If you feel like meandering around Kilkenny, ambling along the river or walking or cycling out in the countryside here’s some ideas on how to get out and about.
Kilkenny Castle park and the Canal Walk
A track winds its way through this 50 acre park away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Featuring mature trees and shrubs, a duck pond and lovely manicured gardens it’s a great way to spend an hour or two. You can also access the Canal Walk through one of the doors leading down to the river and amble along the Nore under the shade of tall trees and by old disused mills. You’ll eventually be able to follow the river through the pretty villages of Bennettsbridge and Thomastown and all the way to Inistioge.
Home to a walled deer park, an old well and a picnic site this lovely park is only ten minutes drive or a 10 km cycle from Kilkenny. You can walk the Jenkinstown Wood loop at 4 km or the Walled Garden loop at 2.5 km and wander through lush forest alive with bluebells in the Spring. Take a picnic and make an afternoon of it. It’s great for all the family.
Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum
In the picture perfect village of Inistioge, Woodstock provides a mixture of formal and informal gardens to stroll around, with something for everyone - the arboretum containing many specimen trees, the walled garden abundant with flowers and vegetables, the yew walk, rose garden, Monkey Puzzle Avenue and Noble Fir Avenue. It’s a approx 25 km drive to this gorgeous little village in South Kilkenny or you can take a bus.
Nore Valley Walk
Eventually linking up Kilkenny and Inistioge with a trail along the river Nore there are two sections of the three sections of this walk completed, open and ready to be explored. Trail kilkenny provides maps and an app to download with all the info you’ll need.
Kilkenny to Bennettsbridge – This 11km walk starts under the Ossary Bridge in Kilkenny (and can also be accessed from the Lacken Walk off the Dublin Road) and heads south through lovely countryside following the river Nore to Bennettsbridge. You can get a bus back from Bennettsbridge or you can take the bus out to Bennestbridge and walk back to Kilkenny.
Thomastown to Inistioge – This third section of the walk is also 11km in length and passes through Dysart forest, along the river Nore and into Inistioge. There are plenty of interesting things to see and do in Thomastown before starting the walk like a visit to Jerpoint Abbey, a browse through some of the pottery studios or have tea and handmade artisan chocolates in the Truffle Fairy cafe. To access the walk go south across the bridge and follow the green arrows to the GAA pitch and the river bank. You can get a bus back to Kilkenny from Inistioge or you can start in Inistioge and get a bus or train back to Kilkenny from Thomastown.
If you want to combine a walk with a cycle or you’d like to visit some of the Historical attractions in County Kilkenny by bike then Kilkenny cycling tours will hire bikes at reasonable prices. They will drop the bike off to the Hostel and collect it when you’re finished..how easy is that!
Three cycle trails are also being developed by Trail Kilkenny.
The North Kilkenny Cycle Route stretches some 83km and the trail begins in Ballycannan. The route, which is mainly along quiet country roads starts at Ballycallan and passe through Tullaroan, Freshford, Ballyragget, Castlecomer and finishes at Ballycallan.
The signs are up along the route but the mapboards and route guide have not yet been completed.
The East Kilkenny Cycle Route (65km approx) begins at Bennettsbridge and takes in Graignamanagh, The Rower, Inistioge, Thomastown before ending back at Bennettsbridge. The signs are up along both routes but the mapboards and route guides have not yet been completed.
The third cycle route which is the longest and is 110 kilometres is the South Kilkenny Cycle Route. The planned route starts at Thomastown and passes through Inistioge, New Ross, Kilmacow, Piltown, Knocktopher and ends in Thomastown. This route is still in the planning phase.