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Kilkenny – so much to explore within walking distance

Kilkenny is a richly historic place with a warm welcome and the promise of an unrivalled experience that resonates long after leaving. It is also the perfect city to explore on foot! There are a number of tour guides to take you exploring throughout the beautiful county and to immerse you in a richness of salacious tales and scintillating stories from Medieval times.

Experienced guides such as Frank Kavanagh of Frank’s Medieval Tours and Pat Tynan of Pat Tynan’s Kilkenny Walking Tours are gatekeepers of legends and will enthrall you  with Kilkenny’s magnificent and magical history while rambling through the winding laneways.

Kilkenny Cycling Tours are also on hand for a whistle-stop tour of Kilkenny’s  fascinating landmarks.

Stop by Kilkenny’s famous Medieval Mile. As Ireland’s best preserved medieval city, the mile captures 800 years of history and hosts renowned and hidden gems, from the magnificent Castle and the enchanting Rothe Gardens to St. Canice’s Cathedral and the Hole in the Wall. This is a city shrouded in tales of superstition and subterfuge. For the brave, grab the opportunity to climb St. Canice’s round tower which at 30m, is one of only three climbable towers in Ireland.

 

Explore captivating landmarks such as Shee Alms House, the Tholsel or ‘Town Hall‘ as the locals call it, or drop into the magnificent Medieval Mile Museum. Venture down the Butter Slip and Market Slip to meet Kilkenny’s infamous ‘Dame Alice Kyteler’ in Kyteler’s Inn on a ghostly walking tour. You can even try a medieval meal in Petronella, which is named after the unfortunate maid to Dame Alice who was burned at the stake as a witch.

 

Ramble from the City Gate to City Wall and take in the Black Abbey, Rothe House or St. Canice’s Cathedral, wrapping up with a truly wonderful walk in the extensive parkland at Kilkenny Castle.

 

If macabre is your thing, try a late night spine tingling stroll or if you’re a little foot weary, hop on a city train to bring you on twisty laneways and point out the many medieval features. For an alternative tour, check out Shenanigans for a blend of comedy, magic, history and whimsical fun on a jolly jaunt sharing fun facts and a good dollop of irreverent humour, craíc and mischief.

 

 

Explore

In this article

Frank’s Medieval Tours

Kilkenny Ghost Tours

Kytelers Inn

Hole in the Wall

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Cycling Tours

Kilkenny Medieval Mile Tours

Petronella Restaurant

Rothe House & Garden

Tynan Walking Tours

Shenanigans The Kilkenny City Walk

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Castle Curiosities

Medieval Magic in Kilkenny

Outdoor Experiences in Kilkenny

Frank’s Medieval Tours

Frank is known to many for once being the topic of conversation at a lunch in Buckingham Palace and to others for throwing an academy award winning actor out of Kilkenny Castle… now that's impressive!! Frank Kavanagh is without a doubt Kilkenny's NO.1 Fan and certainly one of the most familiar faces of Kilkenny, known to many as one of Kilkenny's longest serving tour guides. Story telling for Frank is about connecting to other people and helping people to see what you see. Frank's passionate and friendly tours of Kilkenny Castle and the surrounding historic Kilkenny sites incorporates history, culture and humour with his own personal tales and ghost stories. Franks true character and personality shines with each and every step he takes through the Medieval capital of Ireland, making him a household name to the people of Kilkenny…..

Kilkenny Ghost Tours

Rose Inn Street, Kilkenny

085 1706978

[email protected]

kilkennyghosttours.com/

This one of a kind ghost tour takes you through the medieval capital of Ireland. Kilkenny with its narrow cobbled lanes, remnants of its city walls and with its mystic charm, it should be no surprise that Kilkenny is bursting with tales of the paranormal. Its people have told stories for generations, handed down to become far more than hearsay. Kilkenny’s ghostly tales all have one very important thing in common they are all based around fact and arise from genuine historic tragedies.

Kytelers Inn

Kieran Street, Kilkenny

056 7721064

[email protected]

kytelersinn.com/

Kyteler's Inn is a truly historic venue dating back to 1324 with an intriguing background - but you will have to visit to hear the whole story of witches & poisoned husbands! The building houses four bars over three floors with a great tradition for Music and is currently named IRISH MUSIC BAR AWARD WINNER. The Menu in Kyteler's reflects local, Irish produce and fare served with local beers - Kilkenny, Smithwicks Ale & Pale Ale amongst others.

Hole in the Wall

17 High Street (rear), Kilkenny

[email protected]

holeinthewall.ie/

The Hole in the Wall, Kilkenny's renowned 16th century tavern. It is housed in the oldest surviving townhouse in Ireland - the 1582 Archer Inner House, 17 High St. Fully restored over the past 10 years the Elizabethan building with its tavern, snug and Archer room are now open to visitors for the first time in hundreds of years. Tours currently take place on the weekends and evenings that describe the story of the house against the backdrop of the complex history of political and religious change in Kilkenny over the past 400 years.

