things to do in arklow

There’s a lyrical beauty to Arklow, a picturesque town tucked away on Ireland’s east coast. Infused with a rich tapestry of history, adorned with natural beauty, and warmed by the renowned Irish hospitality, Arklow is a place where everyone finds something to love.

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Popular Tourist Attractions in Arklow

Avoca Handweavers Mill

One of the oldest working mills in the world, Avoca Handweavers Mill is where tradition meets creativity. Watch the art of handweaving in action and witness the creation of beautiful throws, scarves, and other goods. You can explore the mill, shop for unique handcrafted souvenirs, and even enjoy a gourmet bite at the cafe.

Arklow Maritime Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich maritime heritage of Arklow at the Maritime Museum. With fascinating displays on shipbuilding, fishing, and life at sea, this museum is a must for maritime enthusiasts. Don’t forget to marvel at the detailed ship models, including the impressive Titanic replica.

Arklow Bay Hotel

While not a traditional tourist attraction, Arklow Bay Hotel deserves a visit for its stunning views of the Irish Sea and lush surrounding countryside. Its wellness center provides a tranquil escape, while the hotel restaurant promises to satiate your taste buds with local, organic produce.

The Bridgewater Shopping Centre

This bustling shopping complex is where you can indulge in some retail therapy. Home to high-street brands and local boutiques, it also offers a variety of dining options, from cozy cafes to family-friendly restaurants.

Top Things to Do in Arklow

Golfing at Arklow Golf Club

Experience the thrill of golfing amidst stunning sea views and the challenging terrain at Arklow Golf Club. This links-style course is an undiscovered gem, providing a remarkable golfing experience for both novices and seasoned players.

Walking the Arklow Seafront

Take a leisurely walk along Arklow’s seafront promenade. Absorb the captivating sights of the bustling marina, serene beaches, and the iconic lighthouse, or simply bask in the tranquil ambiance of this charming town.

Exploring Glenart Castle

Steeped in history, the ruins of Glenart Castle provide a glimpse into Arklow’s past. Wander through the remnants of this once majestic castle and let your imagination recreate its former glory.

Bird Watching at East Coast Nature Reserve

Home to a wide variety of bird species, East Coast Nature Reserve is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Bring your binoculars and enjoy the serenity as you spot everything from graceful herons to playful kingfishers.

Must-See Places in Arklow

St. Mary’s Arklow

An architectural masterpiece, St. Mary’s Arklow is a beacon of the town’s Catholic heritage. Marvel at its stunning stained-glass windows and beautifully crafted interior, each echoing stories of faith and devotion.

South Beach Arklow

This pristine beach offers a tranquil haven for relaxation. Walk along the shoreline, build sandcastles with the kids, or simply enjoy the soothing sounds of the waves.

Nineteen Arches Bridge

This iconic landmark is the longest handmade stone bridge in Ireland. Its unique design and historical significance make it a must-see when visiting Arklow.

Kynoch’s Explosives Factory

The remnants of this 19th-century factory remind us of Arklow’s industrial past. Learn about the intriguing history of Kynoch’s Explosives Factory and its role in shaping the town.

Best Places to Visit in Arklow for First-Time Visitors

Arklow Pottery and Gallery

Delve into the artistic side of Arklow at this local pottery studio and gallery. Discover the intricacies of pottery making, admire the diverse collection of ceramic artworks, and even take a pottery class.

Avondale House and Forest Park

Immerse yourself in the lush beauty of Avondale Forest Park, home to diverse wildlife and tranquil walking trails. Visit the historical Avondale House, once the home of Irish political leader Charles Stewart Parnell.

The Royal Arklow

This traditional Irish pub is a must for first-time visitors. Experience authentic Irish hospitality, enjoy live music, and savour a pint of Guinness.

Arklow Viking Bay

Explore the history of the Vikings in Arklow at this fascinating historical site. Learn about the town’s Viking roots and see remnants of a Viking longphort.

Best Places to Visit in Arklow for Families

Glenroe Open Farm

This charming farm offers a delightful experience for the whole family. Pet the animals, take a tractor ride, or enjoy a picnic in the farm’s scenic surroundings.

Hidden Valley Holiday Park

This outdoor adventure park offers fun for all ages. Enjoy water sports, mini-golf, and a playground. The park also provides camping facilities for an extended family outing.

