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Kilkenny Highlights

Looking for a list of things to do in Kilkenny?

Kilkenny City and County offers visitors an array of historic sites, Castles, Abbeys, Irish High Crosses, forest parks and scenic drives all within striking distance of the Kilkenny Inn in Ireland's Ancient East. Here are a number of things to do and see in Kilkenny:

 › Kilkenny Castle

The main seat of the Butler family from 1391 until the present century.  An art gallery, cafe, extensive pleasure grounds and well equipped outdoor children's play area make Kilkenny Castle and ideal location to visit.

 › St. Canice's Cathedral

St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower are an essential part of the heritage of the vibrant city of Kilkenny in the heart of Ireland's Ancient East.  This ecclesiastical site was founded in the 6th century and named after St Canice and is a key stop along the Medieval Mile

 › Rothe House Museum

One of Kilkenny’s hidden gems, Rothe House and Garden is just a 3 minute walk from The Kilkenny Inn and is the only such house of its type open to the public in Ireland. Built in 1594 by wealthy merchant John Rothe, who added to the late Tudor mansion as his family grew, the property has three houses with attractive cobbled courtyards in between and a stunning walled garden to the rear.

 › Dunmore Cave

A well-developed show cave consisting of a series of chambers, exhibition centre, guide service, steps, cat-walks and lighting - admission by guided tour only.

 › Kells Priory

An extensive, Augustinian Priory founded in 1193 adjacent to which is a large mill that now serves at a visitor centre and craft area.

 › Jerpoint Abbey

Lauded as the finest Cistercian monastic ruins in Ireland with a visitor centre, exhibition and guide service provided.

 › Irish High Crosses

There are a number of High Crosses, mostly dating from the 8th & 9th centuries to be found at Kilree, near Kells, Killamery, Kilkieran, Ullard and Duiske Abbey.

 › Gowran Park

Gowran Park, in County Kilkenny, has developed into one of Ireland's most picturesque race courses. The track hosts 16 race meetings throughout the year featuring both National Hunt and Flat Race meetings.It promises a great day out for racing fans. 

 › St Frances Abbey & Smithwicks Brewery

Located in the City, on the site of the Franciscan Abbey. It is Ireland’s oldest Brewery. The tour shows you how one of Ireland’s oldest ales is made and the history of the brewery and of ale. Take a stop for refreshments on your journey through the Ancient East, learn  about and sample an ale that has been perfected through centuries of experience.

 › Boat Trips Kilkenny

Take boat trip on the historic River Nore as it flows through Kilkenny city. Tours run approximately every half hour, each day throughout the Irish summer, April to October. Witness the wildlife that thrive in the urban environment and that have shared the waterways with man for thousands of years. Be sure to bring your camera as you'll have the opportunity to capture some very unique views of Kilkenny including a rear angle of the Castle, as seen from river level.

 › Trail Kilkenny

Trail Kilkenny has developed a range of scenic walking trails and cycling routes around County Kilkenny. Whether it’s a quiet stroll by the river or a hike up to the highest peak in Kilkenny to view the breathtaking scenery from the mountaintop, there is a trail to challenge your ability. Get outdoors, explore Kilkenny and discover the beauty of Ireland's Ancient East.

Ask at reception for more information on things to do in Kilkenny and a map of the city attractions and activities.