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Book a room @ Avlon House B&B and email us about any package you want to add to your reservation. We will contact you as soon as possible with the additional cost for your chosen packages.

Avlon house Bed and Breakfast have lots of Packages for you

  • Staying 3 or more nights ask about our free bicycle loan Telephone 0599174222 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.
  • We can arrange packed lunch from €5.00 per person or why not arrange a special picnic lunch delivered to a pre agreed location on your cycle or walking route eg. Smoked Salmon & champagne picnic from €25.00 per person based on 4 sharing. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Like a complimentary bottle of wine when staying 2 nights or more ? ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. let us know your preference Red or White ) and we will have a bottle in your room on arrival.
  • Yes you can have dinner in the Dinning room 3 courses including wine €50.00 per couple 24hrs notice
  • Free rail travel for visitors over 66

This year Avlon House B&B are working on self guided cycling tours

We are currently offering our 2011 guests complimentary bicycles use subject to availability to explore the sites and country side around Carlow when staying with us 3 nights or more. In addition guests using this service can avail of a packed lunch or if you want that something special we can arrange to meet you at a chosen point along your route with a Smoked Salmon & champagne picnic.

This year Avlon House B&B will Deliver you and collect you from your chosen walking route

We are currently piloting a scheme where we will drop you off at the start of your chosen walk and collect you at the finish point if you are staying at Avlon house for 2 days or more. In addition guests using this service can avail of a packed lunch or if you want that something special we can arrange to meet you at a chosen point along your route with a Smoke Salmon & champagne picnic.

Carlow Town walk

Carlow Town Map

1. The Liberty Tree commemorates those who were killed in the 1798 insurrection in Carlow and who lie interred in the nearby Croppies Grave. . It was designed by John Behan who has skilfully created a fine memorial and an ambience round which people gather to relax. Continue along Kennedy Avenue.

2. Deighton Hall. Up untill the early 1830s this building functioned as the County Courthouse and seat of the Grand Jury (forerunner of the County CounciI). The prisoner holding cells were located in the basement with direct access to the courtroom. In 1909 businessman Joseph C. Deighton handed this building over to St. Mary's Parish to use as the Parochial Hall. Cross Dublin Street onto Castle Street. 6. St. Mary's Church of Ireland. This church dates from 1727, though the tower and spire, reaching 195 feet were added in 1834. The interior retains its traditional galleries. There are also several monuments including ones by Sir Richard Morrison, the important neo-classical architect. Walk westwards down Castle Hill. Carlow Castle may be seen from the lane. Continue along Kennedy Street to Carlow Castle. (Mill Lane) on the southside of Castle Hill.

3. Carlow Castle, now a ruin stands on the eastern bank of the River Barrow. It is thought to be have been built by William de Marshal, Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Leinster between 1207 and 1213. Originally the castle was a rectangular block, containing the castle's principle rooms protected by cyclindrical towers at its corners. Today, two battered towers and part of an intervening wall are all that remain after a local physician tried to remodel it as an asylum in 1814. In an effort to demolish the interior he placed explosive charges at its base and demolished all but the west wall and towers. Continue westwards to the River Barrow.

4. Graiguecullen/Wellington Bridge. There is much speculation of when and how many bridges were built before this present bridge was constructed in 1815. The four arched bridge was named in honour of the Irishman, The Duke of Wellington who had defeated Napoleon's army at the famous Battle of Waterloo. The bridge is more commonly referred to by the local population as Graiguecullen bridge, which incidentally, for boats, is the lowest bridge on the River Barrow. Continue sraight through the traffic lights at Graiguecullen/Wellington Bridge.

5. St. Clare's Roman Catholic Church (on the left hand side) was originally built in 1852 as St. Anne's Church of Ireland Church on the Athy Road in Carlow town. In 1927 after a period of disuse, the church was sold to the Catholic Parish of Graiguecullen and stone by stone was brought across the River Barrow and rebuilt by local company Thomas Thompson. Turn left at the traffic lights into Chapel Street. Turn right at the end of the street, into 98th Street. The Croppies grave is on the left hand side.

6. The Croppies Grave. A handsome monument rises above the site of an old sand pit where in the aftermath of the disastrous rising of the United Irishmen in 1798, the bodies of slaughtered Carlow insurgents were thrown and covered with quick lime in a mass grave. The Croppies was the name given to the United Irishmen after the habit of cropping their hair to mark their allegiance. Proceed to the Town Park.

