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County Carlow


Address: Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Contact: Pauline Dowling/Paul Cutler
t: + 353 (0) 59 9159444
f: + 353 (0) 59 9159510

Toilets, outdoor picnic tables, large car and coach park, restricted access for wheelchairs.
How to find us: Travelling from Carlow Town the gardens are 22 km from the town, signposted on the main N80 Carlow - Wexford road, 3km from the village of Ballon. If you are travelling from Tullow follow signs for the Bunclody/Wexford road (N81). Altamont Gardens is 3km from its junction with the Wexford road (N80).

Widely respected as the jewel in Ireland's gardening crown, Altamont Gardens are an enchanting blend of formal and informal gardens with riverside walks covering over 40 acres. The estate gains much of its character from the many mature trees, both natives in the avenues and woodland areas, and exotic specimens throughout the gardens. Lawns bisected by sculpted yews slope down to a lake surrounded by rare trees and rhododendrons and lead in turn to a very different garden featuring unusual shrubs and trees. A fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks and huge stone outcrops leads the visitor to the River Slaney.

Altamont is a great experience at any time of year starting in spring with the wonderful snowdrop collection, one of the largest in Ireland and moving on to daffodils and other spring bulbs. Rhododendrons, azaleas and later on the rose collection is in full bloom in mid-summer, followed by contrasting autumnal colours and the beautiful silhouettes of the mighty trees in mid-winter.

Altamont - The Walled Garden

Details for inclusion in separate highlighted section

Address: Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Contact: Robert Miller
t: + 353 (0) 87 9822135

How to find us: In the grounds of Altamont Gardens (for directions see above).

An unmissable highlight of a visit to Altamont Gardens is the Walled Garden situated within the grounds of the estate and run privately by gardener and nursery man Robert Miller. The area consists primarily of the Corona North Commemorative Border planted to honor the late Corona, owner of Altamont.

Each border had its own individual theme and colour from striking reds to cool white and blues, romantic pinks and warm yellow glows. The scent of lavender fills the air over the summer months. The borders are planted mainly with herbaceous perennials with roses and trees, some with a fascinating history.

Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre
Address: Kilkenny Road (N9), Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow.
Contact: Rachel Doyle
t: + 353 (0) 59 9721558
f: + 353 (0) 59 9721642

Toilets, large car and coach park, wheelchair accessible, restaurant with wine licence. Pet shop, conference centre, mini associated retail park.
How to find us: 9.5 km south of Carlow town near Leighlinbridge on the N9 to Kilkenny. Well signposted.

Commitment to excellent customer service, quality products, unbeatable choice and value for money has earned Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre the coveted title of Bord Glas Garden Centre of the Year and the National Award for Best Customer Service on many occasions.

Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre is far more than a place for the gardening enthusiast. It's an entire shopping experience: a place to savour the myriad of interesting items dotted throughout the store. Spacious and well laid out, the centre guides visitors through elegant displays of garden furnishings, pot plants, outdoor plants, an extensive gifts section, hand crafted furniture and lots more. An entire day can be devoted to the visit, wandering through the fantastic range of items available, seeking expert advice from friendly staff or enjoying a delicious meal or cup of coffee in the tranquil setting of the Mulberry Restaurant. Year round the centre is a delight to visit reflecting the changing seasons of the gardeners' world. In winter, the Arboretum becomes a Christmas wonderland with a multitude of decorations and gift ideas while in spring and summer brilliant colours burst from every area of the store.

Ireland's first 5 star garden centre

Delta Garden Centre and Sensory Gardens
Address: Strawhall Industrial Estate, Carlow
Contact: Eileen Brophy
t: + 353 (0) 59 9143527
f: + 353 (0) 59 9130280

Car park, toilets, wheelchair accessible, restaurant.
How to find us: Strawhall Industrial Estate is located off Cannery Road on the outskirts of Carlow Town close to the Athy Road junction.

Delta Sensory Gardens are an ambitious new project, consisting of a series of interconnecting gardens of a multi-sensory nature covering 2.5 acres. The first of their kind in Ireland they combine the attraction of a tourist facility with a therapeutic focus and benefit, for people of all abilities. A combination of both formal and informal landscapes allow visitors to meander round at will, watch splashing fountains and waterfalls, enjoy herbs and perfumed plants, many in raised beds (suitable for access by wheelchair), watch fish, reflect on sculptures, or simply sit around and enjoy flowers and foliage. The gardens include a water and woodland garden, a sculpture garden, a heather and conifer garden, a musical garden and a formal rose garden amongst others. In the meantime visitors can experience a truly amazing work in action.

