Editor’s note: Dylan Jones is a Summer Intern from the USA for JJ Kavanagh & Sons. He will be travelling to our key destinations on day trips and bringing his thoughts from a tourists perspective. Hope you enjoy his honest feedback!
Things to do in Kilkenny for a Day Trip
By Dylan Jones
Kilkenny is a must see Medieval city located only about an hour and a half from Dublin. My day trip to Kilkenny consisted of the Medieval Mile Tour, touring the Smithwick’s Brewery, eating at The Hungry Moose, and enjoying a great cup of coffee at Café La Coco.
Cafe La Coco
I started my day with a cup of delicious coffee from Café La Coco! If you ever get a chance to grab a cup here, you won’t regret it. Service was friendly and attentive, and the quality of the coffee was fantastic. The café has a great atmosphere especially if you sit outside on a nice, sunny Irish day. It gave me a great boost after the early bus ride and the necessary energy to push forward with what I would find to be a great day in an enchanting city!
Medieval Mile Tour
If it’s your first time visiting Kilkenny, I suggest starting with the medieval mile tour, which will introduce you to many of the different historic sites dating back centuries that are located near Kilkenny city centre. I’m glad this was the first activity I chose to do as it gave me an informative perspective into the background of the city! Our tour guide, Pat, was very kind and made sure we enjoyed our walk throughout the city. Pat pointed out several known tourist sites but gave insight into many stories of fact and Loire related to the history of the area. The tour goes through the heart of the city passing by and visiting sites such as Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Cathedral. As an American whose history is brief comparably, this tour served as a great introduction to the city, it’s people and its long history.
The Hungry Moose
Rated the best burger in Ireland, The Hungry Moose is a must stop for those seeking a gourmet burger restaurant. While offering a variety of different gourmet burgers, they also offer a full vegetarian menu. I would highly recommend this establishment to anyone wanting to relax and enjoy a fantastic burger! If you’re into a refreshing, hoppy pint, make sure to get one of the signatures brews. Hop City Hopbot IPA is very tasty and was a good compliment to the burger. I can see why it was vote the best BURGER in Ireland.
After a very good bite at The Hungry Moose, I headed over to the famous Kilkenny Castle. I really liked how the tour was self-guided, and how they had employees in each room to answer any questions relating to the famous history of this location. After hearing some very interesting facts about the castle on the Medieval mile, it made it a lot easier to comprehend all that went down at the castle. One of my favorite parts of the castle was its tapestry room. The tapestries were massive and some of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen! The tour took me about an hour which allowed me to get the most out of my time in the city. Make sure to visit the gardens and the courtyard right outside the castle as the gardens are beautiful!
Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny Tour
Next, I moved to my next stop and stepped into the home of John Smithwick and experienced the delight he gave us with the gift of the Smithwick’s ale. Although this is no longer a working brewery, it holds a great deal of history dating back to when the monks first started to brew the beer in the 14th century. One thing I noticed was that they really take pride in how neat and well restored the buildings are kept. You really can tell they have done their best to keep it in a manner the defines the historical nature of its place in time. Not only will you be able to learn the history of the beer, you will also get to talk to the Smithwick family themselves! Our tour guide was very helpful and made sure we didn’t leave the brewery with any questions. At the end of the tour, I would recommend getting the three ale paddle sampler and trying each one of them instead of just getting one pint. Each pint has significant differences, which makes for a great taste test!
JJ Kavanagh & Sons Kilkenny Bus Trip
I will definitely travel again with JJ Kavanagh & Sons. The bus arrived on time at both my departure point (Ulster Bank, Georges Quay) and my destination in Kilkenny (Ormonde Rd) and appeared to provide a great service for the patrons who took the service to the various stops en route. Another thing that stood out to me was the free Wi-Fi service provided during the journey. The bus driver was courteous and friendly and helped various customers in loading luggage on and off the bus. The scenic views of the Irish countryside on the way to Kilkenny made for a great bus trip and one that I will definitely remember. I hope that everyone reading this will find the time to experience this great city and the great service offered by JJ Kavanagh & Sons!
There are 8 services daily to Kilkenny City from Dublin City from just €10 one way?