1 HOUR (6.5KM)
1. Starting at the Mullicháin Café, head upriver, with the river on your left, along the towpath towards the first lock at St. Mullins. The Barrow is tidal to the first lock and can flood for about an hour at the Spring Tide. Draught horses pulled barges on this line from 1760 til1922 when the Bollinger diesel was introduced. (10 mins)
2. The lock system allows the barges to bypass the shallow areas of the river on a short canal and rejoin the river above the weir. The barges can only travel upriver from the sea on the high tide as the river is too shallow when passing the quay. Walk on past the lock and the metal lifting bridge, the path becomes a grassy walkway, Listen out for the sound of the weir on your left as you come to the end of the canal section and the island to re-join the river. On your right hand side you will see an old lime kiln. Facing the kiln are two paths, one left and one right. Take the path to the left of the kiln and the next right up through the woods. (10 mins)
3. At the T-Junction take a left and follow this lane up hill all the way to the top where you will come to another T-Junction and take a right here. On this climb you can look back to Brandon Hill on your right. And that’s where you’re going on your next big climb! (15 mins)
4. Now you are heading downhill back to St. Mullins Green & village, with the stunning Blackstairs Mountains on your left. As you drop down a steep hill you will pass Temple na mBó burial ground for unbaptised infants on your left. Carry on down between the Motte and the Graveyard on the old mill road and you’re back just in time for a cup of tea at THE MULLICHÁIN CAFÉ on St. Mullins Quay!
1 HOUR 30 MINS (8KM)
1. From the Mullicháin Cafe, walk downriver, with the river on your right, past the old Odlum’s Mills. A ghostly white horse is believed to have caused terrible damage to the mill ever since it was built, because the mill was built with stones stolen from the graveyard. Carry on over the stone bridge on the Aughavaud river and turn left by the mill workers cottages and up to the top of the hill. Watch out for the white horse! (5 mins)
2. At the top of the hill turn right, then immediately left. This is a tough climb so take it easy and don’t be afraid to lean over a farm gate and admire the view. This is supposed to be fun! Continue up this lane to a V in the road , take the right fork and see the White Mountain and the Blackstairs on your left until you come to a T-Junction. (40 mins)
3. At the T-junction, turn right and this will bring you into Drummin. Keeping to the right turn right directly after the National school and the church and follow this road all the way to the village pump on St. Mullins Green. Ahh! This brings back memories of my school days when I was but a boy, dreaming of freedom and faraway places, before I got a whack on the head and a jolt back to reality. (35 mins)
4. At the village pump turn left and follow
the old mill road down the side of the Abbey and the graveyard.
Yes you are home to the MULLICHÁIN CAFÉ for a grand cup of coffee.
1 HOUR 30 MINS (6.5KM)
1. From the Mullicháin Café walk downstream with the river on your right over the stone bridge on the Aughavaud river. Turn left by the mill worker’s cottages and on up to the top of the hill. On your left you can see the raised bank above the river which is the mill race for Odlum’s mill. When Mr. Odlum wanted to mill his flour they opened the sluice gate below the holy well and the Big Wheel began to turn (5 mins)
2. At the top of the hill turn right and directly left following this country lane up a steep hill. It’s a bit of a climb so take your time there is no harm leaning over a gate and looking back over the Mystical Valley this is supposed to be fun. At the top there is a V, take the turn to the left. (10 mins)
3. Continue along this lane Ballinknock with the Blackstairs Mountains on your right until you come to a T junction. On your left just before the junction there is an old sheep dipping pen where all the farmers brought their sheep to wash the big heavy fleeces and kill off all the bugs. I fell into one when I was about twelve and my uncle just plucked me out and carried on dipping the sheep perhaps he reckoned I would be free of all disease for the next year. (10 mins)
4. Turn left to Glynn Village, with its two pubs, John A’s on your left and Byrne’s pub is on the right. (5mins)
5. Turn left towards the church. Now you are on your way back through the Glebe towards St. Mullins Green .The Glebe which is the valley below you on the left was the land belonging to St Moling’s Abbeys. This is where they kept their sheep and cows and grew the vegetables for the Monks. The Aughavaud river flows down the middle of the valley so no shortage of water.