7. Carlow Town Park. A fine attraction for all the family, this 12.8 acre site on the banks of the River Barrow completed to the highest standards with a safe and secure children's playgound. The children's play area is open daily 08.00 a.m. - 8.30 p.m. during Summer months and 08.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. rdaily for the rest of year. Cross the Millennium (Jimmy Murnane) Bridge over the River Barrow in the Town Park, go through the car park into Haymarket.

8. On the north side of the Haymarket is the Town Hall designed by the Church architect William Hague in 1884 and opened in March 1886 by Carlow Town Commissioners. Cross the Haymarket mara to St. Mary's Church.

9. St. Mary's Church of Ireland is located in the area of long standing religious importance. In the sixth centry St. Croneybeg had her religious cell located in this general area. This church dates from 1727, though the tower and spire, reaching 195 feet were added in 1834. The interior retains its traditional galleries. There are also several monuments including some by Sir Richard Morrison, the important neo-classical architect. Turn right at gate, left into Castle Hill and left into Dublin Street in the direction of the Courthouse.

10. The Assembly Rooms. In 1899 well known literary figure George Bernard Shaw inherited this property from his uncle, Walter Gurly. It is thought that the Assembly rooms were built in 1794 and were used by the nobility and gentry of the county to host dinners, balls and musical performances. In 1918 George Bernard Shaw offered Dr. Foley, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin and Chairman of the County Carlow Technical Institute Committee, the building as a school, which opened in 1923.. The building is now owned by Carlow County Council and re-opened in 2005 after renovation. Continue straight on to the Courthouse from Dublin Street.

11. Carlow Courthouse. Noted William Morrison designed this building in the late 1820s. It is one of Ireland's finest examples of ancient Greek revivalist architecture. The Courthouse, based on the Temple of Llissus in Athens, gives the impression of a temple set on a high plinth, but this obscures the fact that the basement is a maze of cells and dungeons. A cannon from the Crimean Way stands on the steps. Walk south-east down College Street to St. Patrick's College.

12.Carlow College. Built before the French Revolution, Carlow College is one of Ireland's oldest educational institutions. The college first opened its doors to students five years before the Irish rebellion of 1798. Originally founded as a lay college, Carlow functioned as a college of the humanities and a seminary from 1793 to 1892. From 1892 until 1989 it was principally a seminary for the education of priests. During its 200 year old history Carlow College has educated generations of politicians, priests, poets and leaders in the public life of their day. The new VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and George Bernard Shaw Theatre is situated the grounds of Carlow College.

13. Carlow Cathedral - located immediately beside St. Patrick's College. The Cathedral, started in 1828 and completed in 1833, at a cost of €9,000.00, was the brain-child of the energetic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, James Doyle - J.K.L., the prominent champion of Catholic emancipation. The design of the Cathedral is attributed largely to Thomas Cobden, who drew his inspiration for the Carlow building from European models, particularly the Beftroi tower in Bruges, Belgium. This is the cathedral for the Catholic Dicoces of Kildare and Leighlin and is known offically at the Cathedral of the Assumption.

14. Tourist Office. Visit our state-of-the-art tourist office located beside the Cathedral where you will receive information on all local attractions and events, as well as a copy of our county promotional brochure and a comprehensive range of guidebooks. Local amenities include

15. Tullow Street

16. Oak Park Forest Park

17. Railway Station

18. Garda Station

19. Post Office

20. Carlow Bus Park

Clogrennane Wood Looped Walk

Clogrennane Wood near Carlow Town offers the user a gentle walk on forest roads with magnificent views of Carlow Town and the River Barrow on a clear day. The area is an old wood and has had forestry cover present since the 1800's. The predominant tree species in Clogrennane are beech, spruce, larch and oak with vegetation consistent with that of an old woodland bluebells, ferns, wild garlic and herb rocket. For further information please click here

Clogrennane History

Clogrennane - the stone castle of the palace

Rochfort's of Clogrennane

Clogrennane was formerly an estate owned by the Dukes of Ormonde of Kilkenny Castle. From the mid 17th century the Rochfort family owned a 3,000 acre estate based around Clogrennane. Robert Rochfort was Speaker of the Irish House of Commons in 1695 and in 1707 he was appointed Chief Baron of the Exchequer. During the 1798 Rebellion John Staunton Rochfort and Robert Cornwall from Myshall were key local gentry figures to over see law and order in Carlow. Earlier in 1798 Colonel Rochfort had established Carlow's first Orange Lodge. According to some sources Carlow hosted the first formal game of cricket played in Ireland. Horace William Rochfort founded Carlow's first cricket club in 1831 while in 1873 he founded the Carlow Polo Club. That same year he was elected the first President of County Carlow Rugby Football Club.

