Top 18 attractions to explore in Carlow
County Carlow is a county located in the South-East Region of Ireland, within the province of Leinster. Carlow is the second smallest and the third least populous of Ireland's 32 traditional counties. Carlow County Council is the governing local authority.
This romantic 16-hectare estate, features a mix of native and exotic plants and makes a great destination for a family outing. You will have a wonderful experience at any time of the year, as different plants flourish throughout the spring, summer and autumn, and the trees show off their striking silhouettes during the winter. From the Altamont Garden, there are spectacular views of the Blackstairs Mountains, Wicklow Mountains and Mount Leinster.
Ballyloughan Castle was probably built in the 13th century and consisted of a large open courtyard with a curtain wall and a moat outside. Only a small square tower at one corner survives, as well as the entrance gate, flanked by two large rounded towers. The tower in the north-eastern corner was abandoned in the 14th century, and the whole castle may even have been abandoned at this time.
Ballymoon Castle is a National Monument situated 2 miles east of Muine Bheag, County Carlow, Ireland. The castle is thought to date from the 13th century. It comprises a courtyard about 80 feet square, surrounded by granite walls, 8 feet thick and 20 feet high. Square towers project from three sides while a formidable gatehouse is the feature of the fourth.
Blackstairs Mountain is a prominent hill on the main ridgeline separating Carlow from Wexford. The hill’s prominence means views are good in all directions, mostly over flatlands, but dominated by the mast-arrayed peak of Mount Leinster to the north. It is the second-highest mountain in the Blackstairs Mountains.The mountain stretches from Rathgeran to Gowlin at Cathaoirs Den
It is classified as a portal tomb by archaeologists and there are approximately 174 of these monuments in the country. The tombs generally consist of two large portal-stones defining the entrance and a back-stone, all of which support the cap-stone. The tomb is listed as a National Monument. Known as the Kernanstown Cromlech, sometimes spelled as Browneshill Dolmen, it is sited on the former estate house of the Browne family from which it takes its name.
This is one of the most important Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland situated beside the banks of trivers Barrow and Burrin near the centre of Carlow Town. It was thought to have been built by William de Marshal. At one time Carlow was an important and strong military fortress, strategically sited at the confluence of the rivers, and the castle withstood repeated attacks in 1494 and 1641.
Carlow County Museum is a museum documenting the history of County Carlow. Located on College Street in Carlow town, the building was originally the Presentation Convent; it also houses the County Library and Archives. It contains a growing collection of over 5,000 artefacts which represents a wide range of periods and topics.
The Cathedral of the Assumption is both the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin and the parish church for the cathedral parish. Located in Carlow town, the cathedral was dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1833. It is known for its beautifully detailed 151 ft spire which is one of the highest points in the town.
Clonmore Castle is a 13th century Anglo-Norman castle located in Clonmore, County Carlow, Ireland. The castle is roughly square in plan with rectangular towers at the southern sides of the courtyard. Due to a lack of heritage preservation, most of the castle is now covered in ivy, and large gaps have appeared in the north and west walls. The building is now entirely empty with no trace of a stone floor.
A majestic military museum housed in a late 19th century Church in Carlow Town. The museum has a wide range of exhibits relating to Carlow's military history. A large proportion of the museum's collections comprises material related to the Irish Defence Forces, with a number of uniforms displayed from the Defence Forces starting from the foundation of the state and ending with uniforms currently in use.
Duckett's Grove was originally a three-storey over basement Georgian country house built circa 1745.The interior of the house was destroyed by a major fire in the 1930s and is now inaccessible. Even in ruin, the surviving towers and turrets of Duckett’s Grove Walled Gardens and Pleasure Grounds form a romantic profile making it one of the most photogenic historic buildings in the country and a castle in Ireland to visit.
This is an impressive portal tomb, located on the banks of the Dereen River, close to the Acaun bridge. Constructed around 2500 BC, legend has it that marks on the capstone were the hand prints of a giant. Local folklore also recounts that the chamber was used as a makeshift family house in the 1840s. Although on private land, it is visible from the roadside.
This is the ancient seat of the Esmonde family is today one of Irelands historical treasures. The original tower house, which served as a garrison, was built in the 15th century as a stronghold for the Caviness family, an old Irish clan. It is now a private house open to the public for guided tours throughout June, July, August and September.
Milford Mills is an 18th-century watermill which sits on the banks of the River Barrow at Milford, County Carlow. Originally built as a flour mill and malting house, it was later employed as a hydroelectric power station. Originally the mill consisted of three large buildings, two for grinding wheat and corn and the third for malting barley. The fire in the 1860s left just the malting house extant. The main mill is an eleven-bay 7 storey structure, and has a crenellated parapet.
Mount Leinster is a 794-metre-high mountain in the Republic of Ireland. It straddles the border between Counties Carlow and Wexford, in the province of Leinster. It is the fifth-highest mountain in Leinster. This site is a popular location for hang-gliding enthusiasts to launch from. It’s said to be the highest paved road in Ireland.
Slievebawn is a Hill in County Roscommon, Ireland. It lies between Strokestown and Ballyleague. It is the third-highest point in the county, after Kilronan Mountain and Seltannasaggart. A good viewpoint and also a nice trekking destination.
The Wicklow Way is around 130km long and crosses the Wicklow Mountains from Marley Park in Dublin, to Clonegal in County Carlow. It is one of the most popular walk in Ireland, and is usually split in 6 or 7 sections. There are a variety of accommodation. It is one of the busiest of Ireland's National Waymarked Trails, with up to 24,000 people a year walking the most popular sections. The Way is also used regularly by a number of mountain running competitions.
Tinnahinch Castle is a ruins in Kilkenny. It is situated northeast of Ballynakill, close to Duiske Abbey. It has a rectangular structure with a stair tower at the southwest angle, a machicolation between the angles of the two towers protecting the doorway, and a bartizan on the north east angle. All of the windows in the north wall have been stolen.
Map of attractions in Carlow