Walking in Carlow

Some of Ireland’s most satisfying walks are to be found in Co, Carlow. Home to three of Ireland’s key national walking routes – The Leinster Way, The Wicklow Way and the Barrow Way, the county is blessed with hundreds of miles of excellent and varied walking – walking to suit all tastes and levels of ability. Experienced walkers will enjoy the invigorating challenge of Carlow’s way-marked mountain treks, whilst novices will find peace and tranquillity on peaceful riverside and country walks. The walks featured here are just a sample of the many available to the visitor to Co. Carlow so feel free to wander at will …..

The Barrow Way

The Barrow Way follows the towpath, originally a path alongside the River Barrow to allow the pulling of barges or boats for transport. The ground is level throughout passing good farmland where tillage and cattle farming is predominant. There are plenty of small, friendly villages where the welcome of the locals is renowned while the path also offers much of architectural interest to the visitor – bridges, many arched, and pretty lock houses, some still in use. Many interesting historical features are located in close proximity to the river including castles, abbeys, old bridges and derelict mills.The full length of the Barrow Way, from Lowtown to St. Mullins is 113 kilometres (70 miles).
You can cover this distance in a single journey in less than a week or explore shorter sections of the walk in a number of easy strolls. Accommodation is available from 3 to 19 kilometres and varies from hotels to self-catering and bed & breakfasts. Most accommodation providers are delighted to transport you to and from your starting and finishing points. Towns offer a full range of services while villages have good facilities that are designed to meet the needs of the walker.

The South Leinster Way

The South Leinster Way is a long distance walking route which runs from Kildavin, Co. Carlow to Carrick-on-Suir in Co. Tipperary covering 102 kilometres (64 miles) in length and ascending 1600 metres.The predominant features in the landscape are Mount Leinster, Brandon Hill and the river valleys of the Barrow, Nore and Suir. This stretch can be comfortably walked in five days but strong walkers can finish it in three days.

The Wicklow Way

This route covers a distance of 132km (81 miles) in length commencing in Marley Park, Dublin and finishing in the beautiful village of Clonegal located in the River Slaney valley in the east of the county. It can be comfortably walked in six days or in shorter sections as desired. Variety in landscape, buildings and wildlife is a great characteristic of this route with regular sightings of red deer, silka deer, hares, foxes, squirrels and badgers.

The Slieve Margy Way

The Slieve Margy Way is located in the south¬eastern corner of Co. Laois and allows the visitor explore some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. The route is a circular network of walking tracks through a number of villages, many in close proximity to Co. Carlow including Graiguecullen, Maganey, Aries, Wolfhill and The Swan. Passing along the banks of the Barrow river, the Slieve Margy Way then takes to the hills rising over 1,000 teet to the top of the Castlecomer Plateau to join the Swan Loop, The Way has been designed to allow walkers join it at any point and walk in either direction.

Sli na Slainte

A range of shorter walks combining the best of variety and enjoyment has been established by the Irish Heart Foundation in co-operation with community groups and the Local Authorities in Co. Carlow. Known as Sli na Slainte routes, the signs are easily identifiable, at 1km intervals, by the warm, radiant sun and cheerful human figure in yellow, blue and red symbolising the vitality and energy of life. Routes can be found in Carlow Town, Ballymurphy, Clonegal, Leighlinbridge and St. Mullins. Brochures of each route can be obtained from Carlow Tourist Office.

Tullow Mountaineering Club

Tullow Mountaineering Club organise graded walks every Sunday from Barrack Street, Carlow Town (opposite Deane’s newsagents). Cars depart at 09.30 a.m. sharp with walks graded easy, medium and hard. Due to daylight hours hard walks are usually conducted during the Spring & Summer months only. Easy walks are arranged for the first Sunday of every month and are suitable for beginners. It is advisable to bring along walking boots, proper clothing and a rug-sack with lunch and extra clothing.

Information Sheets

In order to fully appreciate your walk you are encouraged to carry an Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map and/or a number of specialist publications available from Carlow Tourist Office including the South Leinster Way Map Guide, The Wicklow Way and the Wicklow Way Walks. Copies are available from Carlow Tourist Office.