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5 Ways To Unwind in Kilkenny

Getting away from it all can be just the antidote to our stressful lives. Whether you escape with the girls or your other half, there is no shortage of fun and relaxing things to do in Kilkenny. We've picked out just five. Get ready to de-stress!

Rewind the clock at Kilkenny’s Mint Spa

Kilkenny’s Mint Spa is a bubble of serenity. Unwind with the pure indulgence of the Dermalogica facial or body treatment. Rewind with the two-hour Mineral and Crystal Elixir Indulgence package, which harnesses the power of anti-aging gem stones and black diamonds, making you look and feel instantly rejuvenated!

On a practical note, the spa which is located in the Pembroke Hotel, right in the city centre, is well known for waxing, tanning and nails.

  • Late opening Thursday and Friday nights, and open Sunday upon request.
  • Bookings are a must.

Don your Nikes for a hike

The walking trail which bridges Thomastown and Inistioge is a must-do for anyone wanting to spend a couple of hours unwinding in nature, catching up with friends and enjoying the stunning scenery outside of Kilkenny city. The trail takes you past the ruins of Dysart Castle, the glorious Georgian Ballyduff House; and into Brownsbarn Wood where you can follow a grassy riverside track for picture-perfect views of the 10-arch bridge in idyllic Inistioge which opens up ahead of you.

  • At just over 10km, the trail is a moderate 2-3 hours walk.
  • Starting in Thomastown, go south across the bridge and follow the green arrows to the Thomastown GAA pitch. Follow the border to reach the start of the trail.
  • In Inistioge, start at the village square and turn left along the riverbank.

Laugh out loud at Edward Hayden's School of Cookery

For those who appreciate good food, a bit of fun and cheeky entertainment, a cookery course with celebrity chef Edward Hayden is a must do! Get creative with barbecue favourites and simple suppers for easy entertaining of friends. Choose from a number of classes, which not only teach you new recipes and cooking tips, but provide an afternoon of fun in doing so!

  • Located in rural Kilkenny in Graiguenamanagh.
  • All classes are demonstration style classes, unless otherwise specified but group dining options and bespoke classes may be arranged.

Gone shoppin'

Spend a morning exploring Kilkenny City’s charming laneways and cobble-stoned streets, lined with original boutiques selling fashion, accessories and gifts. Tiffany Shoe Boutique is an Aladdin’s Cave of shoes, hand bags, fascinators and hats in every colour, and Butterslip Lane is full of colourful ideas and wild notions in the form of jewellery and accessories, homeware, wedding décor and signage. This is the spot for quirky gift ideas and those wonderful finds that you know you can’t get anywhere else. Whether you go solo or with friends, a browse around Kilkenny’s shops is an indulgence you owe yourself!

One of the best things about shopping in Kilkenny is that you can do it all on foot.

Michelin and me

Dinner in the opulent Lady Helen restaurant at Mount Juliet Estate is a must-do if you’re looking for a luxurious treat. The menu is crafted using local ingredients – very local – much of them coming from the estate’s very own kitchen garden, herb garden and farm. Alternatively, indulge in some scones and macarons with a glass of Prosecco or Pimms over afternoon tea in the Manor House.

  • Lady Helen is open for dinner from Tuesday through to Saturday.
  • Afternoon Tea at the Manor House is available 1 – 5pm.