Barrow Way

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Barrow Way
Length100 kilometres (62 miles)[1]
DesignationNational Waymarked Trail[1]
TrailheadsRobertstown, County Kildare
St Mullin's, County Carlow[1]
Elevation gain/loss1,370 m (4,495 ft)[1]
Hiking details
SurfaceGrassy towpaths, tracks and roads[1]

The Barrow Way (Irish: Slí na Bearú) is a long-distance trail in Ireland. It is 100 kilometres (62 miles) long and begins in Robertstown, County Kildare and ends in St Mullin's, County Carlow, following the course of the River Barrow and the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal through counties Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny and Laois. It is typically completed in four days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Waterways Ireland.[2]

The trail starts in Robertstown and follows the Barrow Line Canal, a branch of the Grand Canal, as far as Athy via the towns of Rathangan and Monasterevin.[3] The section from Robertstown to Rathangan once formed part of the now defunct Kildare Way.[4] At Athy, the Way joins the River Barrow and follows its banks to St Mullin's, taking in the towns of Carlow, Leighlinbridge, Muine Bheag, Goresbridge, Borris and Graiguenamanagh.[5]

The Barrow Way connects with the Grand Canal Way at Robertstown.[6] It also shares its route with that of the South Leinster Way between Borris and Graiguenamanagh.[7]

A review of the National Waymarked Trails in 2010 found usage by multiday walkers to be moderate and usage by day walkers to be high.[2] The Barrow Way is often done by way of a series of out and back excursions rather than as one continuous walk.[8] The review recommended consideration be given to developing sections as a cycle route.[2] The review also recommended that the Barrow Way be designated as a National Waterway Trail as it falls into the category of trails that follow the towpaths of inland waterways.[9]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Barrow Way". IrishTrails. Irish Sports Council. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c National Trails Office 2010, p. 30.
  3. ^ Fewer 1996, pp. 35-43.
  4. ^ Fewer 1993, p. 135.
  5. ^ Fewer 1996, pp. 44-54.
  6. ^ Fewer 1996, p. 33.
  7. ^ "Barrow Way: Map 11" (pdf). IrishTrails. Irish Sports Council. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  8. ^ Bourke, Orla (14 November 2009). "Walk this way". The Irish Times. Dublin. p. 62.
  9. ^ National Trails Office 2010, p. 24.


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