County Carlow Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Ireland’s second smallest county, Carlow is noted for a wide variety of scenery, bordered as it is to the east by the Blackstairs Mountains and the fertile land of the Barrow Valley and the Killeshin Hills to the west. In between, the River Barrow winds its way past towns like Bagenalstown and Leighlinbridge while the county town of Carlow is a vibrant centre on both the residential and commercial fronts.
The county’s most prominent natural feature is the 5000-year-old granite formation known as Brownshill Dolmen which is said to have the largest capstone in Europe, weighing a colossal 100 tonnes. It’s a charming inland county, ideally located to act as a base to explore the South-East and perhaps even further afield, as Dublin is also accessible with an improved road infrastructure.
History and Heritage
For centuries an Anglo-Saxon stronghold, Carlow had a bloody past, most notably with fierce battles in the late 18th century, but today it’s a much more tranquil place.
There are plenty of historic buildings around, even if little remains of its medieval foundation, with the most impressive piece of architecture in Carlow town being the Courthouse, modelled apparently on the Temple of Llissus in Athens.
The Georgian village of Borris and the small angling town of Tullow on the River Slaney are well worth a visit and you will be spoilt for choice if you enjoy churches, tombs, castles, dolmens and historic ruins.
Sites to see
Carlow County Museum. Clonmore Heritage Tour. Brownshill Dolmen. Eigse Arts Festival in June.
Sports and Leisure
Canoeists, kayakers and rowers will find the River Barrow a major attraction.
A 2.5km walking tour around Carlow town takes about one hour and takes in such landmarks as the Cathedral, Courthouse, St.Patrick’s College, Town Hall, Millennium Bridge and the Celtic High Cross.
The South Leinster Way is another walking option, this time in the countryside, while there’s a 10km walk along the River Barrow that’s worth considering.
Mt. Leinster is considered one of the best spots in Ireland for Hang Gliding.
Golf is another major sport in the county with a host of clubs from which to choose.
Eat, Drink and Stay
There is no shortage of places to eat, drink and stay in Carlow, where trendy new cafes, bars and restaurants thrive alongside more established operations, while Carlow Town also has a booming nightlife.
Live music sessions are a feature of the pub life in the county and notable watering holes are St. Mullins and Ballon. Some of the best pubs in the coare to be found in Tullow, Lieghlinbridge and Bagnalstown.
B&B accommodation is widely available throughout the county.
June: Eigse Carlow Arts Festival
Things you have to see or do...
Altamont Gardens – located in Tullow
Mount Leinster – stunning views from the summit (796m)
Borris House – a majestic Tudor-style residence open to the public
River Cruising – on the River Barrow which provides perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy activities such as boating, canoeing, angling and bird watching.
Fáilte Ireland - South East www.southeastireland.com
Carlow Tourism www.carlowtourism.ie
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