For those who love adventure, Kilkenny is a must-visit, its forests, its lakes, its countryside, it has the fishing, it has archery, it has falconry, it has friendly people, and so much more!
We’ve put together some of the best places to visit in Kilkenny for every type of itinerary for when it is safe to travel again. So if you are planning a future staycation and you’ve only got 2 or 3 days, or a long weekend, stick to one area. If you have a week or longer to explore, you could easily do several places on these itineraries or one of them in more depth. However, you plan your future road trip, you’ll have a fabulous time.
Mount Juliet Estate – Fishing & Horse Riding
As you approach the magnificent property of Mount Juliet Estate, you know you are in for a treat. Over 500 acres of magnificent parklands, rivers and pastures as you drive to the main Georgian Manor house, it’s a feast of the senses and the perfect setting for you to get set for your first Kilkenny adventure. Whether you are a beginner rider, or have only ridden a handful of times then deciding to go horse riding at Mount Juliet Estate is a fantastic way to improve your confidence with horses. Here you can explore bridleways, learn the basics or riding, improve on your existing skills or simply blow the cobwebs away on their cross country course.
The wonderful Mount Juliet Equestrian Centre is one of the most impressive centres in the country with two arenas, an American barn, and show jumps. From trekking and trail-riding excursions, to exhilarating cross-country course and miles of bridal-ways sprawl out into the surrounding pastures, parkland and pastures both within and beyond the estate.
Mount Juliet also gives visitors the chance to learn more about the horses themselves by joining their morning rounds at 8am daily or at feeding times at 4.30pm each day, and also offers both group and individual lessons for both beginners and experienced riders.
Fishing at Mount Juliet Estate
While at Mount Juliet, why not combine your equestrian with your fishing skills! Mount Juliet is home to two significant rivers within its walls: the famous River Nore and its tributary, the King’s River. Both rivers have plentiful catches of salmon and wild brown trout, through the years. Fishing at Mount Juliet Estate can be arranged from break of dawn until darkness falls: for a day, an afternoon or a few quiet hours in the evening. They offer lessons and expert help for those who are less familiar with the mysteries of the rod and fly and can even coach complete beginners.
Lyrath Estate - Falconry & Spa
Located just outside Kilkenny City, Lyrath is set on 170 acres of magnificent emerald woodlands and historic gardens. A visit to Lyrath is not complete without taking a Hawkeye falconry experience. Here you will be taught how to fly a trained raptor. The falconry experience is one of the most hands on experiences in Ireland’s Ancient East. You will have the opportunity to hold and examine these exquisite creatures up close and learn how to beckon the hawk to return to you after it has departed for the trees. You will set off for your Hawk Walk with a Falconer. Here, you will take primary control of the hawk, calling it to your gloved forearm to make it a true nature adventure.
After all that exertion with your new found feathered friend, it’s time to unwind in Lyraths award-winning Oasis Spa. Relax, rejuvenate, and refresh as you enjoy some of the Spa’s extensive range of luxury spa treatments from exclusive signature treatments developed by Kerstin Florian to the popular Elemis skin specific facial. The hotel also has an affinity pool and hot-tub to ensure you benefit from all the luxurious physical therapy you need!
Kilkenny Rivercourt & Shenanigans
Capture the spirit of Kilkenny and enjoy an overnight in the award winning four star Rivercourt Hotel in the heart of Kilkenny city. Overlooked by the magnificent Kilkenny Castle and situated on the bank of the River Nore, this is the perfect location to soak in the heritage sights and cultural gems of Kilkenny. Home of the award winning Riverside Restaurant and Terrace Kitchen the Hotel is a guest’s culinary dream, or if weather permits, you even dine al fresco by the water’s edge during the warmer months whilst enjoying unrivalled views of the city sights.
After your overnight why not bring some laughter into your day and embark on a humorous guided tour with Shenanigans. This Kilkenny City Walk, is an amusing way to journey across historic Kilkenny City. Fun for all the family, experience a blend of comedy, magic and history and enjoy a jolly jaunt tracing the fascinating medieval mile on this tour.
Meet Nevin Cody, a man of merriment and mischief and your Kilkenny tour guide. Join this professional magician and entertainer who is an expert storyteller and hear insights about this mesmerizing city.
With a city full of cultural heritage as your canvas, discover the secrets and stories of the beautiful Kilkenny Castle, Rothe House and Gardens, St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower and the mysterious Kyteler’s Inn (home of the famous Kilkenny Witch).
Kilkenny Ormonde & Kilkenny Cycling Tours
The Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel is the ideal hub to explore the wonder of Kilkenny and its environs. The Ormonde has 118 contemporary styled hotel guestrooms including family hotel rooms and suites. The Hoban Bar and Brasserie offers stylish hospitality and serves great drinks and relaxed food in glamorous surroundings and in addition the Savour Restaurant is the perfect spot for breakfast before you kick-start your next outdoor adventure!
After a full breakfast, it’s time to explore the City on bike!! What better way to see all the side-streets and sights while beating the traffic! Visit all of the main tourist attractions with Kilkenny Cycling Tours, as well as some hidden gems. If you’re just visiting Kilkenny for a short time, this cycling tour of medieval Kilkenny is the best way to discover all of the historical attractions in a fun, casual, yet educational way. They use river bank cycle paths along the River Nore and backstreets so there’s no need to worry about traffic. This tour covers about 10km in total. They also offer a ‘Sunset’ Cycling Tour that takes place every evening during the Summer!