Fresh country air for outdoor enthusiasts...
Arrive in Graiguenamanagh or Inistioge at your self-catering cottage or Bed & Breakfast. Choose from a selection of accommodation located in the lush green countryside with the River Barrow on your doorstep. Drop your bags and head for the local and traditional pubs which have live music many nights of the week during Summer and every Wednesday and Friday off season.
Rise and shine to the sound of the birds and the gracefully flowing river in the back drop. Pop to the local shops for some fresh bread, fruit, vegetables and meat for the couple of days ahead. Alternatively, for those unenthused chefs why not explore the friendly café’s on your doorstep in neighbouring towns.
Choose from two wheels or two paddles! Rent a bike or take a canoeing / kayaking trip down the River Barrow or why not challenge yourself and try both.
The Barrow river towpath makes an excellent cycling greenway that gives visitors miles of safe, traffic free adventure in the beautiful countryside. Nip down to St. Mullins and stop for coffee and cake at the fantastic Mullichain Café or why not be more adventurous and take an electric bike on the back roads to Inistioge. Wander the incredible arboretum at Woodstock Gardens or choose to explore the MADE in Kilkenny or TASTE Kilkenny trails to experience all of Kilkenny’s craftsmanship and foodie delights including household names such as Jerpoint Glass and Goatsbridge Trout Farm.
After lunch hit the road again to find some of Kilkenny’s best kept secrets, first stop Duiske Abbey, one of the largest and finest of 34 Cistercian abbeys still standing in Ireland. After touring the abbey move onto Cushendale Woollen Mills where you will get to experience the old art of creating wool using looms.
Make your way to Mount Juliet Estate, one of Ireland’s finest country houses, as well as being Co. Kilkenny’s most acclaimed country estate. Visit the Morning Room at Manor House for afternoon tea followed by a rejuvenating treatment at the spa and leisure club, alternatively head to the green for a round of golf or take a stroll around the vast grounds including the stunning rose garden.
Take your pick of bars and restaurants to have dinner in tonight or pop to the local butchers and supermarkets to pick up locally produced meat and vegetables to prepare your own dinner with a glass of wine sitting by the cosy fire in your traditional Irish cottage.
If you’re looking for something more convenient, click here for a list of local bars and restaurants.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast and coffee at the Nicholas Mosse Pottery Workshop. Browse among a huge selection of Nicholas Mosse linen and glass over three floors while witnessing the potter and his team at work.
11.00am (Jerpoint Abbey or Highbank Orchard)
The next stop of the morning is at the 12th Century Jerpoint Abbey in Thomastown, where you will visit the Romanesque church and see tombs from the 13th to 16th centuries. From here continue to Jerpoint Park, to uncover the secret of the ‘Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint’, where Joe will introduce you to his famed sheepdog herding the geese. Don’t be afraid to stick around for tea and cake as the warm hospitality of our gifted storytellers treat you to a real Irish welcome.
Stop off in one of many atmospheric restaurants or cafes in Thomastown for a spot of lunch before making your way to Kilkenny City to experience all things Medieval Kilkenny.
Head North for Kilkenny City but don’t forget to make one more pit stop that will definitely leave an impression. Kells Priory is situated alongside King’s River beside the village of Kells. One of its most striking features is a collection of Medieval tower houses spaced at intervals along and within walls which enclose a site of three acres. Here you can explore this priory ruin at your leisure and imagine what life was like for the monks in this impressive collection of buildings.
Check in at your new destination, the medieval city of Kilkenny. Take a rest and a quick break with some nibbles to freshen yourself up for the evening ahead.
Sample the cream of the crop of Kilkenny’s vibrant Michelin rated Restaurants with a visit to Ristorante Rinuccini for some amazing Italian food with exceptional service and atmosphere.
After dinner, you can relax with a glass of wine or if you are feeling energetic, we highly recommend experiencing Live Music in one of Kilkenny’s many unique bars.
Explore Medieval Kilkenny’s ancient history...
Start your morning with a leisurely breakfast, followed by a visit to Kilkenny's Chambers Office where you can purchase Ireland’s Medieval Mile One Day Visitor Pass for €29. Enjoy a guided tour or simply explore Medieval Kilkenny at your own leisure.
