Carlow Big Houses Festival – until 28 October: Every weekend throughout October, Co Carlow’s big houses will throw open their doors for the Carlow Big Houses Festival. Step inside some of Ireland’s grandest historic homes and immerse yourself in the food and heritage of Carlow’s great estates. Kicking off the festival is Borris House on 5 and 6 October. On Saturday 12 October the location is Altamont Gardens for an inspiring garden tour with noted garden historian Fionnuala Reid. On Sunday 13 October there is a family fun day in Duckett’s Grove. For more information, see www.carlowtourism.com or call 059- 9130411.