We know Kilkenny is the best city in Ireland (though we may be a bit biased on this) but every now and again we like to get out of the Marble City and stretch our legs. Here are our suggestions for great day trips to do from the city.
Our first suggestion isn’t too far away from us. Famed for its glass-blowing and pottery, Thomastown contains Ireland's best surviving example of a deserted 12th-century Medieval town, Jerpoint. Another of its lovely landmarks is Kilfane Glen, a restored 1790s romantic garden with waterfall, woodland walks and a pretty cottage. For such a small town, there is a lot of history to enjoy here.
Castlecomer is a quaint country area which was once a coal-mining town. As well as the cute cafes and pubs, one of the biggest attractions is Castlecomer Discovery Park, an 80-acre park that has loads of fun activities to entertain both kids and adults alike. You could spend a day discovering the great outdoors and go on hikes, walks and trails or you could sign yourself up for one of their exciting activities such as zip-lining or canoeing.
Graiguenamanagh is a picturesque town on the banks of the River Barrow at the foot of Brandon Hill. Nestled in the Barrow Valley, the area is full of the joys of nature and there are many walks and trails that highlight the beauty of the area. You can take a guided heritage trail to see where the Cistercian Monks landed and set up in 1204 and walk right through to more recent history in the town. If you fancied a longer trek, you could also walk along the river and the border between Kilkenny and Carlow to reach St. Mullins, another charming little town.
Ireland's oldest city is next on our list. Did you know Waterford was founded by Vikings in 914 A.D.? Or that part of the wall of the original settlement is still visible? Although we are sworn hurling rivals, we would not hesitate to recommend Waterford as a day trip destination. As well as the beautiful medieval city and towers, pay a trip to the world-famous Waterford Crystal factory to take home a true piece of Ireland.
Another historically significant county in Ireland, Wexford has some of Irelands most romantic and beautiful beaches in the whole country. Go for a walk, feel the sand between your toes and if the weather is good enough go for a refreshing dip in the Irish Sea. Make sure you make time to visit Hook Lighthouse "the world's flashiest lighthouse", and keep an eye out for whales! Don’t forget to try some absolutely delicious Wexford Strawberries while you are here as you won’t find any sweeter.
Aspect Hotel Kilkenny is an ideal base to stay when exploring Kilkenny and its surrounds. Our comfortable rooms and ideal location come at very reasonable rates and you are always guaranteed the best price when you book direct.