Hardymount Gardens
Address: Tullow, Co. Carlow.
Contact: Sheila Reeves-Smyth
t: + 353 (0) 59 9151769

Facilities: Wheelchair accessible
How to find us: From Dublin - through the town of Tullow onto the Bunclody road N81. Turn right after the Statoil petrol station. Turn right at next cross roads - the gardens are 600 yards on the right hand side.

One of the largest Spanish chestnuts in the country greets you on arrival to one hectare of lawns and shrubs surrounded by magnificent beech and oak trees. A wonderful walled garden behind the house contains many unusual plants and flowers in the herbaceous border. The grass paths take you past the pond with lilies and fish to the apple tree area and a vegetable garden. A Summer House at the end of the garden in a sheltered corner provides a quiet area for rest and relaxation. A truly amazing walled garden full of colour and vigour matches the owner's enthusiasm and commitment to gardening.

Leighlinbridge - The Garden Village
Address: Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow.
Contact: John Meaney, Chairman, Leighlinbridge Improvement Group
t: + 353 (0) 59 9721593

Facilities: restaurant, garden centre, hotel, bed & breakfast, pub, castle, historic buildings, angling, walking routes, picnic site.
How to find us: 9km south of Carlow town off the N9 to Kilkenny.

The Leighlinbridge district is rich in history, favoured with fertile land and enhanced by the river Barrow which meanders slowly through the village. The foundation for its beauty lies directly with its people who demonstrate a sense of pride and work tirelessly to preserve and enhance this unique area. This pride is evidenced by a range of gardens, built and designed by the local community to commemorate various aspects of village life over the years.

The Millennium Garden consists of seven small individual gardens, each with its own theme represented by trees, shrubs and stones. Using materials indigenous to the local area, the garden tells the story of life through a series of themes including peace and tranquillity, happiness, friendship, reconciliation, hope, harmony and eternity.

The Vivaldi Garden is based on Vivaldi's musical concerto "The Four Seasons" and comprises four formal gardens, each depicting a season of the year.

The Garden of Remembrance straddling the river Barrow commemorates important occasions in the history of the village including the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulrooney, a World War 1 Memorial and the Entente Florale Gold Award. A number of commemorative trees have been planted together with ballerina roses and shrubs.

The Sculpture Garden is dedicated to three of Leighlinbridge's most famous sons - Cardinal Patrick Francis Moran - Australia's first Cardinal, John Tyndall, the mountaineer and scientist who developed the light pipe, the forerunner to fibre optics and Captain Myles Keogh, second in command to General Custer who lost his life the battle of the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876 at the hands of the Sioux.

The Mill Gardens,
Address: Borris, Co. Carlow.
Contact: Bríd Ui Laoghaire
t: + 353 (0) 59 9773132
f: + 353 (0) 59 9773132

How to find us: In the village of Borris past the Bank of Ireland building, on the left hand side approaching bend.

Mill Gardens were originally laid out in the 1880's, in Victorian format. The front lawn is dominated by three tall evergreens, underplanted by evergreen shrubs. This area has been largely re-planted with plants whose genus dates back to the 19th century in an effort to maintain an authentic heritage feel. The front garden is bordered by the original rockeries and high granite walls covered in cotaneaster. The orchards have been reclaimed from wilderness with old apple trees underplanted by some rather delicate plants.

Rathwood Home, Gift & Garden World

Address: Rath, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Contact: Patrick & Carmel Keogh
t: + 353 (0) 59 9156285
f: + 353 (0) 59 9156239

Award winning Centre consisting of Gift and furniture shop, garden centre and restaurant, parking facilities for up to 200 cars, large coach park, toilets, wheelchair access, extensive children's outdoor play area and wildflower walks, open 7 days per week.
How to find us: 5 km from Tullow and 9 km from Shillelagh on the R725.


Rathwood Home, Gift & Garden World is simply a treasure chest of interesting and unusual ideas, incorporating an array of household items that add an extra special touch to any home. An extensive 4 star garden centre carries an impressive selection of plants, many rare and unusual, garden furniture, outdoor living accessories, lighting and pots. Customers from the green fingered to the fledging gardener are guaranteed expert advice and friendly assistance so you can enjoy all-year round colour and fragrance.

A beautifully extended fine food restaurant with heated patio, where customers can relax and enjoy impressive main courses and a delicious array of home baking, is pivotal to the Rathwood shopping experience. Rathwood also specialises in its own range of pine furniture, gazebos and an impressive range of terracotta, Irish pottery and crafts.

An extensive area for children and adults to play, picnic and take leisurely walks adds to the enjoyment of a visit here. Various themes, from decorative Easter displays to a magical Christmas wonderland make Rathwood a joy to visit at any time of the year.



Attractions By Stages
Ballyshannon To Carlow
Carlow To Athy
Athy To Kildare
Kildare To The Heath
The Heath To Athy

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