House & Garden Trail

A walk to remember

Garden Trails in Carlow

Woodford Island

Located on the grounds of our hotel, you won’t have far to travel to experience true tranquillity and relaxation.

Following the gardens at the rear of the hotel, cross the red bridge over the River Barrow and into the natural paradise to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of your day. On Woodford Island, you’ll be met with the beautiful sounds and scents that nature has to offer.

The singing birds, the crisp leaves, and the beautiful sound of the River Barrow will be sure to give you that blissful feeling of relaxation you need. You will also find an array of wildlife on the island, such as Heron, Swans and Field Butterflies.

Woodford Island is the ideal trail for walking and appreciating what nature has to offer. Read more about Woodford Island and find out how much more it has to offer.


It should come as no surprise to hear that Carlow is a treasure trove of wonderful gardens. Follow the Carlow Garden Trail, a collection of 16 gardening attractions featuring old gardens lovingly restored and maintained or smaller gardens that are maturing beautifully over time. 

Award-winning garden centres and forest parks complement the joy of a visit on the Carlow Garden Trail.

The Carlow Garden Trail can be driven in one day but we recommend you book one of our special offers and give yourself the time to enjoy the remarkable beauty at a more leisurely pace. 

The trail can be joined at any gardening attraction and then you just follow the easily identifiable signposts.

Carlow Garden Trail website


Visit Heritage Ireland’s most romantic garden within a 20-minute drive our the hotel. Discover the stunning and sweeping estate covering 16 hectares in total. Admission is FREE, with a charge of €2 for parking. 

The Robinsonian or Arts and Craft style of this garden gracefully melds formal and informal elements while blending in with surroundings. Take a fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen, sheltered by ancient oaks and flanked by huge stone outcrops, leads to the banks of the River Slaney. Make sure to visit in summer to experience the glorious perfume of roses and herbaceous plants in the air.

Then enjoy a break at the Altamount Garden Cafe,  which offers delightful home baked cakes and scones with freshly brewed tea and coffee, with takeaway options available. And light snacks are available during summer months.

Altamount Gardens is open all year,  7 days a week including bank holidays. The seasonal opening times for June to September is 9am till 6.30pm.

More information on Altamont Gardens

our fairy garden

Ireland has long since been known for fairy tales and we’re very lucky at the Woodford Dolmen to be the chosen home of King Oran, Queen Tianna and their daughter Orla with the Magical Fairy clan.

Having a King and Queen stay with us was a huge responsibility, luckily, we’re used to giving our guests the red-carpet treatment and we were well prepared. Quickly the fairies made their home in our gardens and christened it ‘An Draoicht Glen’. The fairies have since built their homes among the trees and hedges.

Delta sensory garden

These gardens are part of Delta Centre which was established in 1990 as a centre for adults with disabilities. The Sensory Gardens were created as a therapeutic outlet for those attending the service. Just a 10 minute drive from our hotel to this fantastic garden.

The sensory theatre building in the gardens houses a reception, toilet facilities, a colourful indoor musical fountain and activities room. Attached to this building is the very popular Café Thyme which serves food daily and linked to this is a small garden centre. 

The Gardens and Cafe are open Monday to Friday: 9am – 5.00pm & Weekends and Public Holidays: 11am – 5.00pm.

arboretum home & garden Heaven

Bord Bia’s first ever Five Star Garden Centre is just a 10 minute drive from our hotel!

The Arboretum is an award wining family run business that guarantees a gardening and lifestyle experience that is second to none. With dedication, enthusiasm and passion for the business the Doyle family has established the business as one of Ireland’s leading garden centres.

Perfect for a stroll around, to pick out some new homeware and plant, or grab a takeaway lunch and coffee with the family.
Drop in to experience this heaven Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6pm
& Sunday: 11am – 6pm.

Borris house gardens & woodlands

Situated in the beautiful Barrow Valley in County Carlow, Borris House is one of the most picturesque country houses in Ireland. Built in 1731 by Morgan Kavanagh, it is the hereditary home of the MacMorrough Kavanagh family, former Celtic kings of Leinster, and the famous twelfth century Kavanagh Charter Horn remains on display in the house today.

Enjoy a walk through the gardens of Borris House while taking in the breath taking views of Mount Leinster, the Blackstairs Mountains and the Barrow Valley. Visit the newly-established Lace Garden takes inspiration from Borris Lace
Gardens open from 12 pm to 5 pm Thursday to Sunday. Please enquire in Gift Shop at Gate House by calling 059 97 71884. FREE parking

hardymount gardens

Travel just 2o minutes from our hotel and arrive at Hardymount Gardens which houses one of the largest Spanish chestnuts in the country which greets you on arrival to 2.5 acres of lawns and shrubs surrounded by magnificent beech and oak trees.

A wonderful walled garden behind the house contains many unusual plants and flowers in the herbaceous border – lilac coloured Erysimum, yellow helianthus, beds of old roses, downy variegated mint, mimosa, blue agapanthus, California tree poppies, Chinese foxgloves and much, much more. 

Admission is €5 (in aid of Cancer Research). Open daily 2 – 6 p.m. May – August inclusive.

More information on Hardymount Gardens

Explore Carlow

Explore Carlow from The Woodford Dolmen Hotel. A Comfortable stay awaits, after your adventures!

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