THE RIVER BARROW
~ Ireland's Second Longest River ~
"Like water rushing past you, time slides past even faster - the river is within us - but the waters aren't bound by anything"
The River Barrow is considered one of Ireland's most scenic and picturesque inland waterways. At 192 kilometres, it is the second longest river in Ireland, behind the River Shannon. Along with the River Nore and River Suir, the Barrow is one of The Three Sisters. Passing through some of Ireland’s most scenic countryside, the Barrow is a tourist’s delight. The Barrow rises in Co. Laois and flows through Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford. Fringed with reeds and river flora, and harbouring a wealth of wildlife on its banks, the River Barrow bears boats and barges along 68 kilometres of navigable waterway past idyllic riverside villages and through 23 Victorian locks.
The Barrow Valley is a spectacular area of natural beauty - lush green forests, gentle slopes, flat plains and the flowing river combine to create incredible views and a feast for the senses. Visitors to the river are rewarded as the unspoilt beauty of the Barrow grows with each and every passing hour. A stop off at the many towns and villages is a must. These areas offer accommodation, restaurants and shops to visitors. Accommodation is available from 3 to 19 kilometres and varies from hotels, bed & breakfasts and self-catering. Towns offer a full range of services while villages have good facilities that are designed to meet the needs of the tourist. Restaurants are available for a pleasant meal or have a drink in a traditional Irish pub. Walking the Barrow Way is an excellent and rewarding way to spend an afternoon.
The River Barrow has in recent years experienced an exciting rejuvenation. Numerous sporting activities are available, while a range of other more relaxing activities can also be enjoyed. Many events are held during the year, which include walking festivals, boating regattas and music and art festivals. The Barrow Way walking track is also increasing in popularity and becoming an attraction in its own right to walkers and cyclists.
Browse the pages of this website to learn more about the Barrow and all that it has to offer.
The Barrow Way has recently (June 2015) made the short-list of the top 5 best days out in Ireland competition organised by the Irish Times and Discover Ireland. Described as "a place to share and to create treasured memories."
The Irish Times verdict:
“The greenway by the Barrow river is a five-mile walk or bike ride, more or less within anyone’s reach, and while the grass path is well maintained, the banks themselves are allowed to flourish in their own fashion. On a hot day you could be in the south of France.
Waterways Ireland have proposed developing the adjacent towpath into a "blueway" involving the construction of a hard service for over 100km along the river, a proposal which has been met with criticism from some local groups who are concerned the tranquilty and peacefulness of the splendid Barrow Way will be destroyed.
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