If you’re looking for a 360 view over the surrounding counties Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary and Kilkenny, then there’s no better beauty than the top of Tory Hill. Suitable for families, friends and hikers alike, this loop has a gravel track most of the way for when the mountainous terrain becomes too much. Tory Hill can be completed in a 2-hour hike and is one of our favourite ‘Off the Grid’ Kilkenny spots for sure!
Tory Hill photo by @Nickyd0000
The picturesque Poulanassy Waterfall, located just outside Kilkenny, is a natural beauty. Surrounded by forestry terrain and overhanging trees, it’s a guaranteed great day out for family or friends. Or even if you need some time alone with nature, this is the ideal tranquil spot! The waterfall’s pool is the ideal spot for a peaceful swim and in the summer you have full access to picnic areas and portable BBQ’s.
Photo by @loveireland (IG)
Going Back to a Simpler Life is not a Step Backward..
Brandon Hill’s peak is Kilkenny’s highest point at 515 metres above the ground. At the top of the mountain lies a sight of endless greenery, so we think it’s safe to say the view is worth the hike! The cross at the top of Brandon Hill is very ‘insta- friendly’, so have your phone to hand! Ranging from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours, depending on your ability, the 5.3km loop can be uneven at times, so we recommend a good pair of hiking boots or supportive runners for your ankles. A seriously rewarding adventure that we highly recommend!
Kilfane Glen & Waterfall
Kilfane Glen and Waterfall is a pristine example of a romantic-era garden. Amazingly, this garden and waterfall remains untouched in all its glory for over 200 years. The experience of seeing the waterfall tumbling its way to a rushing stream and pathways leading to a cottage orné is something you’ll never forget after visiting this historic landmark. And of course, the garden is held in high regard, being listed as an Irish Heritage garden and awarded assistance in 1993 by the European Union Cultural Commission. Go ‘Off the Grid’ this summer and visit Kilfane Glen & Waterfall, we promise you’ll leave a happier person.
There’s no better place to soak in the culture and history of Medieval Ireland than at Kells Priory. The inner historian is bound to come out of you here! Situated alongside King’s River beside the village of Kells, this priory is the largest and most impressive Medieval monument in the country. The existing extensive ruin mostly dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. Consisting of a church, a chapel, prior’s residence or sacristy and a number of domestic buildings, all standing on an enclosed site. There isn’t one area across these 4 acres that doesn’t have a gripping medieval story behind it. Make visiting the priory your priority!
A Good Traveller has No Fixed Plans
Windgap is a village in Kilkenny steeped in history and rich in culture. The landscape surrounding the village is full of tall hills and large woodland areas, making it a very scenic stroll. Enjoy the village loop walk where the purple arrow signs will lead you to the woodland path. On your route you will see some of the finest examples of local heritage; Feehans Well, the Old League House, and Calvary Grotto (Reflective Walk). This amazing grotto which overlooks the village is the largest in Europe. An ideal spot to take a break here is the Summerhouse. You’ll be in awe watching the quartz stones glistening in the sunshine, before returning to the lake. The slate quarry in Windgap is also a little beauty and definitely a hidden gem! Windgap is an Off the Grid hotspot in Kilkenny.
Discover the dark past of Dunmore Caves. This really intriguing landmark is a great place to get a glimpse into Ireland’s past. With over 700 steps down into the caves, it might be easy to get down but prepare yourself for the way back up! The stories about its Viking history are mysterious and interesting, so if you have a guide alongside you be sure to listen carefully. A really unique place to visit that we highly recommend!
Mountain View Kilkenny
Mountain View Kilkenny – it’s in the name. If you’re looking for a high end spot with beautiful views of the countryside then is your place. Sit back, relax and enjoy a drink on the terrace overlooking fields of green from the top of the mountain. You won’t find a more chilled out spot, especially if the sun is shining! Among its surrounds you’ll also find a golf course and plenty of different types walks surrounding Mountain View. A really suitable place to spend an entire day.
Hole in the Wall
You won’t come across a more traditional Irish Pub than the Hole in the Wall. With a sign outside reading ‘No Wi-Fi, No TV, We love to chat – you’re truly are going ‘Off the Grid’ here. The sense of friendliness and a warm welcome once you step foot inside this small and quaint pub will make you never want to leave. Music, stories, whiskey and pints, The Hole in the Wall is a must-visit if you’re looking to really immerse yourself into the Medieval City.
Fennelly's of Callan
It’s as traditional as they come, serving breakfast all day long! This quirky and quaint place is an ideal stop off for your morning coffee and bite to eat before exploring the county. The staff are extremely friendly and welcome every customer with open arms. Whether you’re there for a full Irish or just a cake and coffee to take away, you’re guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face. A classic artsy spot that you have to visit while you’re in Kilkenny.
Kilkenny to Bennetsbridge Walk
If you’re looking for some serious morning exercise, look no further than the Kilkenny to Bennettsbridge walk. This 12km Nore Valley track takes about 2 hours to complete and is the perfect way to start your day in Kilkenny. Riverside and rural scenery around every corner. Once you reach the final stretch you’ll be rewarded with tons of local cafes and artisan crafts. This is a real country walk!
To Walk in Nature is to Witness a Thousand Miracles
Jenkinstown Woods may not be a lengthy walk with only a few acres of trees inside an old parkland wall, but it’s definitely more about the fascination of what’s inside. A mixture of dark spruce and pine with classic old estate trees will draw you in and lead you off track and into your own wonder. Stroll around, spend time, create your own walk, enjoy nature!
Ballykeeffe amphitheatre is like something straight out of the Roman Empire. It is one of the most unique and beautiful venues in Ireland. Events here can be hard to come by so when you hear of one, make sure you get your tickets fast! In the summer with a big stretch in the evenings, you might get lucky enough to catch a gorgeous sunset in the backdrop. With such a relaxed vibe and everyone looking to enjoy the same atmosphere as you, Go Off the Grid and make sure to visit Ballykeeffe – if you’re lucky enough…
A trip to Castlecomer could last a morning or a full day. There’s plenty to do. The main attraction, however, is Discovery Park. A beautiful 80-acre woodland park where you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor experiences including a treetop adventure walk, climbing wall, woodland trails, zipline and octagon, canoeing, archery along with what the town is originally known for, a Coal Mining Museum. Castlecomer also has a craft yard, where you can bask in the local culture and watch how the growing groups of crafts and artisans make their trade. You’ll find artists there selling pottery, silver jewellery, interiors, fine art painting, fine jewellery and ceramics. If you can, purchasing one or even taking part in a class and making your own craft is a great token of your experience there. At only a 20 minute drive from Kilkenny, it’s definitely worth it.