County Kilkenny Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
If you are looking for examples of Ireland’s medieval past, then you need look no further than Kilkenny, a county that has more than its fair share of landmark buildings that date back to the Middle Ages.
Kilkenny is in the heart of rural Ireland, with rich farmlands, sweeping valleys and rolling hills, interspersed by three fine rivers – the Barrow, Suir and Nore. In the centre of all this lies Kilkenny City – known as the Marble City – undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most elegant and vibrant cities, a centre of cultural, artistic and social activity without equal. Add to that such picturesque riverside villages as Inistioge and Graiguenamanagh and you have a county that has to be on everyone’s wish list.
History and Heritage
Kilkenny is steeped in history, way back to the 6th century when St.Canice founded a monastery, the remains of which lie next to the present cathedral. Kilkenny Castle, the dominant feature of the City, dates back to Norman times and is a reminder of the City’s former status as a seat of political power. That power ended when Cromwell defeated the locals in the mid-1600s.
Kilkenny is often referred to as the Marble City because the local black limestone looks like slate-coloured marble which is used decoratively throughout the city.
Medieval architecture, ruins of monastic settlements, round towers and high crosses help to paint a picture of Kilkenny’s ancient heritage.
Sites to see
Kilkenny Castle. Jerpoint Abbey. Kells Priory. Rothe House.
Sports and Leisure
This is Hurling country, for sure, and it is the major sporting activity in Kilkenny. Horse racing is another passion with Gowran Park a magnet for the horsey set while greyhound racing at James Park is another local leisure pursuit.
Golf is well catered for, with plenty of good courses on offer while three rivers give plenty of opportunity for anglers to test their skills.
The South Leinster Way is a well-trodden route for walking enthusiasts and is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Kilkenny countryside.
Eat, Drink and Stay
As befits a city and county of such style and elegance, the choice of top class restaurants and pubs is outstanding in Kilkenny.
Restaurants such as Lacken House, Rinuccini, Zuni and Lautrec’s Brasserie in the city, Waterside (Graiguenamanagh), The Motte (Inistioge) and Hudson’s (Thomastown) are consistently listed in the top gourmet guides.
For less formal dining, Café Sol, The Gourmet Store and Café Pierre offer tempting fare and Kilkenny is positively over-run with great pubs. These include such award-winning establishments as Edward Langton’s, Marble City Bar and Tynan’s Bridgehouse.
Kilkenny is best enjoyed over several days so avail of the numerous quality B&Bs available in this most hospitable of counties. If you are going during a festival, it’s best to book well in advance.
May: Cat Laughs Comedy Festival Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots
June: Ultimate Frisbee Tournament
July: Smithwick’s Source at Kilkenny
August: Kilkenny Arts Festival
Things you have to see or do
St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny City – Ireland’s second largest medieval cathedral
Kilkenny Castle – One of the most instantly recognised buildings in Ireland
Jerpoint Abbey – An outstanding Cistercian abbey
Dunmore Cave – a site about underground sights open to the public, like caves and mines
Rothe House – built by John Rothe Fitz-Piers in 1594
Nicholas Mosse Pottery – beautiful and functional pottery
Kilkenny Design Centre – Irish Design and Workmanship
Fáilte Ireland - South East www.southeastireland.com
Kilkenny Tourism www.kilkennytourism.ie
Local Events www.whazon.com
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