Kilkenny Attractions Guide

Below are some of the popular tourist attractions in Kilkenny Kilkenny Castle Rose Garden & Park Kilkenny Castle was the home and headquarters of the powerful Butler Family ever since 1391. It has a wonderful rose garden, together with 50 acres of quaint and expansive pleasure grounds. The grounds overlooking the Nore river feature magnificent mature trees and shrubs with an ornamental lake among the many places of interest. All are very well maintained and presented. There is also a children’s playground located on the grounds. You can visit each of the castle gardens free of charge. Kells Kells is the medieval capital of Kilkenny. In this rustic village on the Kings River, you can discover the fortified 12th century Augustinian abbey. The village houses a round tower and a High Cross, but the thatched houses and ancient mills the reminders of more recent history. There 16 mills in operation at one time along a five mile stretch of river here – one, Mullins Mill, is now refurbished and open to the public. Also, you might want to visit the Augustinian Priory founded in 1193. Mount Juliet, Thomastown At one time these were two separate estates, but together this golf resort and country club is situated on a 1500-acre walled estate with gardens and woodlands going back to the 15th century. It is worth the drive in for a look even if you don't play golf. The main house which is now a 32-bedroom Conrad hotel is a splendid high Georgian mansion with beautiful drawing rooms and complete with intricate cornicing, decorative plasterwork and high-mantled fireplaces. Jerpoint Abbey and Thomastown This site is one of the finest Cistercian Abbeys in the country. It dates back to the 12th century and features an incredible sculptured cloister arcade and one of a kind stone carvings. Thomastown is also a quaint village, founded at the beginning of the 13th century by Thomas FitzAnthony, its namesake, and features mills, gardens and the nearby Kilfane Glen and Waterfall park with its magnificent 1790s romantic era gardens. Dunmore Cave The Dunmore Cave actually consists of a series of caves formed over millions of years. The site contains some of the finest calcite formations found in any Irish cave. Known to earlier inhabitants for several centuries, it is first mentioned in the 9th century Irish Triads. The Annals tell of a Viking siege at the cave in the year 928AD.This horrible event has left an extensive range of artifacts which continue to be discovered even today. The visitor centre houses an exhibition area, audiovisual presentation and café, which is only open in season. Reptile Village Reptile Village is specifically a reptile zoo, providing an educating and interesting view of various reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. More than 100 animals are on display, along with more than 50 species, ranging from crocodiles to cobras, geckos to giant spiders, and everything in between! Kilkenny Design Craft Centre The Kilkenny Design Centre is a treasure, both in atmosphere and in style. Here, all under one roof, you will find the very best of Irish design and workmanship, carefully selected from more than 200 studios and workshops throughout the country. Each piece has been selected for its genuine craftsmanship and value. You will find clothing for men and women, crystal, ceramics, linens and a wide variety of interesting gift items. Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum are situated in the picturesque village of Inistioge on the banks of the River Nore. The gardens were at one time regarded as one of the grandest gardens of Ireland and with this in mind, Kilkenny County Council has begun an ambitious program of restoration. More than 50 acres of formal gardens and parkland are here dating back to the Victorian period . The gardens are now entering their fifth year of restoration and offer any visitor a wide range of interesting features such as the Flower Terraces, the Winter Garden, the Monkey Puzzle Walk, the Noble Fir Walk, and the Arboretumboasting its rare collection of trees from all over the world. Also at Woodstock are the interesting ruins of Woodstock House, which was erected in 1745. Unfortunately, this grand structure was destroyed by fire in 1922 and has since become unstable. Work is now underway to stabilize the building and protect it from further deterioration. As you return from the gardens, be sure to stop at Mount Sandford Castle viewing point for a breath taking view of the wooded valley of the River Nore,