Kilkenny Castle

The Parade, Kilkenny

056 7704100

[email protected]

kilkennycastle.ie

Go back in time to a 12th Century castle, remodelled and restored and set in 1830's splendour and extensive parklands: includes art gallery and playground. Publications are also on sale. Access for visitors with disabilities to ground floor and the gardens only.

Kilkenny Cycling Tours

15 John Street, Kilkenny

086 8954961

[email protected]

kilkennycyclingtours.com/

Kilkenny Cycling Tours offers you the opportunity to visit historical and cultural sites around Kilkenny including Kilkenny Castle, The Kilkenny Design Centre, Shee Alms House, The Tholsel, St. Mary’s Church, Rothe House & Gardens, The Courthouse (Grace’s Castle), St. Francis’ Abbey, The Black Abbey and St. Canice’s Cathedral. Experience Irish hospitality while having an enjoyable easy-paced cycling around the medieval capital of Ireland with photo opportunities and historical information provided at each destination.

Kilkenny Medieval Mile Tours

Welcome to Medieval mile tours where we guide you the back streets and alleyways of the Medieval City of Kilkenny. You will learn about Dame Alice Kyteler and her son both of whom were on trial for which craft in one of the earliest witch craft accusations in Europe. Or how Kilkenny was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Ossory, and St Canice’s Cathedral stands on a site which has experienced Christian worship since the 6th century.

Petronella Restaurant

Butterslip Lane (Off High Street), Kilkenny

056 7761899

[email protected]

petronella.ie/

Petronella restaurant and café combines medieval Kilkenny with what is best in our city's dining and evening entertainment today. Petronella's unique location on the Butterslip , one of the busiest tourist routes in the city and its modern Irish and European cuisine, create an irresistible welcome that you are sure to return to time and again. A charming dining experience, whether over a brisk lunch, leisurely evening meal or time set aside for an all important coffee, will always be guaranteed by our friendly and attentive staff. Petronella's welcome extends to the tourist in a very special way in its presentation of music and storytelling evenings while all the while honouring all that is uniquely Irish. We will always celebrate what is classic and best in Irish food and realise that we intertwine with our history every time we serve dishes like the humble baked potato but most of all when we chat about Petronella herself. Look forward to dipping into the archives with us on her remarkable history as the first woman to be burnt at the stake in Europe and take a stroll around the corner when you leave to stand where Petronella met her end on the site of Kilkenny's town hall.

Rothe House & Garden

Parliament Street, Kilkenny

085 8383161

[email protected]

rothehouse.com

Rothe House is a unique Tudor merchant’s townhouse, built between 1594 and 1610. The property comprises three houses, three enclosed courtyards and a large garden to the rear. The property is a lot bigger than it looks from the street! To accommodate his growing family, on this long, narrow plot John Rothe Fitzpiers built three houses, one behind the other, with cobbled courtyards in between. To the rear is a half-acre garden that runs all the way back to the City Wall. The property is now owned by Kilkenny Archaeological Society and is home to their large collection of artefacts relating to Kilkenny city and county. The garden has been painstakingly reconstructed to reflect the Rothe Family garden and is planted with heritage varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit; there are even resident ducks! The house is open to the public and visitors will have the opportunity to make their way through the houses, courtyards and gardens on a self-guided tour. Full guided tours can also be arranged for groups by contacting [email protected]

Tynan Walking Tours

Rose Inn St, Collegepark, Kilkenny

087 265 1745

[email protected]

kilkennywalkingtours.ie

When you visited Medieval Kilkenny your Kilkenny experience should be with a local qualified, experienced and knowledgeable guide and historian and Pat Tynan’s Medieval Walking Tour will give that real Kilkenny experience in a city that has become a Medieval Wonderland!! Daily Kilkenny Medieval Mile Walking Tours, Private Walking Tours can be arranged at a time to suit clients and group Medieval Walking Tours all year.

Shenanigans The Kilkenny City Walk

Kilkenny Castle, The Parade, Kilkenny

087 2743865

[email protected]

shenaniganswalks.com/

Shenanigans - The Kilkenny City Walk is the fun way to experience historic Kilkenny City, the jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East. Blending comedy, magic, history, whimsical fun and plenty of Shenanigans our guides will take you on a jolly jaunt tracing Kilkenny City’s fascinating Medieval Mile, regaling you with unique anecdotes, fun facts and a good dollop of irreverent humour, craíc and mischief. Not just a guided tour ... a MIS-guided tour! The fun, magical, historical & hysterical way to experience Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile.