Life in Carlow

The Cornstone of Iraland’s Ancient East

Situated in the South East of Ireland, approximately 90 kms from Dublin, Rosslare and Waterford, Carlow is one of Ireland’s most charming inland counties. Its central location offers the perfect base to explore the bordering counties of Wexford, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Kildare and Laois

Since time began Carlow has carried her mysteries along her rivers.

Waterways winding gently through the rolling valleys of this county have carried people from 6,000 years ago until now, and their legacy can be seen in its mystical ancient pagan sites, its early Christian settlements, its magnificent Georgian country homes and gardens, and its picturesque riverside towns and villages

Against this timeless landscape, visitors will uncover a unique experience. Exhilarating outdoor adventure, traditional rural life, vibrant shopping and rich cultural heritage – come and find pure Ireland, the Carlow way.

If you need a break, fresh air and stimulation, Carlow is the natural choice for your adventure break – from quading and biking to horse riding, canoeing, fishing, hang-gliding and walking – the opportunities are endless!

Dynamic combination of past and present that characterises Carlow’s streetscapes.

Whilst exploring Carlow’s winding streets and lanes be prepared for the unexpected, as the rich history of this busy market town offers something new at every turn. A one hour self-guided walking tour featuring identifiable finger signposts and large map boards brings its past history to life.

The culture and architecture of the cosmopolitan bars, shops and restaurants hints at Carlow’s turbulent and dramatic Celtic past. Discover the fine detail of its history in the imposing cathedral, in the classical 1830s courthouse, in the remains of Carlow Castle and in the megalithic dolmen in Brownshill. Each one makes its own contribution to the story of Carlow.

But there is more to Carlow than simply its rich Celtic past. It is now a vibrant college town home to an array of magnificent public sculpture and, since 2009 the VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre.

VISUAL is one of Ireland’s leading facilities for the presentation of local, national and international contemporary visual art as well as housing a magnificent theatre comprising 350 seats, a restaurant and bar. Standing in a strategic location in the centre of Carlow Town on the grounds of Carlow College, it rivals its contemporaries in New York, Berlin or Tokyo in terms of its scale and contemporary architecture. The theatre is named after the famed Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw whose mother’s family hailed from the town.

It is this dynamic combination of past and present that characterises Carlow’s streetscapes. Experience its unique culture in its family friendly hotels, charming guesthouses and welcoming country homes to be found throughout the county.

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