Kilkenny Castle grew from the work of one Norman Knight - Richard de Clare, who laid the original wooden Motte and Bailey castle buildings in 1172. He died four years later, and his lands eventually passed to his daughter's husband - William Marshall.
William Marshall was one of the most successful and fearless of all Norman knights at that time. As a result of his might, he was granted vast portions of land. He chose to settle in Ireland, and, in 1207, he established the Medieval town of Kilkenny. Read more..
Travel time: 25 min drive
Consisting of a series of chambers formed over millions of years, the cave contains some of the finest calcite formations found in any Irish cave. Known to man for many centuries it is first mentioned in the 9th century Irish Triads. The Annals tell of a Viking massacre at the cave in the year 928AD. Exhibitions and displays in the newly enlarged visitors centre. Admission is by guided tour only. Read more..
Travel time: 40 min drive
Set in the former grounds of the Wandesforde Estate, Castlecomer Discovery Park is located just under 20km north of Kilkenny City. It comprises 80 acres of stunning natural woodland and lakes and began as a community project to rejuvenate the town of Castlecomer following the closure of the coal mines in 1969. This relatively ‘young’ park opened to the public in 2007 with the launch of the Coal Mining Exhibition, Visitor Centre and Design Craft studios which are located in the former stable yard. This beautiful Park continues to evolve and is actively developing a range of exciting recreational, cultural and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Recently launched attractions include a Tree Top Adventure Walk, a ‘Leap of Faith’ experience and a Climbing Wall. Further developments are ongoing. Read more..
Travel time: 24 min drive
Jenkinstown Wood was once part of a large estate. The old house is long gone but remnants of 1870s parkland have survived, including rare Necklace Poplars. There’s also a small garden commemorating Thomas Moore, who wrote the Last Rose of Summer while staying at Jenkinstown House. The actual Rose that inspired him lives on. A cutting taken from it flourishes in the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, Dublin. The wood has a picnic site and marked trails. This area is just 10 minutes’ drive from Kilkenny city. Read more..
Travel time: 37 min drive
Interact with the animals or tour the farm by tractor and trailer. The children’s playground, straw bounce and sand pit keep the younger ones well entertained while older children can play crazy golf, or race pedal go-karts. There are indoor and outdoor farm play activities and an exciting range of farm animals. Bottle feed lambs or goats and feed ducks and turkeys as well as learn about your Irish heritage of farming. Read more..