Goodly Barrow – Waterways Museum and Café

The café

Goodly Barrow Café and Waterways Museum has something for everyone. They specialise in soups and salads that you won’t get anywhere else. They also do a fine selection of other delicious freshly made foods, cakes and desserts. As well as traditional fare, the have the best vegan and gluten-free options around.

The Goodly Barrow has a vast amount of information on the River Barrow in their Waterways Museum and Café and is a good place for pre-walk planning or as a cycling pitstop. Or just to stay put and relax! Rain or shine – they have a covered deck overlooking the river – almost like being on a riverboat. You can watch boats, kayaks, herons, swans and time go by.

The friendly team and laid back environment make the Goodly Barrow a great place to meet friends, soaking up the history and ever-changing natural drama of the great river.

Museum of commercial navigation

Come to the restored canal store on the banks of the River Barrow in Goresbridge. Step into the lives, hardships and joys, of the people who worked the waterways. In the museum, we have ancient maps, artefacts and panel displays about the history of inland water navigation from the time our earliest ancestors dared the Barrow. Watch video interviews with elders whose lives were entwined with the commercial waterways. See the records of goods arriving by boat. Watch movie footage from when the waterways were still providing one of the main transport systems in the country.

The museum aims to be a gathering point for research on the history, commerce and people of the waterways, rather than a finished story. For the history students, we present a number of open questions that might be meat and potatoes for your next thesis!

Easy access to the stunning Barrow

Every newcomer is stunned at the timelessness and tranquillity of a Barrow walk. Just a few minutes out in either direction from Goodly Barrow and you realise that there is no place like it in Ireland. The geography of it is still largely untamed as our earliest ancestors would have seen it. Yet, it’s easy for all. The ‘line’ was a towpath built for horses pulling boats between St. Mullins and Athy. So, a Barrow walk has the ease of a level canal-side walk with the wild beauty of Ireland’s most spectacular river valley.

Goodly Barrow is the perfect place to start your walk, kayak or gentle cycle on the Barrow line. Goresbridge is easy to get to from the M9, a short hop from Carlow or Kilkenny. There are lovely short and long walks in both directions. An easy 5km South takes you to Ballytiglea bridge, just outside Borris. 9km north and you’re in Bagenalstown, for a handy distance guide click here

(See our website for the distances chart.) Goresbridge is also a good base for a multi-day visit with other historic sites, good accommodation and pubs nearby.

The coarse and game fishing on this stretch of river is well-known, with some of the best specimen pike landed just in front of the Goodly Barrow.

Opening Times: Wednesday to Sunday  – 9.30 am to 5.30 pm


  • Dine in
  • Outdoor seating
Chopping Board

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