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 Ruins in St Mullins

St Mullins Monastery

This important monastic site, founded in the 7th century by St Moling, was the legendary burial place of the Kings of Leinster. The remains include four church buildings dating from the 10th to the 15th centuries, t…
Top Choice Modern Irish in Carlow Town

Lennons

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…
Top Choice Irish in Borris

Step House Hotel

The handsome 1808 Brasserie & Bar in the Step House Hotel, all polished mahogany, red leather benches and green glass lampshades, is an elegant but relaxed place to enjoy some of County Carlow's best food. Expec…
Top Choice 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…
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 …
Gardens in County Carlow

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…
Historic Building in Borris

Borris House

This impressive Tudor Gothic mansion, the ancestral home of the McMorrough Kavanaghs, High Kings of Leinster, was modelled in 1810–20 around the earlier shells of an 18th-century house and a 15th-century castle. The…
Museum in Carlow Town

Carlow County Museum

This thoroughly engaging museum focuses on the lives of local people through the ages. There are some real one-offs, such as the trapdoor from the county gallows, dating from the early 1800s, and a 6m-high exquisite…
Gallery in Carlow Town

Visual Centre for Contemporary Art

British architect Terry Pawson was behind the factory-inspired industrial design of this concrete, steel and glass cultural centre which, some consider, sits in uneasy alliance with the historic cathedral across the…