Barrow Way

County Carlow
22 reviews
Grade Easy
Length 116.9 km
Am 4 days
Format Linear
Dogs Allowed Under effective control
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Finish Point
St. Mullins
Nearest Town to Start Robertstown
Grid Ref. N 790 250 / S 728 378
Lat. and Long. 53.26985, -6.81597 / 52.48748, -6.928

The River Barrow vies with one of its sister rivers, the Suir, as the second longest river in Ireland. It rises in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the southern midlands, and flows to join its two €˜sisters', the Nore and the Suir, before flowing into the Celtic Sea at Waterford Harbour. The Barrow was made navigable in the eighteenth century by the insertion of short sections of canal along its course, and the 114km long Barrow Way follows surviving towpaths and riverside roads from the canal hamlet of Lowtown in County Kildare to the beautiful monastic site and village of St Mullins in south County Carlow. It is a peaceful route through a quiet sylvan landscape, with the constantly expanding river, growing more majestic every mile, for company. Terrain consists mainly of grassy towpaths, tracks and quiet roads. Overnight accommodation options are good: the route is frequently punctuated with villages and towns, many of which were founded at fording places by the Normans soon after the invasion. Among the interesting places the route passes through and walkers might wish to linger a while are the towns of Rathangan with its great hosting place, and Athy and Carlow. Borris in South County Carlow is a fine place that grew up around Borris House, the homeplace of the McMurrough Kavanagh clan, and Graiguenamanagh, a quaint old monastic town where a book festival is held every year, is Ireland's Hay-on-Wye.

Trail Management

Waterways Ireland,
Floor 2 Block C,
Dublin 15
Tel 01-8680148


Car parking
At Start - on street in Robertstown
At End - on riverbank or near Abbey in St. Mullins

9 kms or 9% of the Way follows local roads.
***Dogs under effective control allowed, please clean up after your dog***

Map Guides

Map Guides

Guide to the Barrow Navigation of Ireland - Inland Waterways Association of Ireland. Informarion also available from Waterways Ireland.

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheets 49, 55, 61 and 68
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Start: Bus to Robertstown.
Check with Bus Eireann.
At End: None at present.


DEIRDRE from Dublin

I agree with the last comment. I have not done the trail but want to plan a day's walk this weekend but your website gives me no specific information on what part of the route is walkable - when I go into the individual sections there is again no information that would enable me to plan a day's walk. I need to know what part of the route has a path that is walkable beside the river.

dermot from Dublin

I have walked all the Barrow navigation and it's a great walk, with no climbs that would trouble almost anyone.

However your guide would be a lot more very useful if instead of just giving summary information for the whole trail, it also had summary details for individual stages. No one is going to walk the whole thing in a day. Most will do sections at a time, either overnighting in accomodation along the way, or driving to each days start. Your guide is not suited to this. You need summary information on the length and time for each section, plus info on how to get to each starting point.

Have you done this trail?
Tell us what you think