Ireland is full of wonderful little villages and bustling towns, all holding their own gems of amazement. Kilkenny is certainly not to be missed and is definitely one of Ireland’s “must-see” cities. While you are in the area, there are also plenty of lovely attractions just nearby that are worth venturing out to!
Kilkenny Castle is Kilkenny’s claim to fame, for which you need no reason after laying eyes on it! Majestic in all its glory, Kilkenny Castle was first erected in 1195 and still remains ever so present today (with a couple of restorations here and there of course). The Castle was strategically placed just by the River Norde to serve as a junction. Today, Kilkenny Castle and it’s grounds may be enjoyed by the public, with just a small fee to enter inside!
If you are interested in sports history, then head down to the Kilkenny Way! Home of the world’s oldest field sport, Hurling, Kilkenny takes great pride and eludes passion regarding its active heritage. Run in the shoes of the Celts and enjoy a hands-on experience learning about this ancient game after discovering the rich history in the Legends Hurling Museum.
Although it takes a bit more of a trek than others to visit, Glendalough is a must-see medieval monastic site here in Ireland, situated in County Wicklow. This glacial valley saw it’s first church being built by St. Kevin in the 6th century. St. Kevin sought to find peace within his hermit lifestyle, and found what he was looking for in Glendalough. Partially ruined by English troops in 1398, this cemetery site still sits beautifully in the valley and welcomes all who wish to gaze upon it.
Take a walk through nature and visit WoodstockHouse and Gardens. Built in 1745, Woodstock House offers a peaceful getaway from the hustle the bustle. Enjoy a delightful cup of tea and then venture out into the awe-inspiring gardens, artistically designed in the 1860s. Walk out to enjoy splendid views of Mount Brandon and the River Norde. Woodstock House and Gardens are certainly some of those hidden gems that are worth taking the time to experience.
Situated just south of Kilkenny, Waterford Crystal offers an amazing experience for all of those fascinated by fine artistry. Developing its signature range since 1999, Waterfod Crystal invites guests to tour the factory and learn of the intricate details that go into creating these works of art. Be sure to explore the retail area as well to enjoy the collection of crystals and to bring some home with you!
For some family fun, Castlecomer Discovery Park is for you! Just north of Kilkenny, this adventurous park offers something for everyone! Scale the Tree Top Adventure Walk, sip a tea in the café, visit the Coal Mining Museum to learn of the area’s rich coal heritage, or purchase a souvenir from one of the many design craft studios! A fun day out for everyone, Castlecomer Discovery Park is just a mere 20 minute driver from Kilkenny!
If you are looking for accommodation to rest your head after an exciting day out, then look no further than Kilkenny itself! Kilkenny is full of lovely hotels, B&Bs, apartments, whatever you like! Each one is more welcoming than the next and just a few minutes from the lively city centre. Might I suggest taking a look at Butler Court or Castle Lodge, both high on the list in customer ratings! Stay a night or two to understand why.
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Kilkenny in the evenings, perhaps try venturing out down Dublin Road to indulge in some wonderfully relaxing hotels and spas. I would suggest the Lyrath Estate Hotel. Enjoy a sensual massage before taking a dip in the pool and then retreating to your room to sink into an inviting, fluffy robe. If that seems too extravagant, perhaps try out Newlands Lodge out in the pastures, enjoying the company of peace and quiet with the occasional sheep!