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Ten Must-See Sites in Kilkenny

Kilkenny is Ireland’s medieval capital in Ireland’s Ancient East and is located just over an hour’s drive from Dublin. There are some great sites to see including the unique landmarks of Kilkenny Castle, Black Abbey and Rothe House & Garden. If you’re planning on visiting Kilkenny, there’s no better time than the October bank holiday weekend when the 13th Savour Kilkenny Food Festival (22 – 28 October) takes place.

 

1. KILKENNY CASTLE 

Few buildings in Ireland can boast a longer history of continuous occupation than Kilkenny Castle. Founded soon after the Norman conquest of Ireland, the Castle has been rebuilt, extended and adapted to suit changing circumstances and uses over a period of 800 years.

Today, Kilkenny Castle is open to visitors all year. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to see this grand country house and walk through its fifty acres of rolling parkland with mature trees and an abundance of wildlife. Other features include a formal terraced rose garden, woodlands and a man-made lake, which were added in the nineteenth century. There is also a tearoom, playground and several orienteering trails for visitors to enjoy.

The 13th Savour Kilkenny Food Festival runs from 22nd to 28th October and has over 60 events to experience from live cookery demonstrations, workshops and children’s events. For a full list of events, visit savourkilkenny.com.

This year we are holding a super S-P-E-C-I-A-L event at Kilkenny Castle: Fit Fix Pure Results Bootcamp with Kathryn Thomas

Kilkenny Castle

 

Foto Credits: kilkennycastle.ie, Pureresults.ie

 

2. ST. CANICE’S CATHEDRAL

Preserved in its original Gothic style and form, St. Canice’s Cathedral was built between 1202 and 1285. Step back in time and discover all its beautiful ancient treasures: unique marble floors, fascinating tombstones from the 17th Century, a Grecian style marble plaque erected for Frederick George Howard and the wonderful stained glass. Don’t forget to climb up the round tower, 30 metres high and built in the 9th century. This tower is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny!

St. Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny

Photo Credit: visitkilkenny.com

3. ROTHE HOUSE AND GARDEN

Nestled in the centre of Ireland’s Medieval Mile, Rothe House and Garden is one of Kilkenny’s hidden gems and a “must see” in the Marble City.

Rothe House was built between 1594 and 1610 on a plot of land (“burgage plot”) and was formerly owned by the Cistercian order. It became home of John Rothe Fitz Piers, merchant, landowner and Mayor of Kilkenny City. There is a fantastic collection on display in Rothe House which was gathered by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society from Kilkenny and the surrounding areas. The beautiful gardens have been restored and appear as they would have done in the early 17th century. Take time to walk through these beautiful gardens situated right in the heart of Kilkenny.

Rothe House and Gardens

 

4. CASTLECOMER DISCOVERY PARK

Castlecomer Discovery Park is set in a beautiful 80-acre woodland and boasts an exciting range of recreational and educational activities. Suitable for all ages, it is home to Ireland’s longest ziplines at 300m over water and also features an octagon high ropes course, tree-top adventure walk, climbing wall, junior woodland adventure course plus much more. If you’re on the look-out for something to do on the October bank holiday Monday, check out the Family Forage and Demonstration event at the Castlecomer Discovery Park as part of this year’s Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. For tickets and more information click HERE.

Castlecomer Discovery Park

 

5. DUNMORE CAVE

If you’re looking for an adrenaline fuelled day-out, check out Dunmore Cave in Kilkenny. This subterranean system consists of a series of chambers formed over millions of years.

Dunmore Cave

 

6. KILFANE GLEN AND WATERFALL

The Kilfane Glen and Waterfall is a pristine example of a romantic era garden dating from the 1790s. Untouched for 200 years, it is a picturesque paradise with a waterfall tumbling its way to a rushing stream and woodland paths leading to a cottage orné. Tiny bridges sit among ancient trees, wild fox-gloves, ferns and other historically correct 18th century planting. A perfect day out while exploring Kilkenny and Ireland’s Ancient East.

The Kilfane Glen and Waterfall

 

7. MOUNT JULIET ESTATE

For nearly 300 years, the Mount Juliet Estate has been recognised as one of Ireland’s finest country estates. The magnificent 18th century walled resort overlooking the River Nore, is home to two exceptional 5 star properties, the 32-bedroom Manor House and newly-opened, 93-bedroom Hunter’s Yard Hotel. Boasting a Michelin star and 3 AA Rosette awarded restaurant, The Lady Helen and the Michelin Plate awarded The Hound restaurant; the Jack Nicklaus designed championship golf course and an array of country estate pursuits including fishing and falconry in addition to a state-of-the-art equestrian centre, the Mount Juliet Estate is the perfect country retreat.

Mount Juliet Estate

 

8. KILKENNY OLD JAIL AND COURTHOUSE

Kilkenny has some beautiful historic buildings, including the Kilkenny Old Jail and Courthouse. Formerly known as Grace’s Castle, the building is presently used for sittings of the Circuit and District Courts. The site was originally a town house of the wealthy Grace family who leased the building to the crown in 1566. Used as a jail from 1566, it was transformed into a courthouse around the end of the 18th century. The front of the building still retains some of the original features of the jail which are visible from street level.

Kilkenny Old Jail and Courthouse

 

9. CANICE’S CATHEDRAL & ROUND TOWER, KILKENNY

St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower are essential parts of the structural heritage in the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny. This ecclesiastical site was founded in the 6th century and named after St Canice. Cill Channigh is the Gaelic for the Church of Canice, the church that originally stood on the site in the 6th century. The Round Tower is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny City. Tourists can enjoy climbing the Round Tower capturing great views of the city and is one of only two round towers that people can climb in Ireland.

St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower

 

10. Kilkenny Castle

Few buildings in Ireland can boast a longer history of continuous occupation than Kilkenny Castle. Founded soon after the Norman conquest of Ireland, the Castle has been rebuilt, extended and adapted to suit changing circumstances and uses over a period of 800 years.

Today, Kilkenny Castle is open to visitors all year. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to see this grand country house and walk through its fifty acres of rolling parkland with mature trees and an abundance of wildlife. Other features include a formal terraced rose garden, woodlands and a man-made lake, which were added in the nineteenth century. There is also a tearoom, playground and several orienteering trails for visitors to enjoy.

This year, Kilkenny Castle Park will host Fit Fix Day, a special day of Fitness, Food and Fun with Kathryn Thomas and her PureResults Team. Get ready to enjoy fit classes against the stunning backdrop of Kilkenny Castle with an amazing healthy lunch in The Parade Tower. Make sure to get your ticket soon, as places are limited!

Kilkenny Castle

 

 

The 13th Savour Kilkenny Food Festival runs from 24th – 28th October and has over 60 events to experience from live cookery demonstrations, workshops and children’s events. You find a complete list of events here