Clogrennane Castle and House

Clogrennane Castle was built sometime in the 15th century in order to defend a pass that wound along between the River Barrow and the extensive woodlands that were all along the side of the hills. It is believed to be in ruins since the 18th century and in the 19th century it was converted into the entrance to the then newly built Clogrennane House. The ruins bare little resemblance to the original Castle and seem to incorporate stone from a near by ancient church.

Built in the early 19th century the now ruined home of the Rochfort family was described in 1825 as a house of modern erection and is a plain building, respectable in character, and extremely commodious, but scarcely worthy of its situation on a demesne of such distinguished beauty. All the materials for the building came from the area limestone, granite, timber, marble and shale for roof. It was the building of the house that led to financial ruin for the Rochfort's. The house was noted for its large ballroom and hosting regular parties. The last ball was held in January 1922 just before the house was sold. It has been roofless since 1945.

Limeworks

Clogrennane has been an important centre for the quarrying of Limestone for centuries. There is a number of limestone quarries located in this area of County Carlow. Many buildings and monuments both in Carlow and further a field are made of limestone cut from these quarries. Lime is also used as an important fertiliser for farming. Located close to here is Clogrennane Lime and it is a specialist chemical lime producer supplying products for use in agriculture and construction as well as the pharmaceutical & environmental sectors. The Rochfort family started the limeworks and an excellent example of an early lime making facility with five kilns dating from 1816 is to be found on the road leading from here to Carlow town.

Killbrannish Forest Loop Walks

Kilbrannish Loop Walk

Killbrannish Forest Loop Walks on the Blackstairs Mountains feature two signposted trails - the Windfarm Loop is 3km in length with a good surface and uphill sections and is suitable for families with young children. Four large wind turbines fill the skyline on the summit of nearby Greenoge Hill. the Kilbrannish Forest Loop is 5 kilometres in length, again with a good surface underneath and uphill sections taking approx. 2 hours to complete.

The route offers wonderful views of the surrounding countryside - walkers following the Kilbrannish Forest Loop will be rewarded with particularly fine views from the summit of Croaghaun (455 metres) northwards over the plains of Carlow with the villages and towns of Myshall and Tullow spread out below. The routes can be accessed from Borris, Myshall or Bunclody while a large car park and picnic facilities are available to visitors. Map available from Carlow Tourist Office.

Oak Park Forest Park

There are few locations which could rival the beauty and tranquillity of Oak Park Forest Park. Ideal for leisurely strolls and walks, a visit here is a relaxing and pleasurable experience and a must for any visitor to Co. Carlow. Colour coded circular walkways of varying lengths with excellent accessible surfaces and easy gradients make a visit here an enjoyable experience for young and old alike.

The park is a mature, mixed species woodland of over 120 acres with a predominance of Beech, Oak, Scots Pine, Silver Fir, Larch and Sycamore. The proximity of the walkways to the extensive collection of ferns, mosses and woodland flora provides the visitor with an ideal opportunity to interact with nature.

Boasting a rich diversity of wildlife, the lakes and their surrounds provide a habitat for swans and ducks, while the islands shelter many wild and game birds. The Woodland Walks have been laid out to encompass the broadest range of natural features. Extending over 4 kilometres they include Butlers Wood Loop (700 metres), the Lake Path (800 metres), Fox Covert Track (1100 metres) and Sally Island Trail (1700 metres).

All the walks are wheelchair accessible.

Situated on the outskirts of Carlow town, the park is a popular destination for walking and educational visits. The park also features a picnic area, informal leisure areas and seating at regular intervals.

FACILITIES: wheelchair accessible toilets, large car park, outdoor picnic tables, wheelchair accessible walkways and birdwatching area.

HOW TO FIND US: At Castledermot take the R448 in the direction of Carlow. Take the first right after Toughers Restaurant (on the outskirts of Carlow town). Take a left at the next junction. Access also possible off Dr. Cullen Park Road on the outskirts of Carlow town.

OPENING TIMES: End March - end September daily from 8 a.m - 9 p.m. Rest of year daily from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. check for Christmas opening times.

ADMISSION CHARGES: Free entrance.

Show Map

The Barrow Way

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 Barrow Way allows for sightings of a rich variety of river life - swans, mallard, heron, kingfisher and hen pheasant are regularly to be seen. 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.

