1. Blackstairs Eco Trails

Blow away those cobwebs and explore the trails within the Blackstairs Mountains and Barrow Valley.  Enjoy the many experiences on offer at Blackstairs Eco Trails from foraging trips, a Celtic tree trail, wild fungi workshops to stargazing and so much more. Spend an afternoon in the woods and then cosy up in a traditional shepherds hut with vintage furniture and beautiful views across the meadows and woods. The huts are located in the grounds of an old Victorian home and with no light pollution at night it’s perfect for star gazing. Simply sit back, cosy up in a comfy rug and sip upon a hot chocolate.

2. Huntington Castle & Gardens

Spring months signal the return to indulgent weekends spent in the Tea Rooms at Huntington Castle, located in the village of Clonegal. Savour their sweet cakes, scones and tasty treats. The gardens open daily from May to September and are home to numerous exotic plants and shrubs alongside early water features and an ornamental lake. And don’t miss the world famous Yew walk which is thought to be over 500 years old. For those seeking to cosy up and experience a stay in a 17th century castle there is the unique experience of staying at Huntington Castle. There are also self-catering options in a charming gate lodge.

3. Mulvarra House

Spend time at Mulvarra House and take time out for the soul. Experience the truly magical landscape which surrounds the ancient monastic site of St. Mullins. The dynamic duo that is Linda & Tim welcome guests to their wonderfully peaceful and relaxed home overlooking the River Barrow. Mulvarra House offers a range of events throughout the year from yoga and meditation retreats to music workshops, food workshops and game weekends. Take time out for you, cosy down and watch the sunset in the evenings behind Brandon Hill, a lovely way to finish your day in this enchanting valley.

4. Mullicháin Café

If you haven’t yet taken a walk down by the river at St. Mullins you need to add this to your bucket list! Your soul, body and mind will thank you. Listen to the soft flow of the water, witness the wildlife as they go about their everyday and have friendly conversation with others as you pass through. Irrespective of the route you take, you will stumble upon the historic sites of this very important heritage rich region. Your walk complete .. its time to avail of the wonderful hospitality of the O’Briens at the Mullicháin Café. A four story building which was once the store house for all goods coming and going on the river. Today you can choose to dine by the water’s edge or take a cosy seat within. A recommendation is to savour a heart-warming homemade soup full of goodness accompanied by a hot toastie sambo – delish!

5. Lisnavagh House

Forest bathing anyone? According to the wonderful folks at Lisnavagh House, recent scientific studies in Japan have proven that forest bathing reduces our blood pressure, boosts our immune system, improves sleep patterns and lowers our cholesterol. Avail of a wellness retreat at Lisnavagh House and experience forest bathing for yourself. Enjoy the period style accommodation offering at this unique family run venue. Whilst there take time to explore the 14 acres of border, pleasure gardens and walled gardens which have been carefully restored down through the years. A truly tranquil setting close to the village of Rathvilly.

6. The Lord Bagenal Inn

Family run since 1979, the 4 star Lord Bagenal Inn, is located on the banks of the River Barrow in the heritage village of Leighlinbridge. Hugely popular with locals as a great place to eat, they offer the highest of standards in both accommodation and dining. A popular choice is always the grilled homemade steak burger, followed by a warm chocolate brownie. Why not indulge…. especially after a walk in close by Clogrennane Woods, an old wood which has had forestry cover present since the 1800’s. Another ideal walk right outside the door is along the Barrow Way and depending on your fitness levels you can walk to nearby Milford, beautiful on a warm summers evening, to sit and take refuge by the water’s edge and enjoy a little sunshine. For something a little different ask the team at the Lord Bagenal Inn about a boat trip.

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