When we left Killarney, our plan was to drive to Kilkenny, our last stop before Dublin, and visit the Rock of Cashel along the way. We did this, but as often happens during travel, the journey took longer than expected and left us with little time to explore Kilkenny. Still, we had the opportunity to walk around the town, have one of the best meals of our trip, and see some stunning ruins along the way.
Please note; we visited pre-Covid. Opening times, access availability, and entrance fees have likely changed since then so please verify those details before you visit.
Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel is both an ancient fortress and an important historical religious site. Perched on a high limestone outcrop, it has been home to kings and bishops for over 1000 years. The remaining buildings include a 15th-century castle, a Romanesque chapel, and the ruins of a Gothic cathedral. It’s not surprising then that it’s one of the most popular tourist sites in Ireland. Even the view from its high vantage point over the plains is stunning.
Admission was covered by the Heritage card and we booked the optional tour inside the chapel on arrival (worth the time).
Scroll through the photos below to see the inside the open exterior areas of the Rock of Cashel.
Scroll through the photos below to see inside the tour and museum.
Before leaving the area to drive to Kilkenny, we had lunch at the nearby Cafe Hans. The restaurant was packed and busy but the service was efficient and the food was delicious and reasonably priced. They do not have a website but are a sister location to the fine dining restaurant Chez Hans. Both are only a few blocks from the Rock of Cashel.
The Town of Kilkenny and Kilkenny Castle
We got to the town of Kilkenny in the late afternoon with only time enough to walk around a bit, check out the castle from the outside, and have a drink at the bar connected to our hotel, the Pembroke, before heading to our dinner reservations at Campagne (more on that below).
Kilkenny Castle is definitely the town’s feature and I’m hoping to see inside it someday. The outside is open to visitors to walk around it for free so we took advantage of being able to see at least that.
Scroll through the slideshow below to see photos of Kilkenny and the castle.
Pembroke Hotel and Stratham’s Bar
In Kilkenny, we stayed at the Pembroke Hotel which had a great central location and rooms with views of the castle (like ours below). While we did not eat there, they do have a restaurant and bar that’s named after the old mechanic’s garage that used to be there. The Statham-Ford Special cocktail was delish (above)!
Dinner in Kilkenny at Campagne
Campagne is a Michelin starred restaurant in Kilkenny. Our dinner was suburb; flawless service and innovative, locally sourced food.
Scroll through the images below to see the food, the menu, and the wine.
Have you been to Kilkenny Ireland? Do you want to visit? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!
NOTE: Everything on this trip was paid for by us. Nothing was complimentary or given in exchange for reviews or promotions.
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