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.

The John Murray Show - Barrow Walk with Olivia O'Leary please click here

The Slieve Margy Way

The Slieve Margy Way is located in the north western corner of Co. Carlow and 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, Arles, Wolfhill and The Swan. Passing along the banks of the River Barrow, the Slieve Margy Way then takes to the hills rising over 1,000 feet 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. Full map available from Carlow Tourist Office on 059-9131554

The South Leinster Way

South Leinster WayThe 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.

STAGE 1: Kildavin - Borris 22km (14 miles). From Kildavin the route passes along forest tracks over the northern slopes of Mount Leinster to reach the town of Borris. The "Nine Stones" vantage point at Mount Leinster offers amazing views of the Barrow Valley and Brandon Hill.

STAGE 2: Borris - Graiguenamanagh 12km (7 miles). This stretch follows the towpath along the River Barrow and is particularly attractive as it passes through rich deciduous woodland and old mills. Graiguenamanagh is the end of this walk - a quayside, boating town lying in the county of Kilkenny but connected via a bridge over the River Barrow to its twin village of Tinnahinch in Co. Carlow.

STAGE 3: Graiguenamanagh - Inistioge 16km (10 miles). This walk crosses the slopes of Mount Brandon by a series of forest walks before reaching the village of Inistioge - a pretty village with a fine market square and interesting buildings and sites including the Augustinian Priory and St. Columcille's Well. In recent years, Inistioge has also witnessed the development of the film making industry in Ireland. Famous films shot here include Widow's Peak and Circle of Friends.

STAGE 4: Inistioge - Mullinavat 30km (19 miles). Suitable for the seasoned walker. This section of the way starts along the banks of the River Nore and continues via forest roads over several hills to reach Mullinavat.

STAGE 5: Mullinavat - Carrick-on-Suir 22km (14 miles). This stretch crosses the River Blackwater and passes the village of Piltown en route to the end of the walk in Carrick-on-Suir. The Forge Restaurant, Art & Craft Centre located at Kilbride Cross, Ballon is a meeting point for many walking groups and packed lunches can be supplied upon request. Situated close to the South Leinster Way off the N80, 3km outside the village of Ballon. Tel: 059-9159939. The County Carlow stretch of this varied trail from Kildavin to Graiguenamanagh leads the walker between some very fine lofty summits, follows the towpath along the River Barrow and passes through medieval towns and ancient sites.

Maps: The South Leinster Way Map Guide. Map consists of a 32 page guide-book and detailed 1/50,000 scale strip maps packaged in plastic wallet. Information on route finding. local and natural history. Available from EastWest Mapping, Ballyredmond, Clonegal, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. Phone: 053-9377835 or from local tourist information offices. Information Sheet: 26D available from Failte Ireland.

The Wicklow Way

The route covers a distance of 81 miles (132 km) in length commencing in Marlay Park, Dublin and finishing in the beautiful village of Clonegal located in the River Slaney valley in the east of the county. The route provides great variety of landscape and many areas of historical interest along the way.

Noted for its rich variety of wildlife including red deer, silka deer, hares, foxes, squirrels and more rarely badgers. Call to Osborne's in the village of Clonegal where you can collect your own personalised Wicklow Way certificate for completion of the route.

A visit to Huntington Castle and the Temple of Isis should not be missed. Guided tours conducted by Miss Olivia Robertson. Phone: + 353 (0)54 77552.

Walking Clubs

If you are a serious rambler or just like to stretch your lets and enjoy the view, then Co. Carlow is a brilliant destination to explore on foot. Visitors will be spoiled by the diverse array of options on offer from forest parks to mountains and river towpaths.

The Blackstairs Ramblers are a group of hill walkers who as their name suggests, enjoy rambling on the Blackstairs Mountains. They walk on the second and fourth Sunday of every month, accommodating different levels of fitness with two walks on each occasion. Club walks also take place on Thursday night. See www.blackstairsramblers.com for a full walk schedule.

Tullow Mountineering Club organise graded mountain walks every Sunday from Barrack, Street, Carlow Town (Opposite Deane's newsagents). Cars depart at 9.30 a.m. sharp with walks graded easy, medium and hard. Walks are not always in the local Blackstairs Mountains. Easy walks are arranged for the first Sunday of every month and are suitable for beginners. It is advisable to bring along wind-proof and waterproof clothing, walking boots and a ruck-sack with lunch and extra clothing for when the walk is finished. Please confirm in advance with David Butler, Club Secretary T: 087-2204134

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