the Barrow Valley and the Killeshin Hills make up the west of the county. The county’s most prominent feature is its 5000-year-old granite formation known as the Browne’s Hill Dolmen. It's believed to have the biggest capstone in Europe, weighing a monumental 100 tonnes.

Carlow Town is the largest town in the county and acts as a bustling market town. The town’s courthouse is on the Parthenon in Athens, was reportedly originally meant for Cork, but the plans for the two buildings became mixed up.

Accommodation in Carlow

Carlow provides you with ample accommodation options to suit your requirement and your budget. Bed & Breakfast, Guest Houses, Hostels, Hotels and Farm Houses are some of the possible alternatives for your stay in Carlow.

Hotels in Carlow

Hotels in Carlow will provide you with an excellent, comfortable and convenient resting place to return to after a busy day exploring Ireland’s countryside. Hotels in Carlow include The Dolmen Hotels in Carlow Town and Mount Wolseley Hotel in Tullow.

Bed & Breakfast in Carlow

Bed & breakfast accommodation in Carlow provides you with a comfortable and affordable room along with deliciously cooked breakfast to suit your budget. B&B in Carlow includes names such as Avlon Guesthouse in Carlow Town and Orchard Grove in Bagenalstown.

Carlow Restaurants

Carlow restaurants serve all of Ireland’s finest traditional meals and some contemporary international options too. Popular restaurants in Carlow include the Weeping Thaiger in Carlow Town and Fredericks Restaurant in Tullow.

Shopping in Carlow

Carlow Town is the county’s main shopping district through its two main shopping centres. Tullow Street and Dublin Street also offer a wide variety of shops, from locally-owned outlets to larger nationally-recognised businesses.

Carlow Car Rental

Car rentals in Carlow facilitate cars on rent for a pre defined period and according to budge allowing you to explore the country at your own pace. Some of prime car rentals in Carlow include Car Hire, Celbridge Car Hire, Naas Car Hire, Maynooth Car Hire, Clane Car Hire and Brownstown Car Hire.

Carlow Golf

Carlow has many golf courses including Carlow Town and Mount Wolseley Golf Courses, offering some excellent parkland couses to practice your game.

Attractions Carlow Ireland

Altamont Gardens - Tullow

Located close to Tullow, Altamont are large, beautiful old world gardens. Robinsonian in style, the garden has a strong emphasis on the informal tradition of combining a good plant collection within the natural landscape of its environment. Lawns and clipped yews slope down to a lake surrounded by rare trees and shrubs and a profusion of roses and herbaceous plants scent the air.

Brown's Hill Dolmen - Carlow

Located at Rathvilly Road, Carlow, 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. Most likely, it marks the burial place of a local king from long ago but has been invested with a rich overlay of myth and legend. Access is direct via the carpark and enclosed pedestrian pathway.

Carlow Mini Brewery - Carlow

Located at Station Road, Carlow, and opened in August 1998, this Mini Brewery currently provides just two varieties of beer brewed on site and served in a 'themed' transport bar. Located in a former railway store, the brewery retains a lot of the feel and flavour of this fine stone building. The aim of Carlow Brewing Company is to produce high quality beers for the local Carlow area reminiscent of those once brewed in this region as far back as the Celtic times.

Carlow Museum - Carlow

Located in Carlow Town Hall, the Carlow Museum is operated by the Old Carlow Society. It displays, in a series of shop layouts, aspects of early nineteenth and twentieth century domestic and commercial life in the Carlow area. It also houses a fine display of Celtic artifacts found locally.

Killeshin Romanesque Doorway - Killeshin

Killeshin derives its name from one of the abbots of its famous monastery - Uisin, Gleann Uisin meaning the Glen of Uisin. Killeshin is a small rural community of approximately 1300 people. It is situated 5km west of Carlow town and overlooks the picturesque Barrow Valley. The Church at the foot of the Killeshin Hills is the site of an early Christian monastery. The Church, a preserved ruin, is on the site of an old monastery founded by Saint Comghan towards the end of the fifth century. The present church features a very fine romanesque doorway which is now a national monument. The well preserved doorway features stone carvings of heads with intertwining hair, foliage and animal motifs. A very rare example of Irish Romanesque architecture.

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