Kilkenny: An insiders’ guide to food, drink, activities and walks

The Marble City and its hinterland have big-ticket attractions along with more intimate ones

Kilkenny Castle and John’s Bridge, Kilkenny. Photograph: Getty Images

Kilkenny Castle and John’s Bridge, Kilkenny. Photograph: Getty Images

Even when nobody was visiting, Kilkenny was busy preparing for when they would. The pandemic has been cruel and heartless, but the county has used the enforced hiatus of the last year to remind us that there is life beyond the castle and a night out in the city.

Not that either should be ignored. Like all of the Marble City’s other attractions, Kilkenny Castle (kilkennycastle.ie) reopened in May, but entrance to the former stronghold of the Butler family is free following the decision of the Office of Public Works to waive all admission fees as part of the ‘path ahead’ plan. As this is one of the most popular heritage attractions in Ireland, booking tickets beforehand for your self-guided visit is essential.

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