In need of a getaway this season? Here are eight of the best autumn attractions in Carlow
Sponsored by Carlow Tourism
Autumn is the perfect time for a cosy, countryside break. Think fresh air and brisk walks. This is the season when nature is at its finest. Spending some time immersing yourself in the golden hues on woodland trails is the best way to relax and unwind. Whether you’re looking for a couples getaway or a family break, Carlow is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Here are eight ways to lose yourself in the beauty of autumn in Ireland’s Ancient East.
The Barrow Way
This 48km walk stretches from Carlow Town to the village of St. Mullins. To make the most of its scenic views, walkers usually divide it into sections and tackle it over the course of a few days. We recommend the stretch from Borris to St. Mullins. 16km amongst enchanting woodlands and hills makes this section of the trail an autumnal haven.
For those who want more of a challenge, why not hike the Blackstairs? Mount Leinster, located about forty minutes from Carlow Town is equally as beautiful as The Barrow Way. With a high point of 795 metres, it is the perfect moderate climb for anyone who wants to feel the burn whilst still enjoying the scenic views. Not into hiking? There are more leisurely routes with little to no climbs available also.
Carlow County Museum
We can’t always count on the Irish weather, especially in the colder months. For rainy days, the Carlow County museum is a great option. Take some time to marvel at displays such as the 340 million year old fossil, Iron age finds and the hand-carved wooden pulpit from Carlow Cathedral. History lovers are in for a real treat at this indoor attraction.
Follow in the footsteps of Columbanus
A sixth century monk, St. Columbanus, embarked on a pilgrimage across Ireland and Europe almost 1500 years ago. That pilgrimage began at Mount Leinster, where visitors can now follow in his footsteps. A 45km walk of self discovery and rich biodiversity, awaits the visitor in Carlow before it continues northwards to reach Bangor in Co Down. To celebrate the strong linkages between northern and southern Ireland, a Columbanus festival is being held in Carlow this weekend. A free concert, featuring the Celtic Tenors and Carlow College of Music will be held in the surroundings of St Mary’s Church, Saturday 8 October at 8pm. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art
Ireland’s largest space for art, located on the grounds of Carlow College in the centre of the town, the VISUAL centre is a spectacular visit. From artwork by national and international artists to family art workshops, there is plenty for all to get stuck into. Other activities include, youth theatre, tours of the centre and a packed programme of drama, film, dance and comedy in a 320-seat theatre.
The Carlow Garden Trail
For garden lovers, Carlow’s botanical gardens are a must-visit on your autumn break. With over 40 acres of lush gardens and riverside walks, Altamont Gardens is one of Ireland’s most beautiful botanical attractions. These gardens are filled with mature trees that look stunning in autumn, with natives in the avenues and woodland areas that are home to exotic specimens throughout the gardens. .
Located in Clonegal, Huntington Castle is a real treat for history lovers. During the month of October, visitors can walk through the ‘Wilderness’ woodland, where beauitful pathways and formal walks lead to the old turbine house that supplied the castle with electricity as early as 1888. Take a tour of the house to learn about its history and the family that inhabit the castle today, or take some time out to relax in the castle’s tearooms.
Lisnavagh Wellness Festival
Take some time out to celebrate the changing seasons with a restorative weekend at Lisnavagh House on October 15th and 16th 2022. Yoga philosophy, meditation, forest bathing, sound healing, live music and dance, bee therapy and artisan food stalls all form part of the festival programme. To find out more visit lisnavagh.com.
For more information and to plan your autumn break visit carlowtourism.com.
This project received grant aid from Carlow Local Community Development Committee under the Rural Development Programme Ireland 2014-2022 which is financed by the Irish Government and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural Areas.