Outdoor Enthusiasts & Adrenalin Junkies
Who said you can’t do outdoors and adventure with a city break – in Kilkenny we have it all, the best of both. A compact city with a rural feel and the best countryside on the doorstep, from river valleys, to quaint picturesque villages; parklands to country pasture; woodlands, gardens and nearby mountain ranges, you will be spoilt for choice.
The City Outdoors
Enjoy an early morning jog in the spectacular Kilkenny Castle parkland of over 50 acres, and then a healthy breakfast before embarking on an action filled day.
Discover your own Kilkenny, with a Kilkenny Cycling Tour of the City’s medieval and cultural sights, or simply a cycle and do it your way – both available from the city with Kilkenny Cycling Tours, who will show you the true hospitality while enjoying an easy-paced cycle with photo opportunities and historical information provided at each site.
Great family bike hire packages are also available for collection and pick up from wherever you want. So if you care to mix it, why not take the Nore valley Walk from the city to the village of Bennettsbridge (11km) and have your bicycles dropped to the village for you so you can pedal back to the city, after you have enjoyed a spot of lunch and a stop off to meet some of Kilkenny’s craft makers in the village. Alternatively try a saddle of a different kind, with a horse riding lesson or morning trek along the river’s edge or through the countryside with one of the many equestrian centres throughout Kilkenny.
If you fancy picking up some of the skills of the unique Irish game of hurling, which Kilkenny is famous for in terms of All Ireland achievements, then The Kilkenny Way Hurling Experience is a must! After an introduction to the games history and origins; gain an appreciation of the passion of the game by both players and supporters, before being taken on a walking tour to visit Kilkenny’s county training grounds. Test your own skills with the hurl and sliothar under the guidance of your tour guide and skilled hurler, before a heart warming bowl of Irish stew at Lannigan’s pub.
After an action packed day, relax the muscles before settling down to dinner, with a gentle swim at your hotel leisure centre, or if not staying in a hotel, visit Kilkenny’s state of the art mulit-purpose leisure complex and swimming pool at the Watershed. If after dinner you have any energy left, try a game of ten pin bowling at K Bowl. Fully accessible for all, the lanes are fitted with side bumpers to ensure the best chance of a STRIKE every time! For a more sedentary end to the day take a stroll along the Canal Walk from St. John’s Bridge, before settling in for a nightcap with the locals in one of the great pub experiences.. simply follow the music and the crowd for a great night’s entertainment.
If planning a programme of activities for a group visiting Kilkenny or if considering a team building break, be sure to check out Kilkenny’s choice of outdoor activity providers in advance to book an option of 2-3 day packages or simply 1 day, 1/2 day or 2-3 hour activity programmes around the city and county. From Treasure Hunts to Karting; Hill Walking to cycling; Zorbing to Paintballing; Canoeing to Kayaking to the latest trend of SUPing; from Angling to Horseriding; Orienteering to Rock Climbing and Abselling; Archery to Clay pigeon Shooting; Leap of faith Jumps, tree Top Walks and even Skydiving, the choice is endless.
Fresh Air and Country Pursuits
Ir you into walking, pack your walking books and raingear (you may need them), then take an early morning drive to the picturesque town of Graiguenamanagh. At the junction of the lower main street you can pick up the start of the Brandon Hill Looped walk. Approximately 12km, this walk has a gentle incline, so allow 4-5 hours at a leisurely pace. For more information, to print your walking map, or download the walking App, or to select another walk from a selection os woodland or riverside walks. Click Here.
If it is Golf you are after, Kilkenny will not disappoint. Tee off at the magnificent Mount Juliet Estate Championship 18 hole course, or choose from many other golf courses nearby at Gowran Park, Castlecomer, Callan, Kilkenny City, or Mountain View near Ballyhale.
For those that enjoy fishing, there are several choices from lake fishing at Castlecomer Discovery Park, north of the city, to some of the South East’s best course angling at Mount Juliet Estate or at Jerpoint Park near Thomastown. Alternatively, for the novice, try Adaire Springs. Perhaps less of an active pursuit, but if you enjoy horses and fancy a flutter, you will have a great day out at the races in the beautifully picturesque Gowran Park. check out the Gowran Park Racing events calender Here.
Alternatively, hire a bike with Watershed Bike and Hike in Graguenamanagh or with Kilkenny Cycling Tours and explore the Kilkenny countryside when you follow any one trail. Kilkenny Cycling Trails. You can stop of for refreshments with a visit to some of TASTE of Kilkenny Food trail producers. Don’t forget to visit some of the MADE In Kilkenny Craft trail makers as you take in the rural countryside and stop of at the picturesque villages and towns along the way. Listen for the flowing rivers, watch for the trout jumping in the fast flowing waters, and be sure to bring your camera to catch a photo of the wonderful arched bridges and colourful village street-scapes, such as the pretty village of Inisitoge. Take some time too, to reflect on the wonders of the ancient heritage and ecclesiastical sites across the county, which Kilkenny is proud of.
For the Adrenalin Junkie
For all water enthusiasts, try some canoeing, white water rafting, kayaking or SUPing on the River Nore or at a gentler pace some canoeing or kayaking on the river Barrow with activity guides Go with the Flow or Pure Adventure. If you choose a guided option, you can stop off to visit some of our region’s finest historic houses for a visit along the way, or choose a combined paddle and saddle option with a 1/2 day on the river and a further 1/2 day cycling, with all equipment supplied to you with your guide. Alternatively you can choose self guided if you prefer. complete with options to camp out along the river route, you are guaranteed some great holiday memories to take home.
Some 11km north of the city along the N78, you will find Castlecomer Discovery Park. Fast becoming Kilkenny’s leading outdoor activity adventure centre with it’s tree top walks, zip lining Leap of faith and climbing wall, as well as its woodland walks and estate lakes, it provides plenty od adrenalin and outdoors pursuits to suit all levels. With a cafe and some great craft makers in the estate yard, or the outdoor playground for the younger one to enjoy, its a great activity destination for holiday makers with a mixed ambition or ages to engage with the outdoors. Booking advice and Information.
Explore some more…
If time allows on your trip to Kilkenny why not explore some of the south east’s region’s mix of adrenalin fuelled or gentle activities beyond Kilkenny; here are some suggestions…
Catering for all abilities and ages, nearby Waterford Coast offers activities including rock climbing, windsurfing, sea kayaking and orienteering, to name but a few
Leaving waterford take the car ferry to the Hook Peninsula in Wexford, for an afternoon of Kite Surfing with Hooked Kite Surfing. Learn to kite surf with their qualified instructor. Experience the thrill of flying a large controllable kite.
For a maritime experience take one of the many boats available for charter on the Hook Peninsula and Kilmore Quay
Tipperary or Carlow
Interested in getting back to nature, then try one of the many interesting and varied walks through the Glen of Aherlow or through the Blackstairs mountains.