The River Barrow

The Barrow is the second largest river in Ireland , after the Shannon . From its source in the Slieve Bloom and the Devil’s Bit mountains to the sea in Co. Wexford, it flows for 192km.

River Barrow
By permission of Carlow County Library.

The Barrow is one of the three sister rivers, together with the Nore and the Suir. It has the most developed navigation of the three, and the long stretches of pleasure waterways through Co. Carlow attract many people seeking to relax in its peaceful surroundings.

The Barrow Way links Lowtown to St. Mullins, a total distance of 113km. Its unspoiled banks are lined with river flowers, reeds and grasses, and are an idyllic habitat for the scores of water birds and other animals that nest there. Mallards, moorhens, kingfishers, yellowhammers, butterflies and otters are regularly spotted along these banks.

In the surrounding hinterland, hares, crows, pheasants and woodpigeons occupy the open farmlands, while the woodlands provide shelter for kestrels, sparrow hawks, squirrels, and numerous other animals.

The beauty of the valley that the River Barrow has carved through the countryside, and the rich variety of wildlife that surrounds it, attracts environmental specialists, botanists, ecologists and ornithologists to the area.


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