Mix and match visitor attractions to suit your personal interest or explore each and every Medieval Mile Pass attraction that lays beneath the ancient trail.
Medieval Mile Voucher includes...
- Kilkenny Castle
- Medieval Mile Museum
- Rothe House and Gardens
- Smithwick’s Experience
- St Canice’s Cathedral
- Kilkenny Hurling Way
- Kilkenny Cycling Tours
- Castle Ezpress Train
- Kilkenny City Tours Train
- Kilkenny Ghost Tours
- Discounted prices at a selection of cafes and restaurants along the mile
10am – Noon
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, you might even be lucky enough to catch one of their frequently changing exhibitions of contemporary art.
A quick hop across the street will take you to the castle yard, under the charismatic archway you will find the Kilkenny Design Centre, crammed with a beautiful selection of Irish handcrafted gifts, all chosen with a discerning eye for quality, uniqueness and style. The yard houses the National Craft Gallery, featuring Irish and international designers across a variety of crafts and is also home to many craft workshops.
No need to go too far as the Kilkenny Design Centre has an award-winning restaurant and food rooms for you to choose from. Enjoy beautiful architectural surroundings while you browse an unrivaled selection of handcrafted gifts.
1.00pm – 5.00pm
After lunch, 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.
Just across the street from Rothe House, you will find Smithwick’s Experience, originally known as St Francis Abbey Brewery, where over 300 years ago, John Smithwick began brewing his first ales. Hear the story about the ale that has taken centuries of turbulent times on the chin and survived against all odds, immerse yourself in the amazing background and heritage of the Smithwick’s family and enjoy a multi-sensory and interactive experience where you learn first-hand how to stir the mash and sniff the hops.
After the brewery tour and tasting, finish off your Medieval experience by climbing the steps to St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, one of the most prominent sights in the beautiful Medieval city of Kilkenny. St Canice’s Round Tower is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny and is also one of the only two round towers in Ireland that visitors are allowed to climb. This 30m tower allows visitors to take in the wonderful views of the city and its surrounding countryside.
Having experienced fine dining in Kilkenny, why not try something a little more casual. Kilkenny’s newest city centre home brew Sullivan’s opened its doors to a brand new and incredibly atmospheric Taprooms in August 2016, serving the finest of Woodfire Pizza’a and traditionally inspired Kilkenny beers, resurrecting a malting Red Ale in its rightful home.
Time to relax and unwind…
To use your many café and restaurant vouchers located in your Medieval Mile Pass, including 10% off Rive Gauche, 10% off Sol Restaurant, 10% off Rafter Dempsey’s, FREE Gelato at Aroi Aroi and 10% off at Kilkenny Café.
It’s been a jam-packed couple of days full of Kilkenny’s fascinating history, stories and ancient ruins. Now it’s time to take the morning off to enjoy a leisurely breakfast or lie in before indulging a relaxing spa treatment in one of Kilkenny's exceptional day and hotel spas.
Explore the popular shopping scene in Kilkenny with Mac Donagh Junction Shopping Centre, Market Cross Shopping Centre or try some of our unique vintage stores such as The Wardrobe Kilkenny and Folkster Kilkenny, who have featured on TV and magazines worldwide, including Company, Vogue Japan and Elle – worn by stylish folk like Angela Scanlon, Amy Huberman, Vogue Williams and more!
Alternatively, you could walk in the footsteps of Kilkenny’s hurling legends by trying the game yourself with the Kilkenny Hurling Way. Learn the skills as our top coaches put you to the test, while learning the history of the most successful hurling team in Ireland.
Grab a late lunch or some light snacks at Mochas Vintage Tea Rooms opposite MacDonagh Junction, try the very well-known Tea Rooms at Langton’s House or pop across to Billy Byrnes where you will find an alternative beer garden featuring the Bula Bus and a chill out zone.
Return to your house/hotel to powder your nose and glam up for a night at the Watergate Theatre, where most of Kilkenny’s theatre shows and events take place throughout the year. Treat yourself to an incredible dinner at Campagne Restaurant (Michelin Star 2014 & 2015) or Zuni Restaurant to celebrate the end of an amazing trip.