Explore Medieval Kilkenny in Ireland’s Ancient East

There’s nowhere else quite like Kilkenny. Ireland’s Medieval capital is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city steeped in history. With festivals, great food, arts and culture, Kilkenny has a broad appeal and is perfect for a weekend break, a family holiday or an exciting day trip. This month, we take a look at what makes Kilkenny so special.


Medieval Mile Museum Kilkenny

Kilkenny is a place that is rich in historical curiosity and known to many as a treasure trove of medieval and early Christian sites along Ireland’s Ancient East. Visitors can explore this history with the Medieval Mile Pass. Now firmly on the map as the Medieval capital of Ireland, various initiatives showcase the many attractions of the area. The Medieval Mile Pass, at just €29 includes admission to many of Kilkenny’s top tourist attractions including Kilkenny Castle and Rothe House and Garden, and discounts in various cafes and restaurants.

Following an extensive five-year excavation, renovation and construction on the site of the 13th century St Mary’s church and graveyard The Medieval Mile Museum will launch in mid-February 2017.  Exhibiting an immense treasure trove of artefacts, fine examples of medieval sculpture and Renaissance tomes, it’ll be a highlight of any visit to Kilkenny! Visit its site here.

Kilkenny is also the home of Smithwicks ale and visitors in February can pay a visit to the Smithwick’s  Experience to discover the rich history of this iconic Kilkenny brand.

Food & Drink

Kilkenny City - Foodie

For 2017 Kilkenny’s thriving food scene continues to grow. Year round Kilkenny enjoys a buoyant artisan food community, six cookery schools, award winning restaurants (including two Michelin starred restaurants), Food Festival, a weekly Farmers Market and a wealth of excellent bars, cool cafés, delis and more.  Savour Kilkenny 2017 takes place from 26th – 30th October and is now one of Ireland’s favourite food festivals!   Taste Kilkenny has been launched to showcase everything that the Kilkenny’s foodie scene has to offer, from producers to cafés, restaurants and the growing gastro pub scene. Visit http://tastekilkenny.ie for more details.


Kilkenny markets

What better way to spend a weekend than by heading to one of the great festivals that Kilkenny hosts throughout the year? The Cat Laughs festival is established as one of the world’s leading comedy festivals. Every year it attracts the cream of Irish and international comedy to Kilkenny for a June bank holiday weekend of riotous laughter and craic. The Kilkenny Tradfest makes Kilkenny the perfect St Patrick’s Day destination. This year’s festival takes place from 16 to 19 March and features a number of musical heavyweights, including Paul Brady, The Saw Doctors and Eleanor McEvoy, as well as a whole host of exciting up-and-coming artists who are keeping traditional music alive. Kilkenomics is a truly unique festival that combines economics and comedy. Some of the sharpest minds from both fields have made appearances at previous festivals, including David McWilliams, Robert Kadar, Dara Ó’Briain, Shawna Scott and Linda Yueh. If you’re looking for a festival that will make you think and make you laugh then Kilkenomics is most definitely for you. Subtitle Film Festival is another unique festival to Kilkenny not to be missed which runs from the 20th – 26th November.

Outdoor Activities

Kilkenny Castle Summer

Kilkenny is a county that is rich in beautiful scenery, with picture perfect towns such as Inistioge and Graiguenamanagh that are just waiting to be explored. Fortunately there are a whole host of brilliant outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy as they explore Kilkenny. Kilkenny City Cycling Tours offer a complete tour of the city and are a perfect way of introducing yourself to Kilkenny. Then you can leave the city behind and take in the winding roads of the countryside and explore the craft and food trails which lead you through the charismatic towns and villages. For those who are feeling a little more adventurous then why not take to the water to enjoy some fun activities such as white water rafting or canoeing at Go With The Flow or Pure Adventure. With a wealth of entertainment, culture and history, shopping and outdoor activities, Kilkenny has it all. There is a wide range of superb accommodation available to suit all budgets and styles. There are top quality, 4-star family-friendly hotels, beautiful guesthouses, self-catering accommodation and budget friendly hostels available, all of which are perfect for basing yourself while you explore the wonders that Kilkenny has to offer. Visit www.visitkilkenny.ie for further details.


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