Vacation rentals in Kilkenny
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Your guide to Kilkenny
All About Kilkenny
The medieval town of Kilkenny sits on the River Nore, midway between Ireland’s two biggest cities of Dublin to the north and Cork to the south. Home to one of the most famous Irish landmarks, the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny offers a glimpse into the Middle Ages, its ancient walls and historic sites contrasting with vibrant restaurants, independent shops, and golf courses. The town is a hub of Irish art and crafts: the Butler Gallery is a significant arts center and museum with wildflower and sculpture gardens, while works by members of the Crafts Council of Ireland are on display at the National Design & Craft Gallery.
Outside of town, tranquil woodland trails meander through Kilfane Glen and its picturesque waterfall and landscaped gardens, which date from the late 18th century. Closer to home, hikers can set off on the Nore Valley Walk, which connects Kilkenny to the village of Bennettsbridge via rolling countryside and riverside scenery.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kilkenny?
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kilkenny is from June to August, when you can expect pleasant temperatures and ideal conditions for country walks and exploring the region’s many castles. Spring and fall are ideal times to visit if you’re keen to have more of Kilkenny to yourself without braving colder temperatures. Winter is the second-busiest season, but be prepared for chilly days and cold nights — you’ll need warm layers and sturdy footwear to take on stone steps in the town’s ancient buildings.
The 10-day Kilkenny Arts Festival has been drawing visitors to the city each August since the 1970s. A packed program of events spans music, author readings, art installations, poetry, and dance performances at indoor and outdoor venues.
What are the top things to do in Kilkenny?
Kilkenny Castle sits in the heart of town and is open to visitors throughout the year, offering magnificent gardens, woodland paths, a terraced rose garden, and a lake. Visitors can wander through 50 acres of parkland before refueling at the site’s popular tearoom. Inside, highlights include a spectacular carved marble fireplace and the building’s visible medieval foundations.
Cathedral Church of St Canice
Minutes from the town’s imposing castle, the 13th-century St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower is one of the oldest structures in Kilkenny. The site has been a place of worship since the 6th century, and you can climb the 100-foot tower to get an incredible view of the town and surrounding countryside. If your visit coincides with a musical performance or choir practice, make sure you soak in the building’s natural acoustics.
Medieval Mile Museum
Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile is an all-ages discovery trail that connects St Canice’s Cathedral to the Anglo-Norman castle, taking in many sites along the way. The Medieval Mile Museum sits in a former 13th-century church, where you can take interactive tours to learn about Kilkenny’s 800 years of history. The museum is a treasure trove of historical artifacts, including Renaissance-era tombs.