Barrow Way Walking Tour

The Barrow river is considered one of the most scenic and picturises inland waterways. The second longest river in Ireland at 192 km, River Barrow is behind River Shannon in terms of its length. Barrow river along with River Nore and River Suir forms the three sisters of Ireland.  
Passing through Ireland’s most scenic countryside, River Barrow Walkway is a delight for tourists. The Barrow starts in Country Laois and flows through Kildar, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford. 
The river and its reedy banks abound in river flora harbouring a wealth of wildlife and fish. Canal boats, barges, and canoes The riverway is fringed with reeds and river flora, harbouring a wealth of wildlife on its way. People have replaced cargo on the Barrow in boats and barges along its 68 kilometres of navigable waterways.  

The Barrow Way near Graiguenamanagh
The Barrow has become a hotspot for waterbased leisure activities.

It’s a winner!

The Barrow riverway in recent years has seen a lot of rejuvenation. Several sporting activities ranging from adventure water sports like kayaking and rafting to leisure activities like walking and biking on the river trail are on the rise.  
In a competition organised by Irish Times and Discover Ireland in 2015, Barrow Way made the shortlist in the top 5 best days out in Ireland category. This is “a place to share and to create treasured memories.” On a hot day summer, Barrow Way will give you the experience of being in South of France.

The Barrow and Barrow Canal

Fenniscourt Lough on the Barrow Way

The ‘Barrow Way’ is a walking trail that is long-distance, it follows the original towpath of the river. It is one of Ireland’s most scenic and iconic trails which still remains not discovered by many.  
Why not explore an undiscovered piece of Ireland by walking the barrow way walking trail. This glorious walking trail has the promise to take your breath away and fill you with peace and calm. 

The Barrow Way Walking Trail

Bridge over the Barrow River

The Barrow Way walk is 114 km that is 70 miles long following the towpath which was historically used by horses to pull barges full of cargo. These would bring wheat upstream to the Guinness brewery in Dublin and later the finished product would travel downstream to its thirsty customers.  
The walking trail will take you through various historic towns and will show you the old town charm of Ireland.

The Barrow Way Walking Holiday

The route can be achieved in a four days’ hike but can be broken into small manageable sections panning over a week. The grassy trails and flat terrain are ideal for walks abundant with architecturally interesting sights like ancient bridges, arches, and tiny houses.  
Currently, Barrow Way is famous amongst day-walkers who prefer to cover areas of the path rather than the entire trail.  Here is how you can plan an ideal Barrow Way Walking Holiday and enjoy the best of it has to offer. 

The Barrow Way Walk is set up in easy to manage stages. At Walking Holiday Ireland we offer a five-day package and an eight-day package. Indeed we also offer a 2-week package where we include both The Barrow Way and the Wicklow Way. The entire route is peppered with welcoming bed and breakfasts. Here you can rest your weary feet and recharge your battery and continue your walk the next day. 

The Barrow River near Borris

Below are the stages of the Barrow Way

Stage 1:

The Barrow Way walk starts from Lowtown in Killard Country. The first stage of the way is leading you into the town of Monasterevin, it is 23 kilometres (14 miles) long. The trail follows the raised banks of the Barrow River Canal and offers you picturesque views of the Ireland countryside. The first stretch covers the historic ruins of the fortress of Dunamase, the scenic countryside views of Hill of Allen, and the Wicklow Mountains. 

Stage 2:

Stage two of the trail will take you from Monasterevin to Athy. It covers a stretch of 23 km (14 miles). The walking trail also covers many points of architectural interest like quaint bridges and traditional houses along the trail.

Stage 3: 

The Barrow-Way Walking track will pass through the country of Carlow and is 19 km (12 miles) long and it is the 1st of the 4 stretches of this walk. This stretch starts from Athy heritage town and passes through many interesting old mills and lifting bridges before you reach through to the town of Carlow. Carlow is the largest town on River Barrow, while on a trail here do not forget to visit some local pubs and grab a pint of Guinness.

Stage 4:  

This stage of the Barrow Walk will take you from Carlow to Bagenalstown in a 16 km (10 miles) hike. Milford is south about 7 km of the historic town of Carlow is arguably the most picturesque areas on the Barrow river. Set in a peaceful location with 3 bridges, a large wooded area, and large mill buildings, the town of Milford is a perfect antidote to the fast-paced modern world.

Stage 5:

Stage 5 of the Barrow Way walking trail is the longest stretch covering a distance of 26 km (16 miles). It will take you from Bagenalstown to Graiguenamanagh.





You will pass the quaint villages of Borris and Goresbridge ahead of your arrival in Graiguenamanagh, a popular boating and hub and a scenic abbey town.

Stage 6: 

The final stretch of Barrow Way is also the shortest and is just 4 miles 6km long. This trail will take you from Graiguenamanagh to the end of the trail St. Mullins. The final pathway into a religious settlement in St. Mullins which is surrounded by a robust ecclesiastical theme and beautiful woodlands. St. Mullins is set on a fabulous stretch of the Barrow Valley and is ideal for family outings. Features here is a fishing and swimming area, café and popular boating, and a picnic area.

This walk will conclude of your glorious, scenic and picturises Barrow Way Walking Holiday tour. 

Barrow Drive Tourist Sign

Things to consider while planning your Barrow Way Walking Holiday:

  • Don’t overdo, prepare for taking it in stretches and book accordingly
  • Carry a comfortable pair of shoes, and this will include a lot of walking
  • Carry a bottle of water and some snacks with you will you are on the trail
  • Don’t litter this beautiful piece of heaven 

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