A rainy day in Kilkenny
A rainy day in Kilkenny is built on the holy Irish tourism triumvirate of good beer, religion and old shit. In the medieval capital of Ireland and the most complete historical city in the country, you can’t miss two of Kilkenny’s, and Ireland’s, medieval gems.
From anywhere in the Kilkenny’s marble bedecked city centre you can’t miss the alluringly attractive 12th century Kilkenny Castle. Arguably it’s more interesting from the outside but this is a day of apocalyptic conditions so one must venture inside. The interior is more stately home than proper dungeon and dragons fortress but the mildly interesting audio guide gives some interesting titbits and the breathtaking Long Gallery is filled to the rafters with a very impressive collection of art.
A lovely umbrella covered walk down the medieval mile takes you to St. Canice’s Cathedral. This little oasis of calm is a lovely place in which to take in all usual cathedral features plus learn about the sordid little local tale of Dame Alice Kytler and Bishop Ledrede. There’s also one of only two round towers in Ireland that you can climb so no second invitation is needed climb the 121 steps to get excellent views of the historical city centre. By the way, the apocalyptic conditions have abated slightly because this attraction is weather dependent, probably due to it having no corners.
There are oodles of good cafes, bars and restaurants in Kilkenny and just one option for a cheap and hearty lunch is Lanigans. This atmospheric pub is a treasure trove of hurling memorabilia paying tribute to Kilkenny, Ireland’s hurling powerhouse.
Finally, forget Guinness, Kilkenny was built on the amber goodness of Smithwicks Ale. Discover the story of this tasty ale at the Smithwicks Experience in the heart of the city. It’s an attraction that has obviously modelled itself on the winning formula of the Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse but it’s one that definitely works. Plenty of interactive features and the obligatory free beer is included.
With at least three quality attractions within a short dander, there more than enough to keep anyone busy in Kilkenny.
*Thanks to Smithwicks Experience for the image.