Kilkenny is a land of achingly beautiful valleys where elegant rivers weave their way through a rich countryside spiced by handsome hills. So naturally it's a place whose people care passionately about their county, and the miniature city at its heart. For Kilkenny - the Marble City - is one of Ireland's oldest cities, and proud of it. Its array of ancient buildings is unrivalled. But, by today's standards of population, this gem of a place is scarcely a city at all. Yet it's a city in every other way, with great and justified pride in its corporate status.
Civic pride is at the heart of it, and the city is benefitting from the refurbishment of its ancient quay walls along the River Nore, and the increase in pedestrian zones. Enjoying its reputation as a major centre for civilisation and culture for well over 1500 years, Kilkenny city thrives on a diverse mixture of public debates about conservation, arts festivals, and a comedy festival of international standing.
Rivers define the county. Almost the entire eastern border is marked by the Barrow, which becomes ever more spectacularly lovely as it rolls gently through the beautiful Graiguenamanagh, then thrusts towards the sea at the tiny river port of St Mullins. The southern border is marked by the broad tidal sweep of the Suir, and this fine county is divided diagonally by the meandering of the most beautiful river of all, the Nore.
Invaders inevitably progressed up its tree-lined course past what is now the lovely river village of Inistioge, towards the ancient site of Kilkenny city itself. They quickly became Kilkenny folk in the process, for this is a land to call home.
Local Attractions and Information
Callan Edmund Rice House
+353 (0)56 772 5993
Gowran Gowran Park Racecourse
+353 (0)56 772 6225
Inistioge Woodstock Gardens
+353 (0)56 52699
Graiguenamanagh Cushendale Woollen Mills
+353 (0)59 972 4118
Kilkenny Kilkenny Castle
+353 (0)56 772 1450
Kilkenny Cat Laughs Comedy Festival
(May) +353 (0)56 776 3416
Kilkenny Rothe House
(16c house, exhibitions) +353 (0)56 772 2893
Kilkenny City Tourist Information +353 (0)56 775 15000
Thomastown Jerpoint Abbey
+353 (0)56 772 4623
Thomastown Kilfane Glen & Waterfall
+353 (0)56 772 4558
Thomastown Mount Juliet Gardens
+353 (0)56 777 3000
Tullaroan Kilkenny GAA Museum
+353 (0)56 69202