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Nestled among rolling hills that cover just about every shade of green on the colour card, Kilkenny is almost an idealised vision of Ireland. It has something to suit every visitor, with pastoral landscapes, historical discoveries, and lively pubs and restaurants.
Kilkenny is an approachable medieval town that can be toured on foot within a couple of hours, but appreciating the many attractions will take considerably longer. Awash with history, the streets have an elegance and vibrancy that makes them appear timeless. Some 60 licensed pubs and bars offer locals and visitors alike the electric atmosphere that makes for a party weekend.
Kilkenny Castle is a dramatic structure dating from the 13th century that dominates Kilkenny City. Originally built for William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke, it later became the principal Irish residence of the powerful Butler family, and now it offers visitors a fascinating glimpse of Kilkenny’s medieval history.
St Canice’s Cathedral is a splendid structure presiding over the entire city of Kilkenny. Founded in the 6th century, it was named after St Canice and also gives Kilkenny its Gaelic name (Cill Channigh). The site combines an early Christian settlement, Round Tower, and Anglo Norman Cathedral. Even if you have no interest in religion or its history, the site’s rich cultural resonance makes it a must-see on your Kilkenny visit.
Launched in 1994, the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival has grown into an internationally recognised festival that attracts the cream of Irish and international talent to Kilkenny for the June bank holiday weekend. Whatever your taste in humour, you’ll find somebody who makes you laugh at the Cat Laughs.
One of the oddest festivals you are likely to come across, Kilkenomics brings world-class economic thinkers together with the finest comic analytical minds to explore economics in a novel and entertaining way. The aim is to entertain, inform, and encourage optimism for the future.
Built between 1594 and 1610, Rothe House is Ireland’s only surviving example of an early 17th-century merchant’s townhouse. The house is now a public museum, showcasing thousands of historic artefacts, and it is also a genealogy centre. The garden has been beautifully redesigned as a 17th-century urban garden.
Located in Thomastown, Jerpoint Abbey is an impressive Cistercian abbey founded by the King of Ossory in 1158. Inside the Romanesque church, you can see tombs from the 13th to 16th centuries, including the first abbot, Felix O’Dulany. The main attraction is the sculptured cloister arcade with unique carvings.
Roam through the rolling green hills of northern County Kilkenny and enjoy leisurely picnics along the way. Drive through the picturesque towns of Ballyragget and Castlecomer, explore Dunmore Caves, and create your own perfect day out by meandering along the area’s magical winding roads.
If you’ve seen Widow’s Peak or Circle of Friends, Inistioge may look familiar. A popular location for filming, this picturesque village boasts an 18th-century, 10-arch stone bridge spanning the River Nore and old-style shops clustered around a peaceful square.
Just outside Inistioge, you’ll find the beautifully restored Woodstock House Gardens and the empty shell of the building after which they were named. Designed by the renowned architect Francis Bindon, Woodstock House was built between 1745 and 1747 for Sir William Fownes, but it was burned down in 1922, following its occupation, first by the Black and Tans and then by the Irish Free State Army.
2.6km from Kilmanagh
Stay at a charming farmhouse in a quaint and picturesque rural area near the village of Kilmanagh in County Kilkenny.
This is the perfect destination if you need a family holiday or a relaxing break in the country. When you stay at this luxurious accommodation you will be able to experience life in a rural area and soak up the farm atmosphere, as this accommodation is situated next to a working farm.
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3.9km from Callan
The tastefully finished house has four spacious bedrooms, one of which is ensuite. The kitchen is fitted with every modern convenience and has fully fitted designed cabinets and a wood-burning range cooker. The large and welcoming living room has French doors leading to the yard and garden area, where manicured lawns and mature apple and chestnut trees await.
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8.7km from Kilkenny
Enjoy comfortable farmhouse accommodation in a scenic country setting just 9km from Kilkenny City and 7km from the village of Gowran. This is a great base for touring the south-east and is only an hour from Dublin or Waterford.
The cosy property is tastefully furnished, with an open-plan living area and 3 bedrooms, 2 of which are ensuite with double beds. The third bedroom is a twin room with a wet room next door. One of the double bedrooms is upstairs, just behind the mezzanine playroom/lounge area.
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0.5km from Graiguenamanagh
Relax in a riverside apartment with private patio overlooking the weir in Graiguenamanagh. This property is ideal for holidays with fishing, swimming, or walking the riverside and nearby mountains. You have separate access, a fully fitted kitchen, and living room to the front, with 2 double bedrooms to the rear.
7.1km from Inistioge
Stay at a pretty bungalow surrounded by spacious gardens in Inistioge, County Killkenny. The perfect destination for either a relaxing break or an action-packed holiday, the holiday home has four bedrooms that can comfortably sleep up to eight people. Two bedrooms are en-suite, and all come with free bed linen and towels.
0.7km from Inistioge
A warm welcome awaits you at this alluring 4-star property located 2 km outside the village of Inistioge in County Kilkenny. The ideal getaway for a romantic break or a special family holiday, this unique holiday home was used to store horse-drawn carriages in the 18th century.
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