Map 101 Log in  | Not a member? Register or
Brexit is good for Ireland?

Counties of Ireland - Kilkenny


Coat of arms for County Kilkenny

Coat of arms for County Kilkenny

Kilkenny is Ireland's party county. Famous for two beers: Smithwicks and Kilkenny, the former of which is an Irish red ale that was first brewed at St. Francis Abbey Brewery in the 14th century. Located in Kilkenny City, the abbey's "Smithwicks Experience" is now a popular tourist attraction.

Kilkenny City also has more than its share of friendly pubs, which contribute heavily to the county's reputation as a great place to go out drinking. The locals' cheerful demeanours don't hurt, either. And with all that drinking going on in Kilkenny, it is also no surprise that the county is positively stocked with artists, craftspeople and comics, hosting the likes of the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, Rhythm and Roots Festival and Kilkenny Arts Week every year.

Among Kilkenny's most popular attractions are the 12th century Jerpoint Abbey and Kilkenny Castle, and the 13th century St.Canice's Cathedral, named for Kilkenny's namesake, Saint Canice.

This mild, southeast county is one of the few Irish counties with no sea coasts, although Kilkenny enjoys plenty of water thanks to its "Three Sisters" The rivers Nore, Barrow and Suir, which flow through Kilkenny, the latter two forming its east and west borders respectively. Much of Kilkenny's landscape is marked by lumbering, green hills and low valleys that offer fantastic walks, including the South Leinster Way, which follows the River Barrow through forests, beside ancient abbeys and over historic stone bridges. Kilkenny's highest peak, Brandon Hill, ascends more than 500 metres above sea level, offering stunning views.

Golf is also understandably popular in Kilkenny, especially at Mount Juliet Golf Course in Thomastown, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus. Likewise, fishing on the River Nore and rowing and boating in the scenic (but entirely unpronounceable) town of Graignamanagh are popular pastimes here.

Few people leave Kilkenny, a nod to its warm, fun personality, but the county has produced a few famous names. Among them, James Hoban - the architect who designed the White House - was raised in a thatched-roof cottage in the village of Cuffesgrange. And famed Irish novelist, Jonathan Swift, attended Kilkenny College, along with philosopher George Berkeley, whose name is commemorated by a city in northern California and its resident university, UC Berkeley.

Craft worker

Craft worker at Stoneware Jackson Pottery Inistioge, Kilkenny.


Inistioge looking down on the river Nore, Kilkenny.

Stoneware Jackson Pottery

Stoneware Jackson Pottery, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny City

Kilkenny City

Craft shop front at Inistioge

Craft shop front at Inistioge, Kilkenny

County Kilkenny



No comments yet.

Would you like to comment about this page? Please Log in first!

8 Day Kilkenny Region and Best of Ireland Tour
€2,239 - 7 Nights | 5 Star
Look beyond the amazing landscape Ireland has to offer and launch your own personal journey to the heart of Ireland with experiences crafted around your interests. Find out more »
Kilkenny Irish 4 Day Getaway
€989 - 3 Nights | 5 Star
Step back in time. Step forward in your understanding of who you think you are. Get a taste of what is at the essence of Ireland. Find out more »
Cultural Map of Ireland
Family Coat of Arms Generator

Why not see what your family crest could look like based on your own family characteristics?

Create Crest
Kids Language T-Shirts

Just for kids (ages 3 - 10), we have fun t-shirts to help seed an awareness of a new language.

Order Now
News from Kilkenny

5th March 07:02

Glanbia to open state-of-the-art facility

Glanbia ingredients Ireland will officially open its new state-of-the-art dairy processing facility at Belview port in Co Kilkenny later today.

5th March 12:58

Man held on suspicion of child abduction in Laois

A man has been arrested in Kilkenny on suspicion of abducting a child in Co Laois following a nationwide alert.

16th March 15:58

Lorry carrying donations for Chernobyl broken into

A lorry containing donated items bound for Chernobyl was broken into in Kilkenny yesterday afternoon.

Radio Stations in Kilkenny

KCLR 96FM FM 96.0