Outdoor Activities in Carlow

Breathe the relaxing fresh Carlow Air

Castlecomer Discovery Park and visitor centre

Only a 30 minutes drive from our hotel, Castlecomer offers a day of adventures.

Castlecomer Discovery Park and Visitor Centre consists of a wonderful 80 acre discovery park in the Castlecomer Demesne, which was once part of the estate farmyard, gardens, stable yard and leisure grounds of the Wandesforde family. Castlecomer Visitor Centre houses the reception, Coal-Mining Exhibition, and Jarrow Café open daily.

The park itself is FREE to visit and perfect for a family day out, with its walking trails, woodland sculptures and many things to see and do throughout the year.

Facilities also includes boating, and fishing on the lake, high-ropes and other adrenaline-inducing activities, a fascinating multi-media coal mining museum, craft workshops, and Elf & Fairy village. 

Pre-booking is essential for all Tree Top Walk and Boating activities.

More information and contact details


Experience Rathwood the Multi-Award winning exclusive centre within just a 30 minute drive from our hotel.

Uniquely combining retail, fashion, garden centre and leisure, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained here. Rathwood is adjacent to The Chocolate Garden of Ireland and Open daily from 11am – 4pm.

Take a trip through the woods on the Rathwood Express Train. Venture into the Maze of Ireland, when you’ve safely found your way out discover the playgrounds swings and slides. Rathwood also has a Deer Park, kids events, magical walks through the forest and the newly open The Ark Indoor Playcentre.

Why not visit the Woodshed Cafe? Grab yourself and the family a takeaway tea, coffee or scones. 

More information from the Rathwood website

go with the flow river adventures

Looking for a 5* Tripadvisor rated river adventure in Carlow?

Check out all that Go With The Flow packages have to offer. Located 35 minutes from the hotel, at Lock House, Clashganny, Borris, County Carlow. Transfers may also be arranged with the adventure centre.

Popular tours such as the Valley of the Monks tour (flat water, self guided) and the White Water spills and thrills tour (guided), are both available twice a day for a half day. Both suitable for family outings ( age 7yr +). 

Or, choose from canoeing options – this includes canoe trails with wild camping. See their website for details with prices, descriptions, times and dates. 

Go With The Flow accommodates river adventures for both group bookings and individual, couples and smaller numbers. 

Go With The Flow website


Enjoy a boating and canoeing expirence along the River Barrow!

Whether it’s a historical tour of Kilkenny, a cruise through county Carlow, or a wildlife adventure in counties Kildare or Laois; there is a boat for you. Take time to switch off, relax, and experience boating life as it was for those of a bygone era.

Surrounded by nature, water, and history, the team at BoatTrips.ie will make sure to provide a memorable experience for you and your friends or family. With trips that range from 30 minutes duration to tours across several days, there is something to suit everyone.

Boattrips.ie website 

Carlow bike trails

The Barrow Way covers Borris to St Mullins (16km). For a different experience of the River Barrow and an activity that the whole family will enjoy, hire a bike at Graiguenamanagh Bike Hire at the Waterside Guesthouse and enjoy the river from a different perspective. As you leave the town you pass the heritage site of Tinnahinch Castle, a Butler stronghold built to defend the ford.

The cycle from here to beautiful St. Mullins is approximately 6km. Relax in the Mullicháin Café.
Opposite this are the ruins of the ancient Tigh Moling, an early Christian missionary in Ireland who founded a monastery here in the 7th century. Enjoy this moderate bike trail with friends or family before returning to the Woodford Dolmen for an evening of great food and relaxation.

Barrow Way Walks

Borris to St Mullins: Covers a 16km stretch of the Barrow Way long distance walking route.

Carlow Town & Milford: Combines a walk along the Barrow Way long distance walking route from Carlow Town to Milford combined with a boat trip on the River Barrow and a visit to Delta Sensory Gardens or a 2-hour self-guided tour of Carlow Town.

South Leinster Way

The South Leinster Way is a long distance walking route which starts from Kildavin, Co. Carlow to finish in Carrick-on-Suir in Co. Tipperary covering 102 kilometres (64 miles) in length and ascending some 1600 metres. FREE to visit and walk. Estimated length of the walk is 5 days.

It is a route that passes through varied terrain, including the heathery flanks of Mount Leinster (796m) and Brandon Hill (515m), a fine riverside stretch on the River Barrow, a large decayed demesne, and coniferous woodlands, but it finishes with a long stretch of 30 km on quiet tarmac roads.

Maps and other information on South Leinster Way

blackstairs eco trail

This eco-centric trail is located just outside Borris, in south-county Carlow at the foot of the Blackstairs mountains. A River Barrow neighbour of the Woodford Dolmen, it offers a unique look at the region through exploring, foraging and observing the biodiversity of the region. A gold-accredited eco-tourism destination, its team have been recording the wildlife in the area for over 40 years.

The business was founded by Mary and Robert White. Mary is a former Green Party member of the Irish Parliament and Robert is a geographer and mathematician. Both are passionate about wildlife and ecology and this passion has certainly been brought to life with Blackstairs Eco Trails.

More information on Blackstairs Eco Trail

borris golf club

Established in 1907, the 9-hole Borris Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in Ireland and this is reflected in its mature parkland course. The breathtaking scenery of the surrounding countryside combined with the strategic design of the course ensure that all who visit, always return! Spectacular views of Borris House, Mount Leinster and the famous Borris Viaduct can be enjoyed during a golfing round.

Visit the website to book your tee time.  

Quinagh Par 3

Quinagh House is set in 42 acres on the outskirts of Carlow Town, surrounded by mature trees with extensive views of the Killeshin Hills. A very well maintained golf course, it is a perfect place to relax or enjoy a friendly competition with 18 exceptional holes ranging from 130 to 220 yards in length. Well positioned trees throughout the course and water hazards serve as challenging obstacles while also enhancing the quality of this spacious course. A perfect course for both beginners and experienced players.

Call 059 9142088 for more information.

Explore Carlow

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