Let’s escape to the countryside in Irelands Ancient East..
Try the country lifestyle for your family break in Kilkenny and choose from one of the cosy, family friendly self-catering or B&B options spread throughout the county. To kick start your holiday why not try the beautifully quant Graiguenamanagh or Inistioge, upon your arrival take a stroll along the River Barrow followed by a visit to the local supermarkets and butchers for locally produced and sourced meat, vegetables, fruit and bread to create a delicious family meal by the fire and don’t forget to stock up for breakfast too!
Rise and shine nice and early, set off on your day armed with a picnic and head towards Graiguenamanagh where many stories and tales of Irelands Ancient East await you.
Choose from two wheels or two paddles! Rent a bike or take a canoeing/kayaking trip down the River Barrow or why not challenge everyones energy levels and try both.!
The Barrow river towpath makes an excellent cycling greenway that gives visitors miles of safe, traffic free adventure in the beautiful countryside. Nip down to St. Mullins and stop for coffee, juice and cake at the fantastic Mullichain Café. Alternatively cycle the narrow roads to the incredible arboretum at Woodstock Garden’s.
On the way back to drop off the bikes, find one of many scenic spots along the way and make a pit stop for some family snacks.
1.00pm – 5.00pm
Saddle up at Mount Juliet Estate, one of Ireland’s finest country houses and well established Equestrian centres in Co. Kilkenny. Explore the expansive 500 acre grounds as you trek around the estate on one of their beautiful horses with your guide who can fill you in on the history and stories of the estate. For those of you who are a little more nervous of our equine friends you can start off with a lesson or alternatively, keep your feet on solid ground and head to the green for a round of golf.
Having worked up an appetite we strongly recommend dining in one of three restaurants at Mount Juliet Estate for a flavoursome experience you will not forget.
Making your way back to your accommodation, pick up some food for dinner in one of the many deli's, restaurants or shops and spend the evening cuddled up by the fire sharing your stories from the day, maybe even break out a deck of cards or a boardgame. With the kids safely tucked up in bed and if you are lucky enough to source a babysitter, be sure to make your way to the local pub for some traditional music and our world famous ‘Ceol agus Craic’.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast in Thomastown where you can choose from a selection of traditional Café’s, serving freshly baked goods each morning.
10.00am - Jerpoint Park
Head further south to visit the 12th Century Jerpoint Park and let the children run around and explore the estate. This time the family get to take in some of Kilkenny’s fascinating history as your tour guide Joe uncovers the secrets of the ‘Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint’. In addition to exploring St Nicholas Tomb, make sure to catch a demonstration of Joe's famed sheepdog herding geese.
12noon – 4.00pm
Time to start travelling north towards Bennettsbridge where you will find Nore Valley Park and Farm, a must for the kids, the open farm is filled with fun for the whole family. Kids can interact with and cuddle the farm animals, feed the baby lambs or tour the farm by tractor and trailer. The children’s playground, straw bounce and sand pit keep the little ones entertained while older children can enjoy crazy golf, race pedal go-karts and have fun in the barnyard maze. Enjoy a picnic on the farm grounds or sample some tasty treats and home-baking provided by the park.
Time to head north for the bright lights of Medieval Kilkenny city and treat yourself to a delicious dinner in one of Kilkenny's many award winning restaurants.
Experience the Medieval Tales of Kikenny
Start your morning with a leisurely breakfast, followed by a visit to some of Kilkenny’s MUST SEE Medieval themed attractions. Depending on the age of your children and to keep everyone entertained we recommend the below list of attractions for families.
Medieval Themed Attractions
- Kilkenny Castle
- Medieval Mile Museum
- Rothe House and Gardens
- St Canice’s Cathedral (climb to the top of our round tower for an exhilarating experience!)
Kick start your morning with a visit to the 12th Century Kilkenny Castle, overlooking the River Nore. Explore both wings of the castle which were restored to their 19th Century splendour and don’t forget to soak up a little culture with a visit to The Butler Art Gallery.
Top tip: Don’t miss a guided tour with Frank Kavanagh. You’re guaranteed to hear stories and secrets from an outstanding guide full of wit, charm and a deep knowledge of Kilkenny’s history
Having explored Kilkenny Castle, take a stroll along the medieval mile or why not hop on one of Kilkenny's tourist trains known as the Castle Express or Kilkenny City Tours. Stop off at Kilkenny's newest attraction, the Medieval Mile Museum where stories of Kilkenny's powerful patrons and inspired creators are told through the monuments and artefacts left behind. Next stop, visit Rothe House and Gardens, where you will see the magnificent 17th Century Irish merchant’s townhouse, built in 1594, consisting of three houses with courtyards, a collection of artefacts from Kilkenny’s past and a reconstructed 17th century walled garden with lots of space for the kids to run around in the fresh air.
After a stroll around the gardens, finish off your Medieval experience by climbing the steps to St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower for a bird’s eye view of Kilkenny city.
Enjoy a round of family Footgolf at Pococke Golf Centre, Ireland’s newest and coolest sports game combining two of the world’s most popular sports, football and golf. Compete with your nearest and dearest as you take on an 18-hole golf course using a football.
Alternatively, you can walk in the footsteps of Kilkenny’s hurling legends by trying the game yourself with the Kilkenny Hurling Way. Learn the skills as our top coaches put you to the test, while learning the history of the most successful hurling team in Ireland.
Mix things up by treating the kids to delicious Woodfire Pizza while mum and dad get to experience Kilkenny’s newest city centre home brew, Sullivan's. Sullivan’s Brewing Company opened its doors to a brand new and incredibly atmospheric Taprooms in August 2016, serving the finest of Woodfire Pizza’a and traditionally inspired Kilkenny beers, resurrecting a malting Red Ale in its rightful home.
Always’s popular, KBowl – 10 Pin Bowling is a fantastic activity to keep all ages entertained. Adults can relax and unwind on comfortable leather seating areas with a selection of refreshments. Don’t be afraid to show us your best STRIKE!
It’s been a jam-packed couple of days full of Kilkenny’s fascinating history, stories, ancient ruins and lots of fun! Now it’s time to take the morning off to truly enjoy breakfast at your own leisure while taking a swim and even treating yourself to a facial or body massage while the kids lap up the leisure facilities at your hotel.
Explore the popular shopping scene in Kilkenny with Mac Donagh Junction Shopping Centre, Market Cross Shopping Centre or try some of our unique vintage stores such as The Wardrobe Kilkenny and Folkster Kilkenny, who have featured on TV and magazines worldwide, including Company, Vogue Japan and Elle – worn by stylish folk like Angela Scanlon, Amy Huberman, Vogue Williams and more!
Alternatively, take a trip to Castlecomer Discovery Park, a simple twenty-minute drive north of Kilkenny city. Explore 80 acres of lush green woodlands, visit the fascinating multi-media mining museum, splash about in the peddle boats and if you are brave enough try Ireland’s longest over water Zipline and tree top climb at Castlecomer Discovery Park. If heights are not your thing then find yourself vanishing into the world of creative arts and crafts as you explore the beautiful craft yard including jewlers, potters and much more.
Grab a late lunch or some light snacks at Mochas Vintage Tea Rooms opposite MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre (on Gashouse Lane), try the very well-known Tea Rooms at Langton’s House or pop across to Billy Byrnes where you will find an alternative outdoor space, featuring the Bula Bus and a chill out zone.
Return to the hotel to powder your nose and glam up for a night at the Watergate Theatre, where most of Kilkenny’s theatre shows and events take place throughout the year. Treat yourself and the kids to an incredible last super at many wonderful restaurants and bars to celebrate the end of an amazing trip.