Let’s face it, there are few places these days offering tourist attractions for free, we are usually hit with either an admission charge for our cars, or entry tickets. But there are lots of places in Kilkenny that you can have a great day out with no hidden charges! From parklands, forests and hidden walking trails to medieval abbey’s, Kilkenny has so much to offer the more ‘outdoor-minded’ visitor and will prove you really can have a great day out for nothing! So hold on to your wallets and read on to discover 5 outdoor activities in Kilkenny that won’t cost you a thing!
1. Kilkenny Castle Parklands
Kilkenny Castle Park comprises of an incredible 21 hectares of land providing the ideal spot for a picnic no matter how big the family are!! Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to see this grand country house and walk through its rolling parkland with mature trees and an abundance of wildlife. Enjoy the beautiful terraced rose garden, woodlands and a man-made lake, which were added in the nineteenth century. There is a superb children’s playground with swings, slides, bridges and benches for adults too.
There are a range of orienteering courses open to all – families, individuals, clubs, schools. This is an amazing way to explore the flora and fauna of Kilkenny Castle Park whilst enjoying the exercise in beautiful surroundings. There is also a small area of the Canal Walk (by the River Nore) involved in the courses. Learn more here
The park is open until 8.30pm during the summer.
2. Trail Kilkenny
Trail Kilkenny offers activity trails around the county that are designed to encourage you and your family to explore the countryside. Scenic walks that are varied through woodland, over pastoral lands, country laneways – enjoy a stroll along Kilkenny’s river valley, rich with flora and fauna and the heritage of Kilkenny’s past. Whether it’s a quiet stroll by the river or a hike up to the highest peak in Kilkenny there is a trail to challenge your ability.
Duration range from ‘Easy’ walks approx. 1 hour to ‘Moderate’ which take 2 hours approx. or more challenging ‘Hard’ Walks that can take approx. 5 hrs.
3. Jenkinstown Woods
Situated on the grounds of the stunning Jenkinstown House and only 10- minute drive from the city, Jenkinstown Woods offers the ideal day out for the family. The Woods have picnic tables and herds of deer can be seen on many points. Jenkinstown Woods has 2 looped walks; The Walled Garden(2.4km) and Jenkinstown Loop (4km) for both a short stroll or a longer walk, both these trails are waymarked. So get out and explore!
4. Jerpoint Abbey
5. Kells Priory
The magnificent Augustine priory of Kells is situated alongside King’s River beside the village of Kells, outside Kilkenny. One of its most striking features of the Priory is a collection of medieval tower houses spaced at intervals along and within walls which enclose a site of just over 3 acres. It consists of a church, a chapel, prior’s residence or sacristy and a number of domestic buildings for visitors to explore.