goodly barrow

step back into river time 
the old canal store
087 244 0551                                                           R95 W8FY
Goodly Barrow Barrow way Goresbridge museum and cafe

The Museum

Come and see maps, artefacts and panel displays about the history of waterways navigation from the time our earliest ancestors dared the Barrow. Watch video interviews with elders whose lives were entwined with the commercial waterways. History students: take up one of the open questions and have your work hosted here. Visit us ...the old way. Drop in. Make your own contributions. 


soups, salads & Goodly Bowls

Paula's recipes

Paula's special soups, salads, humus and falafels every day. Fresh ingredients, herbs and spices. Gluten-free and vegan options. Recipe book out soon. For daily updates, see our Facebook page.

Matt recommends

Something for for everyone

We're proud to have Matt Quinlan and his team here bringing many decades of hospitality experience to your service. Matt offers options from delicious traditional sandwiches and pulled beef ciabattas to avocado and humus on sourdough, with a range of rare special salads in between.

HOt drinks 


We brew award winning Green Ocean coffee from Kenya.  For tea, you have five choices, the specials coming from House of Teas in Tullow. Even the hot chocolate is exceptional.  

Nice cake

Too nice

We have a wide variety of cakes and desserts. There are options for all diets. Most of our cakes come from the outstanding Carlow bakery,  Émile Pâtissier

Walking & cycling

The Barrow way has lovely walks for all. The track or towpath was 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. It's also great for an easy-going bike trip.

Goresbridge is a great place to start. It's easy to get to. There are lovely short and long walks in both directions. There is good accommodation nearby and the village has fine pubs, a good shop and even a library. And of course the Goodly Barrow is here with more information and a good place to relax for your pre-walk planning or your cycling pitstop.

Your Barrow way...

Use our distance chart - so you know when to turn around and head back to us!

If you want to do a one way walk, check the daily timetable of the Kilbride Coaches bus between Graiguenamanagh and Goresbridge via Borris.

We recommend the Sport Ireland Barrow way route maps.


In 2022 Goodly Barrow is teaming up with Barrow kayaking guru Charlie Horan's, 'Go With the Flow'. We plan to have some of Charlie's guided and self-guided kayaking groups using our premises as their base. We also plan to become a centre where groups can be introduced to the history of navigation, waterways environmental appreciation, and of course, learn to safely enjoy river adventure. We'll keep you posted...


Why goodly? The Barrow has been called many other names by the people along its banks. One Carlow reference, 'the sulky old river,' better fits with the fearful respect and deathly ancient beliefs that echo the length of Barrow valley. The goodly reference was first used in a 1568 blurb by an agent touting the lands of Idrone to prospective planters. It was later echoed in a 1596 Edmund Spencer poem that dedicates a paragraph to each of the main rivers in Britain and Ireland.  There's no evidence either actually visited the Barrow. But the ‘Goodly Barrow’ name was made irresistible by the allusion to it in the title of Tadhg O’Sullivan’s wonderful book, with a trip down the Barrow providing the spine around which his learned historical perspectives meander. Our shout out seemed especially apt for the fact that the Goodly book did not mention Goresbridge - we hope to catch the eye of the next historiographer-poet who passes this way!

For more:

Come view our panels on the ancient history of the river. To find out more about the museum or the restoration and conservation project, please leave your contact details with the team or use the form below

‘Goodly Barrow – A voyage on an Irish river,’ T.R. O’Sullivan, 1983, Ward River Press – we hope to have the book back in print and available here soon.