Funworks Play Centre

This indoor play center is perfect for a day of fun, with activities for kids of all ages. Parents can relax in the cafe while kids enjoy the play zones.

Omniplex Cinema Arklow

Take a break and enjoy a movie at Omniplex Cinema. With a variety of films and comfortable seating, it’s a great place for a family outing.

Best Places to Visit in Arklow for Couples

Mount Usher Gardens

Stroll hand-in-hand through the beautiful Mount Usher Gardens. This romantic location is ideal for couples, with its stunning array of plants, serene river walk, and charming garden cafe.

BrookLodge & Macreddin Village

This luxury hotel and village provides the perfect romantic getaway. Enjoy spa treatments, fine dining, and a stroll around the picturesque Macreddin Village.

Woodenbridge Golf Club

Share your love for golf at this scenic golf club. With stunning views of the valley, it’s a perfect place for a leisurely day of golf.

The Meetings Avoca

This scenic spot where two rivers meet offers a tranquil escape. Enjoy a leisurely walk, dine at the adjacent restaurant, or simply soak in the peaceful ambiance.

Best Places to Visit in Arklow on a Budget

Arklow Walks

These self-guided walks take you through Arklow’s historic sites, beautiful parks, and stunning coastal views. The best part? They’re absolutely free!

Arklow Library

Immerse yourself in local history, culture, and literature at Arklow Library. Its impressive collection of books and helpful staff make it a haven for book lovers.

Coral Leisure Arklow

Stay fit without breaking the bank at this local leisure center. With affordable access to a gym, pool, and fitness classes, Coral Leisure Arklow has something for everyone.

Arklow Farmers Market

Experience local culture at Arklow Farmers Market. Discover locally grown produce, homemade delicacies, and unique crafts, all at budget-friendly prices.

Best Day Trips from Arklow


Just a short drive from Arklow, Glendalough is a must-visit. Its ancient monastic site, scenic walking trails, and stunning lakes make it a perfect day trip.

Powerscourt Estate

Explore the grandeur of Powerscourt Estate with its stunning gardens, opulent mansion, and the highest waterfall in Ireland.

Wicklow Mountains National Park

Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of this national park. Its diverse landscape offers opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, and simply soaking in the breathtaking views.


A bustling seaside resort, Bray offers a sandy beach, scenic cliff walk, and a vibrant town center filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Hidden Gems in Arklow

Arklow Rock Parnells GAA Club

For a slice of local life, head to this vibrant sports club. Watch a thrilling Gaelic football or hurling match, integral to Irish culture.

Goldsmith’s Ghost

This quirky sculpture commemorates local poet Oliver Goldsmith. Uncover the interesting story behind this unique piece of public art.

John Millington Synge Memorial

This modest memorial pays tribute to the renowned Irish playwright, offering a glimpse into Arklow’s rich literary heritage.

The Wexford Lavender Farm

Just outside Arklow, this lavender farm is a hidden gem. Its fragrant fields, woodland walks, and quaint cafe are worth exploring.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Places in Arklow

The Mottee Stone

Climb up to this giant boulder and enjoy panoramic views of Arklow and the surrounding countryside.

Vale of Avoca

This stunning valley, with its verdant landscape and picturesque villages, is a beautiful off-the-beaten-path destination.

The Coffee Pot

A charming local haunt, this cafe is perfect for enjoying a cuppa away from the tourist crowds.

Kilbride Military Cemetery

This lesser-known site is a serene and poignant tribute to soldiers who served in both World Wars.

Best Places to Eat in Arklow

The Old Ship

A local favorite, The Old Ship offers a mix of traditional Irish fare and international favorites, served in a cosy, maritime-inspired setting.

The Pottery Restaurant

Located in the Arklow Bay Hotel, this restaurant is known for its delectable seafood dishes and stunning views of the Irish Sea.

Asian Harvest

For a change of pace, Asian Harvest serves a delicious variety of Asian cuisines, from aromatic curries to sizzling stir-fries.


Step back in time at this traditional fish and chips shop. Christy’s has been serving up golden, crispy fish and chips for decades.

Must-See Sporting Teams in Arklow

Arklow Town FC

Experience the passion and energy of local football by watching Arklow Town FC in action. Their games are always an exciting spectacle.

