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Kilkenny’s Top Heritage Attractions to visit on your Staycation

Medieval Mile Museum

The blend of heritage, arts and culture has always been very much alive in Kilkenny, as tourist attractions re-open around the city and county, daycationers can once again come and experience the heritage sites in the Medieval City. Whether it’s family days out and escape from the every day humdrum or a journey of discovery you are after, Kilkenny has it all this summer! Here Visit Kilkenny gives you a flavour of just some of the attractions you can now visit:

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Butler Gallery

Butler Gallery re-opened its doors last year in an exciting new location, the gallery re-located to the historic Evans’ Home in Kilkenny City.  Built in 1818, Evan’s House was originally the site of a 12th Century Augustinian priory and later the Anglican church of St John Evans. The site of Butler Gallery has a long and diverse history spanning over 800 years and it remains one of Kilkenny’s most iconic and historic locations today. 

The new location allows for highlights from the Butler Gallery Collection to be exhibited in a contemporary new double-height exhibition space – known as ‘The  O’Malley wing’. And for those looking for some refreshments, the gallery now has a welcome addition of the ‘Muse’ café located on the ground floor serving fresh, seasonal and homemade produce to enjoy indoors or outside in the gardens. Butler Gallery is free to visit and is open six days a week. 

For Information: www.butlergallery.ie

Reopening: Tuesday 11th May

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Medieval Mile Museum

Start your Kilkenny journey of discovery at the Medieval Mile Museum and immerse yourself in 800 years of history. Learn how the High Crosses were made, what their engravings represent and the stories that they tell. The Medieval Mile Museum has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors through its doors, sharing Kilkenny’s stories with people from all over the world and have hosted evening events and weddings giving local and international visitors the chance to experience this amazing building and its treasures. Perhaps most gratifying has been the huge increase in younger visitors, thanks to their exclusive LEGO® Minifigure Hunt. Characters from the middle ages have been joined by wizards and witches from Hogwarts and even Jedi Knights from the Star Wars universe. The LEGO® Hunt has given families hours of fun in the museum.

Tours have been described as ‘legendary’, a ‘must visit’ on your travels! Currently rated 5* and #3 of ‘Things to Do in Kilkenny’ on TripAdvisor. Tours include a complimentary Audio-Guide, with the option of downloading the Audio-Tour straight to your mobile device.

For more information: www.medievalmilemuseum.ie 

Reopening: Friday 28th May

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Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle is the jewel in the crown of the enchanting Medieval City. No visit to Kilkenny is complete without visiting the world famous Castle. Few buildings in Ireland can boast a longer history of continuous occupation than Kilkenny Castle. Built in the twelfth century, Kilkenny Castle was the principal seat of the Butlers, earls, marquesses and dukes of Ormond for almost 600 years. Visitors can choose to explore the ancestral home of the Butler family with either a self guided visit or a guided tour. The visit of the Castle includes the dining room, Victorian nursery and the picture gallery with its hand painted hammer beam roof.

Kilkenny Castle Parkland comprises of an incredible 21 hectares of land providing the ideal spot for a picnic no matter how big the family are!!  The park also has woodland walks & a superb children’s playground with swings, slides, bridges and benches for adults too and is open until 8.30 pm during the summer. Don’t forget to visit the Rose Garden which is magnificent in the summer months! 

For more information: www.kilkennycastle.ie

Reopening: Monday 10th May

Medium Rothe House Kilkenny

Rothe House and Garden

A visit to Rothe House is high on the list of things to do in the Medieval City and one of Ireland’s true hidden gems. The property on a burgage plot is the only one of its type open to the public in Ireland.

Rothe House is a unique Tudor merchant’s townhouse, built between 1594 and 1610. The property comprises of three houses, three enclosed courtyards and a large garden to the rear. It was once the home of the wealthy merchant and politician John Rothe Fitzpiers. To accommodate his growing family he built the three-house complex one behind the other, with cobbled courtyards in between for his wife Rose Archer and their eleven children between 1594 and 1610.

To the rear is a half-acre garden that runs all the way back to the City Wall.  Wander and explore at your leisure; view the magnificent architecture, step through cobbled courtyards and take in the relaxed atmosphere of our extensive garden.

For more information: www.rothehouse.com

#moretoexplore for Heritage this summer in Kilkenny!