You have arrived in Kilkenny, so whether you’re in town for a couple’s getaway, weekend with your pals or to explore the outdoors while the weather is still mild enough, we’ve got you covered. Kilkenny is anything you want to make of it and more. So prepare yourself for some of the best outdoor adventures, picnics, unique outdoor culture, and of course, amazing dining. We’ve put together an itinerary of the highlights of Kilkenny outdoors so you don’t miss a thing!
After you check into one of the many Kilkenny’s city centre hotels, you will get the feeling that there is no time to waste in this City. So kick off your afternoon with a guided cycling tour of the city with Kilkenny Cycling Tours, here you can hire bikes or take a two hour guided tour of the city while getting a unique view of the sights on two wheels.
After that cycle, how does a ‘Trendy Warehouse setting for well-manicured and presented beer and pizza sound’? Well, this is how one TripAdvisor visitor described our next stop, the Taproom! Try pairing the Red Ale with the pepperoni or meaty or vegetarian pizzas. Make no mistake, this place has a 300 year old history of brewing its own beer, so take full advantage of this great eatery.
Gardens and Afternoon Tea
If you want to soak in the history and culture of the city, a visit to Butler House & Gardens is the perfect way to unwind as your stroll around the manicured gardens in the medieval city. Butler House & Gardens is a real sanctuary in the city and is the charming Dower House of Kilkenny Castle since 1786. This unique House in Kilkenny brings history, charm, romance and a warm welcome to all who visit.
Enjoy the magnificent gardens followed by afternoon tea in an historic setting with the splendour of the large bay windows.
Never does a name conjure up the smell of freshly ground coffee, delicious croissants, blueberry pancakes, as Café la Coco does! From freshly made sandwiches, organic salads and much more. Located in the heart of Kilkenny Café la Coco is also vegan and gluten free friendly.
Take a Boat Ride
A 30-minute boat trip is good way to appreciate the city of Kilkenny, and in particular the Castle from the water. Boattrips.ie run idyllic tours through the city where you can learn the fascinating history from your guide all while passing the river wildlife and of course, spotting Kingfishers as you sail. You’ll also pass under some of Kilkenny’s most iconic bridges, so get your camera phones at the ready for a snapshot or two!
Grab a Snack
And if all that fresh air has worked up an appetite, then a stop to Aran is a must. Famed for their freshly made sourdough breads, Aran will set you up for the afternoon, try their renowned John Joe’s breakfast sandwich or range of delicious vegetarian sandwiches.
Practice the Ancient Sport of Kings
Enjoy an up close and personal outdoor experience like no other and meet some magnificent birds of prey at Hawkeye Falconry. Try your hand at this ancient sport of Kings and get the opportunity to handle these marvellous creatures. Learn to let them fly into the surrounding countryside from your gloved hand and return to feed. Falconry can be experienced at both Lyrath Estate and Mount Juliet Estate in Kilkenny.
Dine With the Locals
It’s time to head back to city and experience an award winning gastro pub at Paris Texas! Home to an in-house wood smoking oven offering a fusion of traditional American South West favourites with the sophistication of New Orleans French Quarter.Paris Texas delivers restaurant quality food at affordable prices ensuring its popularity with local and visitors alike.
Life’s a Picnic
Unpack the chequered blanket, it’s time for a picnic. However, you may not have the facilities to make endless sandwiches at a kitchen counter, so why not order a take-out picnic from Face2. Located in the city, Face2 offer a gourmet al-fresco dining experience where you can order and collect your gourmet picnic box and take it to one of Kilkenny’s best picnic spots.
There is no better picnic location than the 80 acre, Castlecomer Discovery Park. Just 20 minute drive from the City, the park has woodlands, walking trails and endless adventure activities for the young and old including archery and Ireland’s longest zip line.
Put on your walking boots and enjoy a forest walk in Castlecomer. Breath in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery across the wonderfully restored leisure lakes. There is a choice of waymarked walking loops which include the 1.5km Ladies Walk, the Arboretum Walk (2km), the Captain’s Walk (4km) and the Ardra Loop