Arklow Rugby Football Club

Rugby is a big part of Irish culture, and a match at Arklow Rugby Football Club showcases the sport at its thrilling best.

Arklow Sailing Club

Witness the elegance and precision of sailing at Arklow Sailing Club. From regattas to casual sailing, the club is always a hive of activity.

Arklow Golf Club

Although not a ‘team’, the golfers at Arklow Golf Club are worth watching. Their skill and dedication make for a captivating experience.

Night-Life in Arklow

Sally O’Brien’s

This lively bar is a staple of Arklow’s nightlife. With regular live music and a wide selection of drinks, it’s a great place to unwind.

The Midway Bar

A popular local haunt, The Midway Bar offers a cosy atmosphere, friendly service, and a great selection of beers and spirits.

The Bridge Hotel

With its chic lounge and bustling bar, The Bridge Hotel offers a stylish night out in Arklow.

Christy’s Late Bar & Venue

For a night of dancing, head to Christy’s Late Bar & Venue. Their resident DJ ensures a lively atmosphere till the wee hours.

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In Conclusion: Things to do in Arklow

To encapsulate Arklow in a few words would be to do injustice to its multifaceted charm. It’s a town where history and heritage intermingle with a lively community and an enriching array of experiences. From the echo of the weavers’ looms at Avoca Handweavers Mill to the thrill of a Gaelic football match, from the tranquillity of Mount Usher Gardens to the vibrancy of The Midway Bar, Arklow is a symphony of contrasts that play out harmoniously.

As you walk along its seafront, delve into its history, engage with its community, and explore its surroundings, you’ll realise that Arklow isn’t just a place to visit. It’s a place to experience, to feel, and to carry with you in your heart.

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, a family looking for a fun-filled holiday, or a solo traveler on a budget, Arklow awaits you with open arms and countless stories. Come and discover the enchanting things to do in Arklow, and who knows, you might just find yourself wanting to come back for more. The allure of things to do in Arklow, after all, tends to leave a lasting impression.

FAQ - Things to do in Arklow

  • What is the best time to visit Arklow?

    Arklow is charming throughout the year, but the best time to visit would be during the summer months from June to August when the weather is warmer and perfect for outdoor activities.

  • How do I get to Arklow?

    Arklow is well connected by road and rail. If you’re traveling from Dublin, you can take a direct bus or train to Arklow. Alternatively, you can drive via the M11 motorway.

  • Is Arklow a good place for a family holiday?

    Absolutely! Arklow has a range of attractions and activities for the whole family, from exploring Glenroe Open Farm to enjoying a day at Funworks Play Centre or Hidden Valley Holiday Park.

  • What is the food like in Arklow?

    The food in Arklow is a delightful mix of traditional Irish fare and international cuisine. You’ll find a variety of dining options, from cozy cafes and traditional pubs to fine-dining restaurants.

  • Are there any hiking trails in or around Arklow?

    Yes, Arklow and its surroundings offer numerous hiking trails. You can explore the tranquil walking trails in Avondale House and Forest Park, or take a day trip to Wicklow Mountains National Park for more challenging hikes.

  • Where can I learn about the history of Arklow?

    The Arklow Maritime Museum and Arklow Pottery and Gallery are great places to start if you’re interested in learning about the town’s history. The ruins of Glenart Castle and Kynoch’s Explosives Factory also offer a glimpse into Arklow’s past.

  • Can I enjoy nightlife in Arklow?

    Yes, Arklow has a lively nightlife scene. From traditional Irish pubs with live music, like The Royal Arklow, to bustling bars such as Sally O’Brien’s and The Midway Bar, there are plenty of places to enjoy the night in Arklow.

  • Is Arklow a good destination for a romantic getaway?

    Definitely! With its scenic beauty and charming attractions like Mount Usher Gardens and BrookLodge & Macreddin Village, Arklow makes for a perfect romantic getaway.

  • Can I go shopping in Arklow?

    Yes, Arklow has several shopping venues. The Bridgewater Shopping Centre is a popular destination for both high-street brands and local boutiques. You can also explore the Arklow Farmers Market for local produce and unique crafts.

  • What sporting activities can I enjoy in Arklow?

    Arklow offers a variety of sporting activities. You can watch a Gaelic football match at Arklow Rock Parnells GAA Club, enjoy a round of golf at Arklow Golf Club, or even try sailing at Arklow Sailing Club.

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