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Kilkenny Castle

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Kilkenny Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

1. From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

Leave Dublin for the day on a truly scenic drive with amazing scenery stretching as far as the eyes can see. Visit Kilkenny, Glendalough, and the Wicklow Mountains as you explore the heartlands of medieval Ireland. From Dublin, head first to Kilkenny, once the medieval capital of Ireland and home to Ireland’s finest Norman castle. Discover a city steeped in history that was also the location of one of Ireland’s earliest witch trials, the famous story of Dame Alice Kyteler and her servant Petronilla. En route to Glendalough, drive into the wild Wicklow Mountains of County Carlow. Watch as the landscape changes from lush green pastures and gentle valleys to the glacial valleys of the Wicklow Gap. Continue to the monastic city of St. Kevin at Glendalough, best known for the wedding scenes in the blockbuster movie “Braveheart” and famous as the location for the film “PS I Love You.” Once you arrive in Glendalough, you’ll have time to explore one of the most beautiful sights in Ireland, in an area renowned for its magnificent scenery and monastic ruins that date back to the 10th century. Finally, return to Dublin.

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From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow, & Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

2. From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow, & Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

First, make your way directly to Kilkenny, a town that was once the medieval capital of Ireland. Enjoy a 2-hour walking down the cobbled streets and visit the Black Abbey and the Cathedral of Saint Canice. After that, travel through the Wicklow Mountains to your next stop. Visit the Monastic site of Glendalough. Hollywood Blockbusters like ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘Braveheart’ have been filmed here. Explore for 2 hours the area renowned for its ruins, magnificent lakes, and waterfalls. Finally, head over to a sheepdog farm and watch a sheepdog herd with his master. Look at the Border Collies using a tactic called “The Eye” on sheep. Witness a shepherd and his dog at work and watch how they herd a flock of sheep.

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Kilkenny: Historical Highlights Walking Tour

3. Kilkenny: Historical Highlights Walking Tour

Explore Kilkenny's fascinating past on a walking tour with a certified guide. Walk through the city's historic streets, hearing stories about Kilkenny Castle, St. John's Priory, and more, as you stand in front of these impressive sights. Kick-start your historical adventure by the Kilkenny Crystal Shop. Then, cross the River Nore towards Kilkenny County Hall, where you will find out about the most famous scholar in Kilkenny's history. From there, head to St. John's Priory and the Butler Gallery. Continue on to Kilkenny County Library and the Great War Memorial. Cross into Irishtown and St. Canice's Cathedral, where the city's history began. See many other fascinating sights along the tour, including Kieran and Parliament streets, the Black Abbey, and more. Finish your tour in front of the stunning Kilkenny Castle, home to the Butler family for 600 years.

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Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

4. Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southeast Ireland on a 3-day tour of the lush farmlands of Kildare, the stunning Wicklow Mountains, and the fabled Copper Coast road to Waterford. Stop at historic monasteries and castles, learn about the fateful voyage of the Titanic from Cobh, and go to the famous Waterford Crystal Factory.  Enjoy a more personal experience in this small group tour with maximum of 16 passengers on a top of the range Mercedes luxury mini-coach, while a quaint bed and breakfast accommodation for 2 nights provides a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin for Cork, driving through the lush farm counties of Kildare, Laois, and Tipperary. Make a short stop in the heritage town of Cahir to see the ruined abbey and impressive castle on an island in the River Suir. Continue to Blarney on the outskirts of Cork. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch.  There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. After this, there is a chance to discover Jameson Whiskey Distillery and taste one of Ireland's favorite exports. In the afternoon, tour the beautiful coastline of West Cork, and see some of the magnificent beaches, tiny inlets and coves. End the day in the fishing village of Kinsale, where you will be based for the night. Kinsale is famous for its food, and the evening is free to wander the narrow streets, popping into traditional pubs and restaurants. Day 2: Explore some of the highlights of southeast Ireland, starting with the historic port of Cobh, the main departure point for Irish emigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was also from here that the Titanic ocean liner set forth on her ill-fated maiden voyage. Continue east to Waterford, traveling along the “Copper Coast” (a designated UNESCO geo-park for its spectacular beauty). Stop at the popular surfing beach of Tramore, before heading into Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. Founded by the Vikings in the 9th century, it’s also famous for the Waterford Crystal Factory, which you are free to visit along with one of the excellent museums. Alternatively, explore the Viking Triangle on foot. In the late afternoon, depart for the busy city of Kilkenny with its fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Go to the National Craft Centre, or hang out in one of the pubs and enjoy a glass of Guinness! Day 3: Enjoy a free morning to explore Kilkenny before driving to the Wicklow Mountains. Marvel at some of Ireland’s highest granite peaks and see impressive valleys carved by glaciers. One of the area’s highlights is Glendalough, known as the “Valley of the Lakes.” Take one of the walking trails, or explore the ruins of the 6th-century monastery to see its round tower. The last section of your tour takes you into the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, before crossing the famous Sally Gap to descend into Dublin for an approximate 18:30 arrival.

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Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

5. Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

The first stop on this guided tour is Glendalough, known as the valley of the two lakes, and its 6th-century monastic site of St. Kevin. The guide will walk you through the ancient monastery of St. Kevin and explain some of its important buildings, their folklore and history, before giving you plenty of time to explore the valley yourself. Then travel through the Wicklow Gap and see some of the most beautiful scenery of the area and a few small rural villages. Once the group reaches Kilkenny, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the medieval Norman town and its top sites, like St. Canice's Cathedral, Rothe House, and Kilkenny Castle. Kilkenny is steeped in history and was once the capital of Ireland. It was also the location for one of Ireland’s earliest witch trials, the famous story of Dame Alice Kyteler and her servant Petronilla. Spend 3 hours in Kilkenny, explore Kilkenny Castle and have some lunch.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kilkenny Castle

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What people are saying about Kilkenny Castle

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 478 reviews

Made the tour with Sean and Michael and it was one of the nicest and very chill tours I had. The time allotted to every sites was fair and you don’t feel so rushed. The bus was comfortable and I felt safe with the journey. It’s best if you bring food with you during the trip as it’s better to go and see the sights than going to eat somewhere on stopovers. Covid safety was always checked and reminded to everyone.

Well timed and well organized. Enjoyable and easy going. The sheep dog demonstration kept things lively after a lovely hike. Sean is a perfect guide who is professional and friendly. His information is interesting, well timed, and valuable without wearing you out. Highly recommend the trip.

Travel Guide Rory and busdriver Mike were a really fun duo. They made the busdriver so much more fun. It was a nice tour with fun spots to drop us.

Informative trip with Sean who is well knowledgeable with the history of Irish.

nice trip, wish we could have more time at Kilkenny