The best of both worlds
City Slicker vs A Day in the Countryside
Plan your trip in advance to ensure availability on your preferred dates. Stay in one of the many child friendly and family focused hotels with leisure club facilities, kid’s clubs and babysitting services or alternatively choose from a wide range of self-catering accommodation options which will allow you more flexibility on how you plan your day.
Here in Kilkenny we know your sense of adventure doesn’t disappear just because you have kids, in fact your kids can often be the thrill seekers in the family! Bearing that in mind we’ve come up with a variety of adventures and fun activities to keep all family members smiling...
Head south towards Bennettsbridge where you will find Nore Valley Park and Farm, a must for the kids, the open farm is packed with fun activities for the whole family. Kids can interact with and cuddle the farm animals, feed the baby lambs or tour the farm by tractor and trailer. The children’s playground, straw bounce and sand pit keep the little ones entertained while older children enjoy crazy golf, race pedal go-karts and have fun in the barnyard maze. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch on the farm grounds or sample some tasty treats and home-baking provided by the park.
Heading further south through the Nore Valley, stop off at the 12th Century Jerpoint Park and let the children run around and explore the estate. This time everyone gets to take in some of Kilkenny’s fascinating history as your tour guide Joe uncovers the secrets of the ‘Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint’, the oldest and one of the best examples of a Medieval Town in Ireland. In addition to exploring St Nicholas Tomb, a real highlight of your visit is getting to see Joe's famed sheepdog in action herding geese.
If the kids are up for it, take a stroll along the River Nore and explore Kilkenny's nature and lush green surroundings.
If it’s a more fast paced jaunt you are after, the family can take a short drive to Mount Juliet Estate and enjoy a horse-riding lesson or a wander around the magnificent estate. Take the opportunity while you are at Mount Juliet to dine in one of their three restaurants(one having a Michelin Star - maybe come back here in the evening if you can source a babysitter) for some afternoon tea or dinner, alternatively on your return to Kilkenny city stop off in picturesque Thomastown for a bite to eat.
Return to your hotel and take advantage of the Hotels Leisure and Spa facilities with an evening swim. By now the kid’s must be ready to hit their comfortable beds to watch a movie or to catch some shut eye.
If you are lucky enough to have babysitting services, take a romantic stroll along the Canal Walk before choosing one of Kilkenny’s many pub’s to finish the night with a quiet pint of Kilkenny’s home brew, Smithwick’s, or a little entertainment with a range of live music options for all tastes.
Start your morning with a hearty breakfast, followed by a visit to some of Kilkenny’s MUST SEE medieval themed attractions. Depending on the age of your children and to keep everyone entertained we recommend the below list of attractions for families.
Medieval Themed Attractions
- Kilkenny Castle
- Medieval Mile Museum
- Rothe House and Gardens
- St Canice’s Cathedral (climb to the top of our round tower for a breathtaking view of the entire city - a slightly more modern view than the monks would have had)
Kick start your morning with a visit to the 12th Century Kilkenny Castle, overlooking the River Nore. Explore both wings of the castle which were restored to their 19th Century splendour and don’t forget to soak up a little culture with a visit to The Butler Art Gallery.
Top Tip: Book a guided tour with Kilkenny Ambassador and Native Frank Kavanagh. You’re guaranteed to hear stories and secrets from an outstanding guide full of wit, charm and a deep knowledge of Kilkenny’s history.
Having explored Kilkenny Castle, take a stroll along the medieval mile or why not hop on one of Kilkenny's tourist trains known as the Castle Express or Kilkenny City Tours. Stop off at Kilkenny's newest attraction, the Medieval Mile Museum where stories of Kilkenny's powerful patrons and inspired creators are told through the monuments and artefacts left behind. Next stop, visit Rothe House and Gardens, where you will see the magnificent 17th Century Irish merchant’s townhouse, built in 1594, consisting of three houses with courtyards, a collection of artefacts from Kilkenny’s past and a reconstructed 17th century walled garden with lots of space for the kids to run around in the fresh air.
After a stroll around the gardens, finish off your Medieval experience by climbing the steps to St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower for a bird’s eye view of Kilkenny city.
Grab some lunch at The Kilkenny Design Centre which has a beautiful selection of freshly made baked goods and healty treats at The Food Hall every day, Don't forget to return in the evening to dine at the award winning restaurant Anocht which is located upstairs at the Kilkenny Design Centre.
1.00pm – 5.00pm
Set your sights on all things adventure at Castlecomer Discovery Park, set within 80 acres of spectacular woodland. Conquer your fears and challenge your family to a series of complicated high ropes adventures and one of Ireland’s longest over water Zip Lines or take to the water for some fun filled leisurely boating activities.
For the younger members of the family there is a magical Fairy Village located in the woods that the children can explore as they search for signs of the fairies.
Grab some afternoon bites and quench your thirst with juice and ice-cream in the award-winning onsite Café and wander around the beautiful craft workshops where each and every piece of jewelry, pottery and clothing is made by hand on site by the craftsmen and women that you will meet . If you have a little time to spare you can finish off your visit by following one of the marked trails for a walk to explore the rest of the park.
Make your way back to your Hotel for an evening meal, served by Kilkenny’s local and welcoming hosts.
Relax and unwind at the hotel or take a stroll around the city and it's winding medieval pathways.