The Barrow Way (Stages)

The Barrow Way (Stages)

STAGE 1 of the Barrow Way starts in Lowtown and a distance of 23 km (14 miles) takes you to the town of Monasterevin. The raised banks of the canal offer beautiful views of the surrounding countryside with views of the Hill of Allen and the Wicklow Mountains.

STAGE 2 covers the stretch from Monasterevin to Athy – 23km (14 miles). This stretch offers the visitor much of architectural interest with many old bridges and houses.

STAGE 3 runs from Athy to Carlow – 19km (12 miles). This is the first of four stretches which pass through the county of Carlow. Starting from the heritage town of Athy, the route passes many interesting lifting bridges and old mills before reaching Carlow town.

STAGE 4 Carlow to Bagenalstown – 16km (10 miles). Milford, approximately 7 km south of Carlow is one of the most attractive stretches along the River Barrow. Set in an idyllic location with three bridges, mill buildings and a large wooded area it is famous as an aquatic triangle with regular spottings of herons and kingfishers. This stretch of walk is rich with historical buildings and castles including the Black Castle at Leighlinbridge and the many architectural gems in the town of Bagenalstown, where our walk ends.

STAGE 5 takes the walker from Bagenalstown to Graiguenamanagh – 26km (16 miles). This route passes the small villages of Goresbridge and Borris. On several occasions throughout the year crowds gather from Ireland and abroad for the famous horse fairs held in O’ Donoghues of Goresbridge. This is a great social gathering and should you happen to pass on a sales day make sure to drop in. The village of Borris nestles in the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains and has retained its charms of former days. Many shops have kept their traditional fronts and the local public houses have earned nationwide recognition for their friendly, old world atmosphere. Our route ends in Graiguenamanagh, a picturesque abbey town and a popular boating and craft centre. Overlooking the River Barrow is Duiske Abbey founded by Norman monks from Stanley Abbey, Wiltshire in 1204. The “Early English” design boasts a lofty nave and it is the largest of Irish Cistercian monastery churches.

STAGE 6 Graiguenamanagh to St. Mullins – 6km (4 miles). This stretch has beautiful woodland surroundings with a strong ecclesiastical theme in the religious settlement at St. Mullins. The complex includes a medieval church ruin, the base of a round tower and the former Church of Ireland church, built in 1811, which now hosts a heritage centre. The lower settlement is set on a glorious stretch of the Barrow Valley and includes a picnic area.