6. Turn left at the next T junction following the road to the Village pump. Blanchfield’s Pub is on your right. Go Straight ahead and keep the graveyard on the left downhill and your home to St Mullin’s Quay and a well deserved cup of coffee or a glass of wine (10 mins)
1 HOUR 40 MINS EACH WAY (16KM)
1. With the Mullicháin Café at your back, set off upriver towards Graiguenamanagh. This section to the first lock is on a flat hard surface. During the summer the banks of the river are lined with a pink flower called Indian Balsam, an invasive species believed to have arrived from Canada with the Canadian grain. The river is tidal to the first lock and at Spring tide around the full moon the path can flood for about an hour at the top of the tide. The old lock house has been beautifully restored by Michael & Margaret Higgins. Michael’s mother was the last lock keeper, There are a wide variety of pleasure boats moored on the canal. (10 mins)
2. Carry on along the tow path or ‘The Line” as it is known locally and past the lifting bridge. The lifting bridge is used by the farmer to put his horses onto the island. This short stretch of canal will bring you to the weir. From here to Graiguenamanagh the walking surface is grass. The roar of the weir marks the end of the canal, you are now back on the river. (10 mins)
3. The next section brings you past an old lime kiln that dates from around 1760. Limestone was burnt to be used as fertilizer and lime mortar for building. In the distance on the right is Brandon Hill. On to Carriglead lock keepers cottage, (35 mins)
4. Our next landmark is the Lower Tinnahinch lock. Freney the Robber was well known in these parts and folklore has it that after robbing the gentry, he would bury the treasure and come back later to collect it. But on a couple of occasions he forgot the exact location and would sit by the Barrow looking across at Brandon going over and over where he might have left his stash. Look out for his ghost at twilight! (25 mins)
5. You are now on the home run to upper Tinnahinch Lock and the village of Graiguenamanagh. (The Rock of the Monks) Call into O’Driscoll’s Bar for a great pint of Guinness. You can get lunch across the river at the Waterside, Duiske Bar or Daisy Chain. (25 mins)
The question now is do you want to walk back or call a taxi?
Find out about taxis in O’Driscoll’s Bar or wherever you’re having lunch.
2 HOURS EACH WAY (16KM)
1. With the Mullicháin Café at your back, and the river on your right, go left downriver towards the cottages and over the small stone bridge on the Aughavaud river, then up by the mill worker’s cottages to the top of the hill and turn right towards Drummin. (5 min)
2. You now have a good climb up Bauck Hill and a smashing walk to the crossroads at Drummin. White mountain and The Blackstairs are on your left. (35 mins)
3. At the cross in Drummin go straight across the main road leading to Ballinalour and Ballywilliam. Take the second turn left towards the Piano Gallery and Ballinalour. Walk past the Piano Gallery and you come to a turn on your right beside a bungalow, this is the entrance to the forest road and White Mountain. (12 mins)
4. From the entrance to the cross on White Mountain is on forest road which is generally in good condition. When you reach the T junction at the top turn left and then left again up a steep hill to the cross WOW! What a view back over the Barrow Valley! You are now at the beginning of the Blackstairs Mountains. If you were to turn right you could walk along the ridge to Mount Leinster. But maybe that’s for another day! (60 mins)
5. To return, simply retrace your steps!
If you wish to go for a little adventure when you cross the main road to Drummin carry on straight up the hill to the third turn to the left and have a look at the double lime kiln hidden in the trees at the corner. If you walk up the right hand side of the kilns you will see the chambers where the lime stones and timber were loaded and burned to produce slaked lime for use as a fertiliser and in building.
2 HOURS EACH WAY (16KM)
This is a walk for a fine day. Bring your walking boots, water and a snack.
Graiguenamanagh is a smashing little town which is well worth exploring, Duiske Abbey, Cushendale Woollen Mills, Duiske Glass, and plenty of great pubs. Take a stroll along the quays and see the great variety of barges and cruisers. A good spot to chill!
1. Park your car on the Quay or at the boat club in Graiguenamanagh and walk up through the town, past Duiske Abbey to the roundabout at the top of the town. (10 mins)
2. At the roundabout take a left towards New Ross and then the next right turn for the village of Inistioge. Take the next left up a small country lane which will lead you up to the forest road. The walk is signposted from here. (10 mins)
3. You will pass through farm land as you start to climb, with Brandon Hill straight ahead, until you pass through the barrier at the forest entrance. (20 mins)
4. The next stage winds up through the forest and has some fantastic views back over the countryside. Follow the markers and they will bring you to a gate at the end of a lane.
5. Now through the gate is a hill path to the top
of Brandon Hill. It is a bit rough and a slow climb, but well worth it for the stunning views over Carlow and Kilkenny, and of course in the distance, St. Mullins- The Jewel of The Barrow.
You can continue on to Inistioge, but that is for another day. A more ambitious walk!