Top things to do

Top Choice Gardens in Ballon

Altamont Gardens

One of Ireland's most magnificent landscaped gardens, Altamont covers 16 hectares on the banks of the River Slaney, with carefully selected plantings arranged in naturalistic settings where peacocks, swans, squirrel…
Top Choice Modern Irish in Carlow Town


Carlow's best dining is found amid the arty surrounds of the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art. It's a sleek and stylish space with a patio bordering the grassy grounds of St Patrick's College. Lunch features creat…
Cathedral in Carlow Town

Carlow Cathedral

This elegant Regency Gothic cathedral dating from 1833 was the brainchild of Bishop James Doyle, a staunch supporter of Catholic emancipation. On the right of the nave a statue of the bishop is flanked by a crowned,…
Gardens in Around Carlow Town

Delta Sensory Gardens

A dozen or so interconnecting, themed gardens span the five senses – from sculpture garden to formal rose garden, water and woodland garden, willow garden and even a musical garden with mechanical fountains. Admissi…
Art in Carlow Town

Éigse Carlow Arts Festival

Musicians, writers, actors and street performers take over town.
Gardens in Around Carlow Town

Duckett's Grove

Dominated by the jackdaw-haunted ruins of a Gothic fantasy of a country house, the former seat of the Duckett family (the house burned down in 1933) was taken over by Carlow County Council in 2005. The walled garden…
Irish in Ballon

Forge Restaurant

Mary Jordan cooks up delicious healthy soups and hot lunch specials using local produce at this former blacksmith's forge near Altamont Gardens. There are baked goods to take away plus deli items and crafts for sale…
Castle in Clonegal

Huntington Castle

The core of Huntington Castle is a spooky, dusty old tower house built in 1625 by Sir Laurence Esmonde, now surrounded by Georgian terraces and flamboyantly castellated Victorian extensions. Related to the Esmondes …
Pub in Clonegal


A traditional finishing point for Wicklow Way walkers, Osborne’s pub is an atmospheric low-ceilinged hostelry, with a bar-top reputedly made from coffin lids.
Modern Irish in Clonegal

Sha-Roe Bistro

Tucked inside an 18th-century building and run by award-winning chef Henry Stone, this is one of Carlow's top restaurants. A huge open fireplace and a pretty courtyard at the back provide a rustic setting for stando…