County Kilkenny is in Southeast Ireland in the province of Leinster. It is a land locked county, surounded by the counties of Carlow, Laois, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary. It has a population of 87,500.
- Kilkenny - The capital city of County Kilkenny is an attractive medieval town. It is home to the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, held annually in early June.
- Ballyragget - small town really off the tourist trail. It has a nice square and a fine Roman Catholic church just behind the square.
- Callan - Check out The Moat, a great example of a Motte-and-bailey. Or visit the childhood home of Edmund Rice, the founder of the Irish Christian Brothers.
- Castlecomer - The main town in north Kilkenny. Coal was mined here for over 300 years. Visit Castlecomer Discover Park and Footprints in Coal Experience to learn more.
- Mooncoin - A beautiful town near Waterford City, made famous by the song "The Rose of Mooncoin".
- Thomastown - On the river Nore, this town is famous for Jerpoint Abbey, Kilfane Glen gardens, and Mount Juliet Golf Course.
- Graignamanagh - Home of Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh is a popular place for walking and hillclimbing. The town itself is very pretty.
- Inistioge - a beautiful little village on the river Nore. It was the setting for the film "Circle of Friends". It has a lovely square. It also has an impressive multi span stone bridge. Just above the village, are Woodstock Gardens, which are being restored to period 1840 - 1890.
- Piltown - the only place in Ireland to see battle in the Wars of the Roses. A pretty village famous for its "Tower" also known as Sham Castle.
- Brandon Hill, Graiguenamanagh. The highest mountain in County Kilkenny is an easy climb of 515m(1,6790ft). At the top there great views of the surrounding counties. There is a cairn, an old cross and a plaque pointing out the features in the surrounding landscape.
- Jenkinstown Park (10km north of Kilkenny, 11km south of Castlecomer, off N78.). The forested park is a nice place for a walk or a picnic. There are deer and some rare trees. During April the forest is carpeted by bluebells. It was once part of the Bryan-Bellew Estate, of which castle ruins and walls can still be seen. Thomas Moore wrote The Last Rose of Summer while staying at Jenkinstown House. Free.
Heritage Ireland Sites
There are four Heritage Ireland Sites in County Kilkenny. These sites are maintained by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. A heritage card, which is valid for a year costs: adult €21, senior citizen €16, student €8, family €55.
- Jerpoint Abbey, Thomastown. Built in the 12th Century. It is Ireland's finest Cistercian monastic ruin with a magnificently sculptured cloister arcade. Includes visitor and exhibition centre.
- Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny. This stunning Norman Castle, which is the dominant feature in the city, is its principal attraction. Its huge forested gardens are beautiful to walk during the day.
- Dunmore Caves, Dunmore, Co. Kilkenny (10km from Kilkenny city, off the N78), ☎ , fax: +353 56 776-7262, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9:30-17:00 (15:00 Nov-Feb, 18:00 Mid Jun-Mid Sept). The show cave is incredibly well developed and is a wonder to walk around. €2.90 Adult, €1.30 Child.
- St. Mary's Church, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 28th May - 16th Sept: Daily 09:30-18:00. A 13th century church.
Kilkenny Tourist Office is located on Rose Inn St, in Kilkenny City. It has lots of information about the city and county.
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Kilkenny is in the centre of The Sunny South East. It has the most extreme climate in Ireland mainly because it is not affected by the sea, but don't get too worried. The highest recorded temperature ever was 33.3°C. There is on average, 4 days of snow a year.
- Kilkenny People. Weekly paper, out Wednesday. This is the largest selling newspaper in the South East. Covers Kilkenny city and county, with news, sports, property and entertainment listings. James Joyce referred to this paper in Ulysses.
Kilkenny is served by one local radio station, which also serves Carlow. 96FM has news on the hour.
All the stations in County Kilkenny are on the Dublin - Waterford line, which serves Dublin, Athy, Carlow, Bagenalstown, Kilkenny. Thomastown and Waterford. There are 6 trains a day in each direction.
The railway stations in or near County Kilkenny are:
- Kilkenny Railway Station (MacDonagh Station), ☎ .
- Thomastown Railway Station, Station Road, Thomastown, ☎ .
- Waterford Railway Station (Plunkett Station), ☎ .
- Muine Bheag Train Station (Bagenalstown Train Station). This station is not in County Kilkenny, but just over the border, 4km away, in County Carlow.
Tickets and timetable information can be got at the stations, online or by phone (01 7034070 between 09.00-17.00 Monday-Friday).
- Walk the South Leinster Way. This is a walk that covers 102km(64miles) from Kildavin, Co Carlow to Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. It passes through medieval towns and ancient sites, river valleys, forests and by the slopes of Mount Leinster.
Golf is very popular in Kilkenny.
- Callan Golf Club, Geraldine, Callan, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An 18-hole course established in 1929.
- Castlecomer Golf Club, Dromgoole, Castlecomer, ☎ .
- Kilkenny Golf Course, Glendine, ☎ , fax: +353 56 772-3593, e-mail: email@example.com. A members owned 18-hole golf course. Can rent clubs. Green fees €25-45.
- Mount Juliet Golf Course (20 minutes from Kilkenny). This golf course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is one of the top golf courses in the country. It often holds international golf tournments. Green fees €70-150.
- Mountain View Golf Club, Kiltorcan, Ballyhale (South of Ballyhale on the main Dublin-Waterford Road (N9)), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MacGabhainns Backpackers Hostel, 24 Vicar Street, ☎ . Best Hostel in south-east, Small comfy dorm all Ensuite 15.
Kilkenny is famous for two beers - the Kilkenny beer and the Smithwicks ale, famous the world over as the distinct taste. Why not try them on your visit to the County?
Kilkenny Castle is a wonderful place to visit if you are on foot in the city, if you have transport be sure to visit Inistioge a quaint and beautiful village about 30 minutes from Kilkenny City set on the banks of the river Nore. It was used in the making of various films such as Circle of Friends and Widows Peak
- The Rock of Cashel in Tipperary was the seat of the Kings of Munster for hundreds of years. There are runes of a Cathedral and a round tower on the rock.
- If the weather is nice, why not have a day at the beach at Dunmore East, Tramore or Courtown?