Borris

The coolest village on the Barrow. With fine Georgian houses & shops and a view of the Blackstairs Mountains, Borris village is a favourite venue for visitors and posh weddings. If you drive up through the village and turn left under the disused railway viaduct you’ll end up in the Blackstairs Mountains.

Borris Viaduct
No trains these days but you can walk across the viaduct and back. There is a nice picnic area at the start of the walk.
Borris viaduct entrance.
Borris viaduct entrance for walkers.

Borris viaduct, Carlow, Ireland

If you continue uphill through the village instead you’ll get to Clashganny.

Blackstairs mountains
Blackstairs mountains

By the river:

To get to the river from Borris village, head towards Goresbridge, turning left down the twisty road to Ballytiglea bridge. Walk (or drive if you are feeling brave) down beside the bridge on the left hand side. Borris is to your left and Goresbridge to the right. The photo below was taken on the way to Goresbridge – one of my favourite walks with the camera.

Ballytiglea, Barrow Way
Ballytiglea, Barrow Way – a beautiful walk towards the lock.

Below Borris Lock a miniature one-eyed bridge conceals a tiny harbour. It was from this place that Arthur Kavanagh of Borris House, who was born without limbs in 1831, set forth by boat to Westminster to fulfil his duties as Member of Parliament.

bridge, Borris Estate, river Barrow
Harbour Bridge, Borris Estate, River Barrow

In the village:

Joyce’s pub, Borris village. One of a number of traditional ‘half and half’ shops with bars to be found in this lovely Georgian village. Borris is a gateway to the Blackstairs mountains. Music fans should check out the gold disk from the Cranberries in O’Sheas bar; Island Records’ Denny Cordell ‘discovered’ the band and lived nearby until his untimely death. Music celebs including Mick Jagger have been known to drop by when Denny’s annual memorial race is held at nearby Gowran Park racecourse. There’s a couple of shops / delis in the village for supplies.

Joyce's pub in Borris village. Photo James Burke
Joyce’s pub in Borris village. Photo James Burke

Altamont Gardens
Nun’s Walk at Altamont Gardens

Round Trip from Borris: There is a viewing point near the top of Mt Leinster and the spectacular road continues on to Bunclody in County Wexford, from where you can return on the N80, passing both quirky Huntington Castle (Clonegal) and the peerless Altamont Gardens. After that, get back to riverside Leighlinbridge via a left turn on the N80, beside the Fighting Cocks pub via Nurney village with sweeping views of the valley & hills.