Many walks can be enjoyed along the gentle banks of the river Barrow or the foothills of Mount Leinster. The Barrow Way follows the towpath, originally a path alongside the River Barrow to allow the pulling of barges or boats for transport. The ground is throughout passing good farmland where tillage and cattle farming is predominant. The path offers much of architectural interest to the visitor – bridges, many arched, and pretty lock houses, some still in use. Many interesting historical features are located in close proximity to the river including castles, abbeys, old bridges and derelict mills.

The South Leinster Way is a long distance walking route which runs from Kildavin, Co. Carlow to Carrick-on-Suir in Co. Tipperary covering 102 kilometers (64 miles) in length. The predominant features in the landscape are Mount Leinster (976m), Brandon Hill and the river valleys of the Barrow, Nore and Suir. This stretch can be comfortably walked in five days but strong walkers can finish it in three days.



The River Barrow which is widely recognised for its rich fishing stock. Its rich source of game and course fishing plays host to a prestigious international annual shad fishing competition. All catches can be prepared and savoured by our head chef to our guests tasting.



 The sunny South East prides itself with fabulous courses all within 30 minutes of the Step House Hotel. Championship courses from Gowran Park and Mount Juliet to Carlow can be booked from reception and our staff would be delighted to organize tours to a variety of courses at our guests convenient.

Borris Golf Club is one of the oldest scenic golf courses in Ireland and it celebrated its centenary birth in 2007. It offers keen green fees as remains completely owned by its members. Founded in 1907, Borris Golf Club lies at the foot of Mount Leinster, 16 miles from Carlow. It is situated within the Mac Murrough Kavanagh Estate and is a tree-lined course which is quite challenging.



The Carlow Garden Trail currently features 16 different gardening attractions including great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens which are maturing beautifully with time. Award winning garden centers and forest parks complement the joy of a visit here. The Carlow Garden Trail ranges from small to very large gardens, Garden Centers and forest parks and from old to new, so there is something to stimulate both the novice and experienced gardener. Known for its mild and temperate climate, County Carlow in Ireland's sunny South East is the ideal destination for your gardening trip.

Altamount Gardens, Kilkenny Castle Gardens, Huntington Castle Gardens, Duckett’s Grove, and Arboretum Garden Centre are just some of the beautiful venues that are worth a visit.

For more information please contact reception.


Gowran Race Park

Located on the picturesque Lord Annaly Estate in the heart of County Kilkenny, Gowran Park is the only Grade 1 horse racing course in the South East of Ireland. Gowran Park has developed into one of Ireland's most picturesque race courses. The track hosts 16 race meetings throughout the year featuring both National Hunt and Flat Race Meetings.

The Step House Hotel is only 10 minutes from Gowran and taxis can be organised from reception.



Visit Carlow Tourism for more information.


Check Go with the Flow for inspiration of fun things to do around here.


Check Glenn Lucas Wood Turning. 


Sample 3 Day Itinerary


Day 1:


8 am Breakfast 


9 am Local Walk - Choice of 5 Walks/Hikes in Borris and Surrounding area

  1. 5 kilometre (km) Viaduct Loop in Borris Village
  2. 5km River Barrow/Clashganny Forest Loop
  3. Foraging Walk on Mt Leinster (supplement required)
  4. 10km Walk River Barrow to St Mullins Viking set
  5. 20km Hike on Blackstairs Mountain
  6. Garden Trails in Carlow/Kilkenny (Altamont, Woodstock & more)


Afternoon - Choose Activity:

  1. Kayaking on the River Barrow
  2. Tour of local Brewery/Distillery
  3. High end & clay pigeon in Borris House
  4. Horseback riding in Carrigbeg
  5. Golf in Borris Golf Club  or Mount Juliet (25 mins drive/hosting 2021 Irish Open)
  6. Bike or Boat Hire in Graiguenamanagh
  7. Borris House Tours who are the old High Kings of Leinster (POA large groups only)
  8. Arts & Crafts – Cushendale Woollen Mills, Duiske Glass & Nicholas Mosse
  9. Glen Lucas – Famous Woodturner in Borris
  10. Horse R acing in Gowran Park (on select dates)


Evening: Dine at your leisure in Step House Hotel Bar


Day 2:


8 am Breakfast 


9 am Drive to Kilkenny to choose from the following activities & attractions


1.       Kilkenny Castle (one of Irelands largest tourist sites)

2.       Local Brewery – Smithwicks or Sullivan’s

3.       Castlecomer Discovery & Adventure Park (great for families)

4.       Jerpoint Glass (glassblowing demos)

5.       Dunmore Caves

6.       Woodstock Gardens

7.       Inistioge (Filming location of Circle of friends)

8.       Kilkenny Famine Experience

9.       Local & National Gaelic Games (on select dates)


Evening: Dine at your leisure in Step House Cellar Restaurant & visit local pubs in heritage village



Day 3:


8am Breakfast


9am Drive to Wexford (25 mins) to discover actives such as


1.       Hook Lighthouse (2nd oldest operating lighthouse in the world)

2.       Dunbrody Famine Ship

3.       JFK Homestead & Arboretum

4.       Tintern Abbey

5.       Johnstown Castle

6.       Irish National Heritage Park

7.       Blue Flag Beaches

8.       Fishing


Evening: Dine at your leisure in Step House Hotel