Things To Do Around Kilkenny
Beyond our city walls, Kilkenny continues to be full of engaging heritage attractions, with every nook and cranny filled with hidden cultural gems. Simply put, County Kilkenny is beautiful and waiting to be explored. As a jewel in the crown of Ireland’s Ancient East, Kilkenny has evolved as a fantastic place to live and visit. The county has a wealth of fascinating visitor attractions to suit all your tastes. With so much to choose from, we’ve put together our Top 5 ‘must see’ tourist attractions that County Kilkenny has to offer.
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Nicholas Mosse Factory, Bennettsbridge
Nicholas Mosse is one of Kilkenny’s best-known craftspeople. Nicholas Mosse pottery is made in an ancient mill on the River Nore in the magnificent village of Bennettsbridge, just 15 minutes’ drive from Kilkenny city. Visitors can watch the skilled potters and decorators at work as the signature pieces of patterned pottery are created using techniques that date back to the 18th Century. There is an on-site shop, which sells beautiful homewares along with the full range of pottery and factory seconds. A highlight is the café, offering stunning views of the River Nore as well as a simple but delicious menu that regularly features local producers.
Jerpoint Glass Studio & Gallery Shop Stoneyford
For almost 40 years, glass designers at Jerpoint Glass have created a unique collection of handmade glassware. They continue to do so from their beautiful craft studio, located near the village of Stonyford, which is just a 15-minute drive South of Kilkenny City. Jerpoint Glass is Ireland’s only glassblowing studio that uses traditional handcraft techniques almost 2,000 years old. Visitors to their studio and shop are welcome to view the glassblowing free of charge during working hours.
Woodstock Gardens, Inistioge
Woodstock Gardens are located in the south east of Kilkenny, just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge. The gardens, overlooking the River Nore Valley, offer you a wide variety of attractions and are a most relaxing and beautiful environment in which to spend your day. In 2018, the gardens were shortlisted for the special President’s Prize in the international Entente Florale awards. While here, you can enjoy formal and informal gardens that date back to Victorian times; walled and terraced gardens; our spectacular rose garden; an arboretum; the noble fir avenue; and the magnificent monkey puzzle avenue.
Castlecomer Discovery Park
Located just a 20-minute drive from Kilkenny City, Castlecomer is famous for being a former coal mining town. The main attraction here is Castlecomer Discovery Park, a beautiful 80-acre woodland park where you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor experiences including a tree top adventure walk, climbing wall, woodland trails, zipline and octagon, canoeing, archery along with the Coal Mining Museum. Castlecomer craft yard is also home to a growing group of crafts people and artists selling pottery, silver jewellery, interiors, fine art painting, fine jewellery and ceramics.
Graiguenamanagh is a beautifully-picturesque place filled ancient stories to share. Explore Duiske Abbey and marvel at its intricate monuments, altars and medieval floor tiles. Stroll along the Barrow Way and bask in the beautiful riverside views or set off on a vigorous hiking trail up Brandon Hill. Plan your visit around the annual regatta where colourful boats take to the River Barrow or experience one of the vibrant festivals.