For City Relaxers
Take a morning walk to Kilkenny Castle, enjoy a stroll through the Rose Garden before taking a tour of the magnificent Castle overlooking the River Nore. While there, take in a visit to the Butler Art Gallery and enjoy its contemporary art exhibitions. From Kilkenny castle pop across the street and take in a mid morning treat at the Kilkenny Design Centre’s Food Hall with their tempting home baking, not to mention their artisan foods & range of Irish giftware in the adjacent store.
Through the archway into the yard, explore The National Craft Gallery, which features exhibitions by various Irish and International designers, artists and makers across a variety of craft disciplines.
For lunch, you can ramble down the Parade, and onto Rose Inn Street, choose from an array of restaurants and bars. If the weather is good, why not lunch outdoors and enjoy the bustle of people passing or rambling through the nearby unique city slipways.
Follow lunch with a stroll along the riverside and join Parliament Street for a visit to Rothe House & Garden. This magnificent 17th century Irish merchant’s townhouse & garden (quite unexpected for such an urban setting), is the only one of its kind in Ireland, with its 17th century walled gardens, restored to their former glory. If you are interested in researching your family tree, enquire about the Kilkenny Family history service, also based in Rothe House.
If feeling energetic continue your walk up Parliament Street, and up the steps of Irishtown to St. Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower where the unique 13th Century Cathedral stands imposingly keeping watch over the city. Weather permitting climb the 9th century tower where you can take in panoramic views of the city. On a fine day you can see all 5 counties of the Sunny South East.
To finish your day’s exploring, we suggest two choices, either rest your weary feet after all the walking by indulging in some pampering with a spa treatment, perhaps a foot massage at your hotel or in one of the City’s great day spas. Alternatively, unwind with a tasting of Smithwicks Ale after a unique tour experience at St. Francis Abbey Brewery, Ireland’s oldest brewery where monks first brewed their ales in the 14th Century.
Feeling re-energised, enjoy a great dining experience featuring local foods which can be found in any of Kilkenny’s many great hotels, restaurants or pubs before taking in the city’s culture trail. The trail offers a collection of entertainment throughout the city’s many pubs – from traditional irish music and song, to more contemporary offerings. Alternatively check out “What’s On” at one of our many theatres such as The Watergate, The Set or Cleere’s Theatre. Don’t miss our city’s many festival programmes too.
A Day in the Country
Having enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the city, slow the pace right down with a trip into the countryside. Why not start with a visit to Stoneyford’s Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese farm and shop, part of the “TASTE of Kilkenny Food Trail”.
Explore our ancient ecclesiastical heritage and nature at nearby Jerpoint Abbey and follow with a stop at Jerpoint Park for a taste of our national heritage. If you have walking books or willies with you, uncover the “Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint” a medieval town settlement set on the banks of the river with its church and graveyard, complete with a tomb said to house St. Nicholas. Before you leave, try Maeve’s mouth-watering homemade treats and refreshments in Belmore House Tearooms, as you relax and enjoy the great Country House setting. Watch out for an interesting photo opportunity if you catch Joe with his sheepdog herding the geese.
Feel like the Lord or Lady of the Manor whilst enjoying lunch at the wonderful Mount Juliet Estate. You can take in wonderful views of its renowned 18 hole championship golf course, perhaps even be tempted to take in a round of golf, or catch the horses returning from their morning trek. There may even be salmon or trout to be seen or netted in the River Nore which runs through the Estate.
Heading further into the country, there are a number of options. One is to continue the craft trail by taking the Bennettsbridge route. Stop off at Jerpoint Glass en route for Nicholas Mosse’s Pottery studios and factory in the old flour mill alongside the river in Bennettsbridge. Browse among a selection of pottery studios,linen and glass homewares over 3 floors and enjoy the story of this renowned pottery studios, loved across the world. You may even catch the craft makers at work. Before leaving the village, pop in to see the candle makers at work in Moth to a Flame, and pick up some wonderfully coloured and interestingly shaped candle creations, to take back home as a gift for someone special.
The other choice is to head south to the beautiful and much photographed village of Inistioge, where the Irish film “Circle of Friends” was filmed. From the village explore the Nore Valley Walk into Thomastown or just outside the village, why not visit Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum to enjoy the wonders of these lovingly restored 19th century gardens.
Finally, you can choose to head east to the village of Graiguemanagh taking in Duiske Abbey. Also in Graiguemanagh, you can hire a bicycle to explore the East Trail Kilkenny cycling trail, or take ain a little boating or kayaking along the river.
Amidst the narrow streets, boutiques, craft centres and buzzing pubs, visitors can enjoy a truly contemporary Irish experience. Take a stroll to the Wexford Opera House, enjoy a behind the scenes tour, taking in the orchestra pit and artists’ dressing rooms before enjoying breathtaking views of Wexford harbour from the top floor balcony.
Browse the Greenacres Art Centre, an art, food and wine lovers’ haven, where you can shop for some fine foods and great wines.
Explore Ireland’s oldest city founded by the Vikings in 914. It’s narrow streets and long quay front, it offers an experience not to be missed.
Start the Waterford experience at Irelands oldest operational building, Reginald’s Tower. This is part of the Viking Triangle Experience in Waterford City taking you back to the time of the Vikings. The Viking experience is home to numerous national monuments including a 13th century wine vault, world class museums as well as an array of craft salons, art galleries, book stores, cafes, restaurants and excellent gift shops.
Waterford is synonymous with hand-cut glass and no visit would be complete without visiting and experiencing the tour at the House of Waterford Crystal. The factory tour gives an up close and personal insight into the centuries-old tradition, on certain days even giving you a chance to break some of the crystal!