Take you car by ferry to Kilkenny. The unassuming charms of Kilkenny is steeped in history and proudly flaunts the glory days when the city was the centre of power from where the Norman chieftains held sway in this prosperous county. Surrounded by the lush rolling hills of Mount Leinster and straddled by the Barrow and Nore Rivers, its natural beauty provides a stunning backdrop for the 13th century medieval castle that dominates the hillside.
Though the narrow, cobblestone paths and monastic abbeys add to its old-worldly mysticism and storybook character, Kilkenny has a hip and cosmopolitan modern culture with a timeless attraction. The diverse range of aromatic restaurants, lively pubs and inviting bars provide an eclectic mix of nightlife entertainment and the friendly locals are blessed with typical Irish enthusiasm and humour.
Known as the “County of Crafts,” Kilkenny is best known for its expert heritage of expert craftsmanship which is heralded by the National Crafts Council and the Kilkenny Design Centre which promotes Irish knitwear, ceramics, fashion and art together with staging a variety of music festivals. With aspirations as a rival to Edinburgh one of the biggest annual attractions is The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival.
One of Ireland’s hidden treasures is the quaint village of Graiguenamanagh nestled in the foothills of Brandon Hill not far from Kilkenny city centre. It is a popular destination holidaymakers enjoying barges trips, together with canoes, fishermen and ramblers. A popular weekend break, it attracts Dubliners who take advantage of Kilkenny´s relaxing parkland retreats, stately homes and grand golf courses due to its close proximity to the capital.
Visitors can also look to combine the Kilkenny´s fascinating history with its bubbling nightlife with a visit to some of its age-old venues that have interesting stories to tell. The Kyteler´s Inn on Kieran Street is where the former owner Alice Kyteler lived before she was burnt at the stake on charges of witchcraft together with her family and servants. It also has serves some of the finest food you will find anywhere in Ireland.
If you are looking for post-pub parties, try Club 52 near John Quay on the River Nore. The nightclub was built with what was left of a Gothic French church which was mostly destroyed in World War II. Bomb damage is still evident in its rugged appearance, giving a bohemian edge to this otherwise sophisticated club.
Ferries to Kilkenny
Kilkenny is situated inland away from the coast, but is just a short drive from two of Ireland’s largest passenger ferry ports, Rosslare and Dublin. So there is no direct ferry from the UK to Kilkenny. but there are ten ferry options from mainland UK to Ireland, leaving just as little as an hours drive to Kilkenny.