Saturday, March 19, 2011

One of Ireland's Hidden Gems, Along the River Barrow

Peace & tranquility on the river Barrow! At the Mullichain cafe, St. Mullins, Co. Carlow

St. Mullins is a magical little spot down the river from us here in Graignamanagh. If you believe in fairies, you will certainly feel them here- look at their impressive fairy mound:
The motte at St. Mullins.  photo fr

Now, I know that according to Carlow County Museum's St. Mullins page (do look- lovely photos of the ruined church & more,) Richard de Clare-Strongbow had it built in the 12th century, but we think he just took it over from the sidhe-- in fact, if you ask Martin or Emer at the Mullichain cafe, they can show you the big old hurley left behind by one of the Good People!
One of our favorite things to do is to walk down the riverside path from Graig to Mullins for something nice at the Mullichain cafe.

Having fun along the river Barrow

 The Mullichain is in an old stonebuilt 18th century grain storehouse, lovingly restored. Full of charm, it is perfect to get cozy in upstairs on a rainy day. On a sunny day, it is such a treat to sit outside and enjoy the river valley scenery.  Everyone is friendly, and the Mullichain is a wonderful place for just a coffee & dessert (the coconut macaroon is a must for us!) or something more substantial- everything is tasty! 

Mmmm coconut macaroon!
You can also stay in their cottages, which look pretty special. Have a look at their website, which has these reviews of the area, including Graignamanagh, just up the river tow-path from the Mullichain. The reviews do a much better job than I would of conveying how special this whole area is, and I recommend you read them.  
One tip I will give you- if you're doing the apprx 5mile walk in high summer- bring a hat, because on some stretches flies like to buzz around your hair- yuk! Thankfully, the magic of St. Mullins keeps them away, so you can enjoy your lunch there in total peace!
Want to paddle instead of walk? Try these 2 kayak and canoe companies- they both do trips in the area.
(a friend of mine learned to kayak with & did a short trip with them & had a great time.)
(I'm sure this crowd is lovely, too!)
** FYI photos not accredited on this post are my own- if you'd like to use one, just ask. Thanks!**


  1. It looks like a really lovely place. I love the photo's.

  2. Thanks Val! St. Mullin's is charming & the cafe is one of our favorites- it is open from March to around end Sept, usually, & we miss it all Winter. It is a welcome sign of Spring when the Mullichain opens again!


Have a comment, or tip about Ireland of your own? Please share it here :-) Thanks!