Tullow: A Charming Market Town in County Carlow

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Tullow carlow

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Tullow, the second largest town in County Carlow, Ireland, is a charming market town situated on the River Slaney Valley amidst lush, fertile agricultural land.

Known in Irish as An Tulach, meaning “The Mound,” Tullow is a town steeped in history, with granite public buildings and beautiful stone approach roads earning it the nickname “the granite town.”

Discover Tullow’s historical and cultural attractions, including its connection to the 1798 Rebellion, the Wolseley family, and its beautiful churches and museums.

Irish Name

In Irish, Tullow is known as “An Tulach,” which means “the hillock.” The name reflects the town’s elevated position in the landscape, offering picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.

Tullow, a town steeped in history, was once known as Tulach Ó bhFéidhlim / “Tullowphelim” – derived from the O’Garvey territory of Hy Felimy Tuagh, or the Northern Ofelimy. Over time, the O’Garvey clan merged with the Kavanaghs, another powerful Irish family in the region.

The town was also called “Tealach Foirtcheirn” or “Foran’s Hill” in the past, further highlighting its deep historical roots. The various names of Tullow reflect its long and storied past, with each name carrying a unique significance that echoes through the centuries.

Points of Interest:

  • Father John Murphy Statue and Museum: A statue of Father John Murphy, a leader of the 1798 Rebellion, stands in the market square, while a nearby museum provides insights into local history, including the rebellion and its aftermath.
  • Tullow Museum: Housed in a former Methodist church, the museum features a collection of artifacts related to the town’s history, including the connection to Father John Murphy.
  • Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa, and Golf Course: The ancestral home of the Wolseley family has been transformed into a luxury resort, offering a four-star hotel, spa, and championship golf course.
  • Most Holy Rosary Church and St. Columba’s Church: These beautiful churches showcase the town’s architectural heritage and religious significance.
  • The Tara Arms: A family-run bar and restaurant, in operation for over 150 years, that enjoys a strong local patronage.
  • Other Attractions: Tullow boasts several other attractions, such as the Bishop Daniel Delany Museum, The Abbey Graveyard, Tullow Bridge, Water Bailiff’s Hut, Tullow Courthouse, and Tullow Town Park.
  • Ring of the Rath: Located 6 km east of Tullow in County Wicklow, this impressive stone hillfort is one of the largest in Ireland.

Travel

By Air: The nearest international airport to Tullow is Dublin Airport (DUB), which is approximately 90 km away. From the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi or use public transportation to reach Tullow.

By Bus: Bus Éireann operates route 132, providing a daily service (Monday to Friday) between Dublin and Tullow. The journey takes approximately 2 hours. The main bus stop in Tullow is located in the Market Square.

By Car: If you’re driving from Dublin, take the M9 motorway and exit at junction 4 for Castledermot. Then follow the R418 and R725 roads to reach Tullow. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Accommodation

Tullow offers various accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Some popular choices include:

  1. Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort: This luxurious four-star hotel offers elegant rooms, an award-winning spa, and a championship golf course.
  2. Laburnum Lodge: A charming bed and breakfast with comfortable rooms and a beautiful garden.
  3. Meadowside B&B: A family-run bed and breakfast offering cozy rooms and a warm Irish welcome.

Attractions and Activities

  1. Tullow Museum: Explore local history, including the story of Father John Murphy and the 1798 Rebellion, in this small but fascinating museum.
  2. Mount Wolseley Golf Course: Play a round of golf at this beautiful 18-hole championship course designed by Christy O’Connor Jr.
  3. St. Columba’s Church and Tullow Parish Church of the Most Holy Rosary: Visit these stunning historical churches showcasing impressive Gothic Revival architecture.
  4. Tullow Town Park: Relax and unwind in this picturesque park featuring walking trails, a playground, and beautiful floral displays.
  5. Ring of the Rath: Explore the nearby hillfort, one of the largest and most impressive in Ireland, located about 6 km east of Tullow in County Wicklow.

Dining

Tullow offers a variety of dining options for visitors, including traditional Irish pubs, cafes, and restaurants. Some popular choices include:

Restaurants in Tullow:

  1. Grill House Address: Mill St, Templeowen, Tullow, Co. Carlow Phone: (059) 915 1788 Facebook: @GrillHouseTullow Opening Hours:
  • Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed
  1. Jade Dragon Chinese Address: 3 Abbey Close, Templeowen, Tullow, Co. Carlow, R93 FE06 Phone: (059) 915 2990 Facebook Opening Hours:
  • Monday – Wednesday: 5 p.m.–12:30 a.m.
  • Thursday – Friday: 5 p.m.–1 a.m.
  • Saturday: 5 p.m.–12 a.m.
  • Sunday: 5 p.m.–1 a.m.
  1. New Moon Indian Restaurant Address: Church St, Tullowphelim, Tullow, Co. Carlow Phone: (059) 918 0851 Website | Facebook: @NewMoonIndian Opening Hours:
  • Monday – Sunday: 4–11 p.m.
  1. Riverbank Restaurant Address: Mill St, Templeowen, Tullow, Co. Carlow Phone: (059) 915 2944 Website Opening Hours:
  • Monday – Tuesday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • Wednesday – Friday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 12–9 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12–8 p.m.
  1. Sun Shine Chinese Restaurant Address: Hawkins Lane, Abbey Street, Tullow Phone: (059) 918 0372 Opening Hours:
  • Monday – Sunday: 5 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  1. Tara Arms Bar & Seasons Restaurant Address: Tara Arms, Church Street, Tullow, Co. Carlow, R93 T6K9 Phone: (059) 915 1305 Email | Website | Facebook: @TullowPubs Opening Hours:
  • Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12–11 p.m.

Tullow, with its rich history, beautiful architecture, and stunning natural surroundings, makes for a perfect getaway in County Carlow, Ireland. Plan your trip and discover the charm and warmth of this Irish town.

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