Driving the Trails

Dear Visitor

We are delighted that you have chosen to explore Co. Carlow in south-east Ireland and its wealth of religious sites. “Carlow – Trails of the Saints” is made up of three separate driving routes which between them cover the entire county of Carlow and feature some 51 ecclesiastical attractions. Many of these are deemed to be of national significance including for example the Romanesque doorway at Killeshin, the medieval cathedral at Old Leighlin and the monastic site at St. Mullins. The intention has also been to feature less well-known sites, which have however, an equally important place in the ecclesiastical history of the county. All of the sites are rich and varied and have been selected to allow you discover the special peace and spirituality which encapsulates this county, and the characters and people who moulded its ecclesiastical landscape.

St. Patrick’s Trail in the northern part of the county covers a distance of 77 km (48 miles) while St. Laserian’s Trail in mid-Carlow is 69 km (43 miles) in length. St. Moling´s Trail which takes in south Co. Carlow is 70 km (44 miles). All routes feature a mix of regional and country roads. All of the towns featured have a full range of banking, postal and hospitality services to meet the needs of the visitor.

Sheep Farming in Co. Carlow Wildlife at Templemoling

Each route is prefaced by a map with all attractions numbered and linked to the text which follows. A glossary of ecclesiastical terms feature in the introduction section of this website and each term is also identified within the text by the following symbol . A downloadable mapping facility suitable for Sat-Nav usage also features on this website, allowing you to  navigate your way from one site to the next with ease.

Each trail can be comfortably driven in a day. However, with three trails to experience we encourage you to relax, overnight and enjoy the fascinating history of Carlow’s ecclesiastical heritage at a leisurely pace.

 Romanesque: Style of early medieval architecture characterised by round arches. Sometimes called “Norman”.