Carlow’s character and charm is within easy reach of Dublin, yet the city influence is kept at bay with a lively sense of place. Although it is Ireland's second smallest county, it confidently incorporates such wonderful varieties of scenery that it has been memorably commented that the Creator was in fine form when He made Carlow.
Whether you're lingering along the gentle meanderings of the waterway of the River Barrow, or enjoying the upper valley of the River Slaney while savouring the soaring outlines of the Blackstairs Mountains as they sweep upwards to the 793 m peak of Mount Leinster, this gallant little area will soon have you in thrall.
There's history a-plenty if you wish to seek it out. But for those who prefer to live in the present, the county town of Carlow itself fairly buzzes with student life and the energetic trade of a market centre which is also home to a micro-brewery that, among other admirable products, is the source of the award-winning O’Hara’s Stout.
With the main roads much improved in recent years, a more leisurely pace can be enjoyed at riverside villages such as Leighlinbridge and Bagenalstown. Leighlinbridge - pronounced "Lochlinbridge" – has for many years been Carlow's most community-conscious riverside village, the holder of a Tidy Towns Gold Medal and an Entente Floriale winner.
There are also welcome improvements taking place to fulfill Bagenalstown's potential as a proper miniature river port, while the hidden hillside village of Borris is an enchantment in itself.
Local Attractions and Information
Carlow - VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art
at the George Bernard Shaw Theatre
presents the work of a balanced mixture of local, national international artists.
Carlow Eigse – Arts Festival
(June) +353 (0)59 9140491
Carlow town Tourist Information +353 (0)59 9131554
Carlow county Carlow Rural Tourism +353 (0)59 9130411/9130446
Carlow Craft Brewery Micro-brewery +353 (0)59 9134356
Tullow Altamont Gardens
+353 (0)59 9159444