Itching to travel around Ireland during the pandemic? If you’re in Kilkenny, then consider yourself lucky: Kilkenny is packed with amazing destinations and outdoor experiences you can enjoy while staying safe and healthy. The attractions, restaurants, and other places of interest have finally re-opened their doors to locals and tourists who’d been longing to experience the beauty of the Medieval City. 

We listed down 7 ways to feed your wanderlust in Kilkenny while keeping you, your family, and other travellers safe. 

1. Walk around the Medieval Mile

Medieval mile

Kilkenny, also known as the “Marble City” is one of those destinations that will make you forget that you’re living in the 21st-century. Simply walk along the narrow, cobbled streets of Medieval Mile and you’ll feel like traveling back in the medieval period. 

Medieval mile is a discovery trail that links the 13th-century St Canice’s Cathedral and the Anglo-Norman Kilkenny Castle and Rose Garden. In between, you’ll uncover a goldmine of architectural gems that’s been standing for centuries, including churches, old taverns, and other sights that provide a glimpse of the town’s ancient past. The ancient history is also mixed with some modern attractions like museums, Kilkenny hotels, quirky boutique shops, art galleries, pubs, restaurants, and cafes, creating an electric atmosphere. 

Medieval Mile Map

If you want to take your self-guided walking tour up a notch, you may sign up for guided tours where you’ll learn more about the local history and heritage. 

2. Cycle your way around the city

Don’t feel like exploring the city on foot? Try discovering it on two wheels! Kilkenny has several cycling trails that’ll let you find its most picturesque and idyllic landscapes while getting some exercise. 

If you don’t have your own bicycle, you may visit Kilkenny Cycling Tours for rentals and guided tours. Cycling tours also give you the opportunity to uncover hidden gems with friendly locals.   

3. Discover the heritage sites and architectural wonders of Ireland’s Ancient East

St. Canice Cathedral

Who needs a cramped museum tour when you can see a number of heritage sites up close and personal? Kilkenny is already a treasure trove full of historical landmarks you can easily access from a walking trail. All you need to do is book a hotel in Kilkenny, get a map and find them. 

Start off with Kilkenny castle and gardens, the heart of the Marble City that’s been standing since 1195. Aside from the impressive fortress, you can also relax in the castle’s stunning rose garden and the ornamental lake. If you’re ready to go in, we’d recommend viewing the grand interiors of the 12th-century castle and its airy Picture Gallery. 

Where to go for more medieval architectural gems? Visit historical cathedrals and religious buildings including St. Canice’s Cathedral, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and Black Abbey. 

Another must-visit place is the Rothe House, a late 16th-century merchant’s townhouse complex in the heart of Kilkenny city. 

4. Enjoy al-fresco dining

Al fresco dining

Due to the nature of the virus, sitting in a cramped yet cosy pub might not be the best idea during this time. Ordering takeaways and dining at home for your family’s day out isn’t a fun idea either. Luckily, you can find restaurants around Kilkenny that have outdoor seating, providing a safer yet enjoyable dining experience. 

Just make sure to visit the restaurant’s website and social media pages to get updated about their guidelines and schedules. In most cases, you have to pre-book your slot. Some restaurants also have a maximum number of people per group.

5. Drink booze outdoors and with a view

No pandemic can stop beer-loving locals from enjoying their favorite booze. If you can’t enjoy a drink in a cosy pub swarmed with people, why not take the drinking game outdoors? 

Billy Byrnes Kilkenny is home to picture-perfect beer gardens, just in case you’re looking for open-air places to drink and dine. We’ve got Sullivan’s Taproom, Billy Byrnes, Christy’s Bar, Riverview Bar, and the courtyard bar of Kytelers Inn. 

Aside from being a safer alternative to indoor dining, we can’t deny that beer gardens and other al-fresco dining establishments provide better views and ambiance than their indoor counterparts. 

6. Family fun in the great outdoors

Castlecommer

When was the last time your family had an amazing adventure in the wilderness? We’re talking about biking, boating trips, hiking, camping, and even just a relaxing picnic in lush parkland? Well if you’ve missed these kinds of day outs, there’s a lot of nature-filled activities in store for you and your family in Kilkenny. 

The famous Castlecomer Discovery Park is now open. The park comprises 80 acres of natural woodland, lakes, and scenic trails. The park offers opportunities for zipline, wall climbing, archery, tree-top walk, boating trips, and walking tours, which are perfect for a fun day out. 

Other reopened family-friendly attractions include Nore Valley Park Open Farm, Pure Adventure River Activities, Go with the Flow River Adventures, Kilkenny Cycling Tours, and Hawkeye Falconry Ireland. 

7. Play golf

Looking for a sport that can be played in an open field, with no skin-to-skin contact with people? Try golf. 

In case you didn’t know, Kilkenny is home to several golf courses. These include Mount Juliet Estate Golf Course, Castlecomer Golf Club, Kilkenny Golf Club, Gowran Race Golf Course, Mountain View Golf Course & Restaurant, and Newpark Golf Driving Range. 

Is a day trip not enough for your family bonding? Consider staying in a Kilkenny hotel for a night or two so you can do and see more while having your much-needed break in between. 

Author Bio:  Carmina Natividad is a travel and lifestyle writer. Aside from taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Pembroke Hotel Kilkenny. 

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