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The ultimate weekend in Kilkenny: 11 reasons it's a class spot

By Brian Dillon

January 29, 2020 at 11:19am

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For such a small island, we are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to little trips and adventures. And a weekend in Kilkenny has to be one of the most exciting ones there is.

From class nightlife to history to unreal dining opportunities, you'll probably find it hard to pack it all into just one weekend. But here's where to go, what to do and, most importantly, what to eat during a weekend in Kilkenny.

Explore Kilkenny Castle

If you're a history buff or if you're just in the mood to check out one of the most whopper castles in Leinster, then definitely head to Kilkenny Castle.

You can join a guided tour of the castle's Period Rooms, Castle Kitchen Tea-Room or check out the Butler Gallery and the Medieval Room.

Go glamping

If you haven't tried glamping before, then definitely do it during your weekend in Kilkenny.

Located just 24 minutes from Kilkenny Town, Butterfly Valley Glamping is ideal if you're looking for a fun and alternative accommodation experience.

Their range of super fun accommodation options includes their Painted Lady Tent, Holly Blue Tent, Orange Tiger Pod and Clouded Yellow Pod.

Breakfast at The Fig Tree

You'll be chuffed with yourself after deciding to head for breakfast or brunch here.

Obviously, a gloriously wholesome full Irish breakfast is on offer (which is what I would recommend), but there's plenty of other bits that you'll probably struggle to choose between.

Think Grilled Slice of Baked Ham drizzled with maple syrup served on a bed of potato waffles and a fried egg or a Crispy BLT.

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Dat Full Irish Breakfast tho!! 😱😍☘️🇮🇪

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Head down into Dunmore Cave

What else screams adventure like exploring a cave? Honestly, this is one of the most underrated things to do in Ireland and you'll feel as though you've stepped into another world far beneath the earth's surface.

Not only is it a fantastic natural beauty, but it's also steeped in history. Viking treasures such as coins have been found here.

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Doing a little underground exploring today. #Ireland

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Visit Ireland's only reptile zoo

I bet you didn't know that Ireland has a reptile zoo. Well, it does. And it's a pretty cool thing to check out during your weekend in Kilkenny.

Located in Hebron Business Park, Kilkenny City, it's home to lizards, turtles, snakes and loads more scaley creatures. There are over 50 exhibits, an animal encounter zone, a nocturnal realm, a media room, education rooms, a coffee shop and of course, a souvenir shop.

The Kilkenny Way Hurling Experience

If you didn't know that Kilkenny is the hurling capital of Ireland, then you've clearly been living under a rock.

Naturally, Kilkenny is home to a class visitor experience for anyone wanting to learn more about the sport and its interesting history.

At Kilkenny Way Hurling Experience, you can visit the Legends Hurling Museum, learn the skills involved in this 3,000-year-old sport and enjoy a fresh bowl of Lamb Stew and a pint in the Legends Hurling Bar.

KIlkenny Hurling

Eat and drink at Billy Byrne's

Billy Byrne's is definitely one of Kilkenny's most unique spots to grab a bite and a pint.

Located on Kilkenny's John Street, they serve up some delicious dishes like Fish and Chips and other pub grub for dinner as well unreal weekend brunch.

Plus, it's not just any regular drinking experience. They also host movie nights, music sofa sessions and even Samba Drumming.

Take on the Bandon Hill Loop

If you want to get out and about, stretch those legs and breath in some fresh countryside air for a few hours, then definitely take on the Brandon Hill Loop.

Starting at the town of Graiguenamanagh, this trail provides you with about five hours worth of incredible views.

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Strolls 👟 #Kilkenny #Ireland

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Relax at Lyrath Estate

If you're in the mood for some fabulous R&R, then this is where to head.

Their multi-award winning Oasis Spa will have you floating out of the place. The spa is home to ten treatment rooms, including two couple’s suites and one room with herbal baths.

With a wide range of massages and treatments on offer, it's a wonderful way to unwind and destress during a weekend in Kilkenny.

oasis spa at Lyrath Estate - weekend in Kilkenny

Step back in time at The Hole In The Wall Pub

Housed in the oldest surviving townhouse in Ireland, this is Kilkenny's newest music venue.

It now welcomes visitors for the first time in 100 years and The Archer room is the ideal spot to enjoy an intimate music session. It really is like stepping back in time.

Take in all the beauty at Kilfane Glen and Waterfall

Kilfane Glen and Waterfall is absolutely bursting with colour. It just oozes romance.

Spread over a 15-acre landscape, it features beautiful waterfalls, exotic flowers and gorgeous art.

The garden is actually listed as an Irish Heritage garden and was awarded assistance in 1993 by the European Union Cultural Commission.

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