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These Boots Were Made for Walkin’: Bennettsbridge and the Nore Valley Walk

There’s nothing quite like a bracing walk by the river to work up an appetite, so take some time to enjoy both the great outdoors and our local craft masters, all within a roar of historic Kilkenny city. Your day will entail spending time at the workshop of one of Ireland’s most respected craftsmen, a stop for lunch, and a stunning walking trail back to the city for some well deserved R and R.

Walking Trail first step - make your way to the village of Bennettsbridge

Avoid taking the car during the summer months and grab the shuttle from the departure point located at the carpark of Padmore & Barnes on Wolfe Tone Street. From here, you will head to the picturesque village of Bennettsbridge, 10 minutes journey away. For history buffs, Padmore & Barnes was a major manufacturer of shoes.  In the 1930s, some 25,000 pairs of shoes per week were made here by 500 people with hundreds of people from the surrounding areas employed part-time to hand-stitch the shoes in their own homes. This way of working was an age-old tradition of handcraft making in Ireland.

This trail is bookended between Ossory Bridge just outside the City and Lacken Walk and Bennettsbridge down the steps beside the Tynan’s Butchers Shop .

The 12km trail is classed as easy to moderate but can be muddy so waterproof footwear is advised.

Treasures await

On arrival in Bennettsbridge, grab a coffee in welcoming ‘Crafted’ or skip across the bridge to one of Ireland’s most-visited craft tourism attractions, Nicholas Mosse pottery. In fact, you’ll most likely bump into its founder Nick himself, an exceptional craftsman who honed his skills in Japan, and now oversees the production by hand of beautiful pots and tableware.

The shop also sells the very best in Irish craft. And don’t worry about carrying a load if you spot a treasure – the good folk at Nicholas Mosse pottery will ship your purchases for you. This business is very much a family affair, with another of the Mosse family continuing the seven-generation vocation of milling in the mill across the river. The wholemeal flour he produces is used in the on-site café at Nicholas Mosse pottery.The pottery shop is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm and 1.30pm to 5pm on Sundays.

Double knot the laces and start your walking adventure. Enter the trail beside the village butcher in Bennettsbridge and you’re on your way. The 12km trail is classed as easy to moderate but can be muddy so waterproof footwear is advised.

This riverside walk takes approximately 2 hours to complete when taken at a relaxed pace and affords the opportunity to take in the breathtakingly beautiful scenery as it meanders through meadows, shady glades and past ancient mills. You will arrive inspired in Kilkenny City.

One of the most delectable river walks in Ireland, this magical walk awakens tales of sprites and fairy queens and hobbits, not forgetting floral and faunal delights including kingfishers and otters.

― Travel Review

Keep your eyes peeled...you may spot some fantastic wildlife

The Nore Valley Walk is rich in riverside flora and fauna – spot a swift, a heron or even catch a fleeting glimpse of kingfisher or an otter emerging from the riverbank. There’s just so much to enjoy about this trail that before you know it you’ll be back in the city.