Embark on a voyage along the beautiful River Barrow by boat, kayak, SUP or canoe…
White-water thrills and spills, relaxed boat trips, stand-up paddle boarding and even a spot of swimming, Carlow and the River Barrow is where it's at when it comes to seriously fun on-the-water adventures… From big bold watersports to quiet afternoons communing with nature, this part of the island delivers a brilliant variety of things to do on the river in pristine natural surroundings. Amp up the excitement with some white-water rafting around the fast-flowing weirs of Clashganny, or sit back and watch others do the hard work at the Carlow Regatta, one of the oldest rowing festivals in Ireland.
Go With The Flow Adventures - gowiththeflow.ie
There are so many trails available at this great river adventure company that your only problem is going to be which one to pick. Our advice? Round up the kids and opt for the Barrow Discovery. Over three hours, you'll get a warm-up practise session on calm waters, before you take off into the river and its weirs and rapids. The emphasis here is on having fun in a very safe environment so there's nothing scary and the trips are suitable for all ages. Check out their website for more information on the kayaking trips and adventures.
Fancy a bit of wild swimming? With its beautiful natural surroundings, the River Barrow is ideal. Popular as a boating stop-off, Graiguenamanagh also boasts two swimming spots that are popular with locals in the summer. Adventure-seekers can enjoy the high-octane fun of jumping off a diving board into the river – a big hit with older kids, while if you're after something a bit more sedate, head to the small swimming area nearby.
Boat Trips - boattrips.ie
There's something simply wonderful about getting on a boat and having everyone do the hard work for you. If you're after a relaxing, laid-back on-the-water experience in Carlow, then check out Boat Trips Ireland, which weaves down the river in a traditional Irish boat past wildlife including kingfishers, heron and otters. The trips usually last an hour or so and are available by pre-booking only.
Paddle Your Own Canoe - paddleyourowncanoe.ie
Lush countryside, beautiful wooded valleys and slow-moving waters are just some of the beautiful natural surrounding you can enjoy on an overnight canoeing trip with Paddle Your Own Canoe. The two-person Canadian canoe is enough to hold all buoyancy aids, helmets, camping gear, dry bags, tents and sleeping mats, all of which are supplied to you. Don't fancy the camping side of things? Don't worry… overnight accommodation at the Riverside B&B can also be arranged.
Pure Adventure - pureadventure.ie
Kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding – it's all going on at Pure Adventure – operating along the Barrow between Carlow town and where the Barrow meets the Suir at Cheekpoint, County Waterford. You can go all out with a full-day canoe trip or opt for a half-day excursion. One of the most popular options is the Graiguenamanagh Loop with flat-water sections, trips through the lock system and along the weirs and rapids of the river.
Carlow Regatta - carlowtourism.com
Get involved in the excitement and cheer on the competitors at the Carlow Regatta hosted by the Carlow Rowing Club on the June Bank Holiday Weekend. The two-lane course makes it ideal for spectators to enjoy with races kicking off in Carlow town.
Barrowline Cruisers - barrowline.ie
Fancy captaining your own course along the Barrow? Hire a widebeam barge or narrowboat from Barrowline Cruisers and enjoy the unspoilt beauty of this vibrant waterway. Based on the Grand Canal in Vicarstown in County Laois, these charming vessels are well-equipped with modern luxuries and navigation is a breeze. Set off south from Vicarstown along the Barrow and take in fascinating ruins, historic locks and lovely towns and villages.
Jennifer's Travels - jenniferztravels.com
Situated on the Barrowline in Monasterevin's scenic Bell Harbour in County Kildare, Jennifer's Travels offers a colourful canal barge for hire to explore the beautiful Barrow. Built in the traditional stern cruiser style, this idyllic barge sleeps up to four adults and comes fully equipped with all contemporary conveniences along with a cosy peat burning stove for chillier evenings.
Athy Boat Tours - athyboattours.com
County Kildare's Athy Boat Tours offer one, three- or five-hour tours taking in the historic sites, wonderful wildlife and charming towns along the Barrow on board the fondly named "Freedom on the Water" boat. Along the way, your skipper and crew will regale the group with history and anecdotes as you pass under locks and weathered stone bridges. You can opt to enjoy a picnic on board or dine along the riverbank on the day-long trip. Journeys can be personalised on request.