The Barrow Way (Carlow – Athy)

The Barrow Way is a long-distance walking trail in Ireland. It follows the original towpath of the River Barrow. Therefore it is considered one of the most scenic and picturized inland waterways.

Also, the trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running.

It is 113 kilometers (70 miles) long and begins in Robertstown, County Kildare, and ends in Saint Mullin’s, County Carlow. Then following the course of the River Barrow and the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal through counties Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, and Laois.

Furthermore, The Barrow Way is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Waterways Ireland.

So it is one of the top finest and most impressive visitor attractions. The route is abundant with architectural interest including bridges, many arched, and pretty lock houses, some still in use. Also, many historical features are located in close proximity to the river including castles, abbeys, old bridges, and derelict mills.

The Barrow Way is divided up into six sections, ranging in length from 23 kilometers to 6 kilometers.

The path takes in the towns of Robertstown, Monasterevin, Athy, Carlow, Leighlinbridge, Bagenalstown, Goresbridge, Graiguenamanagh, and Saint Mullin`s. The full walk of the path usually takes 4 days.

  • Stage 1: Starting in Robertstown, Co. Kildare, and covering a distance of 23 km (14 miles), it takes you to the town of Monasterevin.
  • Stage 2: Covers the stretch from Monasterevin to Athy 23km (14 miles).
  • Stage 3: Runs from Athy to Carlow 19km (12 miles). This is the first of four stretches of the Barrow Way which pass through the county of Carlow.
  • Stage 4: Carlow to Bagenalstown – 16km (10 miles). Milford, approximately 7 km south of Carlow is one of the most attractive areas along the Barrow Way.
  • Stage 5: Taking the walker from Bagenalstown to Graiguenamanagh, 26km (16 miles), this section passes the small villages of Goresbridge and Borris before ending in Graiguenamanagh.
  • Stage 6: Graiguenamanagh to Saint Mullin’s 6km (4 miles). The final stretch of the Barrow Way encompasses beautiful woodland surroundings and a strong ecclesiastical theme in the religious settlement at St. Mullins.


Saint Mullins, Leinster, Ireland

Graiguenamanagh, Leinster, Ireland

Bagenalstown, Leinster, Ireland

Carlow, Leinster, Ireland

Athy, Leinster, Ireland

Monasterevin, Leinster, Ireland

Robertstown, Leinster, Ireland

Below are photos of The Barrow Way from Carlow to Athy, on a beautiful sunny day in March 2021.


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

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