Kilkenny’s Top Places to Visit on an Autumn Couples Getaway
Autumn is the ideal season to escape the day-to-day hustle and bustle of everyday life for a couple’s getaway. The weather is perfection—things have finally cooled off but it’s not too cold yet—so you actually want to spend time outside again! Make it count with a weekend exploring the medieval city, walk the cobbled streets and dine by candlelight in some of Kilkenny’s top restaurants. Here are our top things to do for couples on an Autumn break in Kilkenny:
Kilkenny’s Top Places to Visit, for Culture & Outdoor Experiences:
Walk Ireland’s Medieval Mile
It’s hard to find a city in Ireland that lends itself more to an afternoon stroll than Kilkenny, and The Medieval Mile is the perfect route to discover the medieval magic that fills this place.
Historic buildings, secret slipways, a Dominican abbey blooming with stained glass, and the only example of an early 17th century merchant’s house in Ireland are just some of the medieval sites to behold along Ireland’s Medieval Mile. On your way you will also discover a recreated medieval garden, climb St. Canice’s Round Tower (the oldest standing structure in the city), and take a glimpse inside the lives of the Butler family and their servants at Kilkenny Castle, until you reach the traditional home of witches in the 14th century Kyteler’s Inn.
Tour of Kilkenny Castle
Take a self-guided tour inside the castle and transport yourself back to medieval grandeur and splendour. The castles decor and furniture has been restored and replaced to its original glory. Gaze in awe at the grand drawing room, the impressive dining rooms, portrait galleries and huge bedrooms with accompanying fireplaces and large windows to enjoy views of the River Nore below.
Falconry at Lyrath Estate
No visit to Kilkenny is complete without experiencing Hawkeye Falconry at the magnificent Lyrath Estate. Under the guidance of their expert Falconers, here you will get the opportunity to hold and examine these exquisite creatures up close and learn how to beckon the hawk to return to you after it has departed for the trees. You will set off for your Hawk Walk with an experienced Falconer, where you will take primary control of the hawk, calling it to your gloved forearm, a not to be missed experience.
Retail Therapy in the Kilkenny Design Centre
Kilkenny Design Centre is a shoppers paradise and home to many of Ireland’s homegrown designers. The shops are located in historic buildings directly opposite Kilkenny Castle and this is where you will find beautiful souvenirs, gifts, artwork, glass, pottery and more – all of it made here in Ireland.
Visit Butler Gallery
Culture vultures will revel in a visit to Butler Gallery, situated right next door to Muse Cafe, the gallery is home to some of the country’s finest art exhibitions, not to mention the buildings 800 year history…. Not to be missed!
Cycle along the banks of the River Nore with Kilkenny Cycling Tours
Time to get physical and explore the city on two wheels with Kilkenny Cycling Tours. Choose from a guided or self-guided tour that will take you meandering along river banks and cycle tracks, avoiding the traffic as you go. The tours are given in a fun and casual way so it is suitable for all types of visitors and levels.
Kilkenny’s Top Places to Visit, for Dining:
Afternoon Tea in Butler House
There is something decadent about Afternoon Tea, when somewhere between lunch and dinner you ‘squeeze in’ some ‘miniature’ fine dining. Located in the walled garden of the 18th century Butler House, ‘The Orangerie’ offers magnificent vistas in a tranquil botanical setting in the centre of the city. Here, you can ‘kick start’ your visit with a selection of tea, coffee and sweet and savoury treats while soaking in the breath-taking autumn garden views.
Refuel at one of Kilkenny’s Traditional Pubs
Refuel with a pint at one of Kilkenny’s finest traditional pubs. Matt the Millers or Rafter Dempsey’s are both lively city pubs that offer old world charm and a warm welcome, both have outdoor areas so you can enjoy the autumn sunset under the city lights.
Best steaks in Kilkenny
Wind down after a busy day with one of Kilkenny’s best (locally sourced!) steaks at The Butcher Restaurant. As the name suggests, meat and steak in particular is the speciality here, although there are other options and the desserts are to die for. Also, a great spot for a couple’s night and with an excellent selection of cocktails!
Cakes and Coffee in Cake Face Patisserie
Capture a Parisienne ambiance, with a visit to Cakeface. This is the ultimate French style Patisserie and is home to delicious iced lattes and super colourful and mouth-watering sweet treats. The cafe has now been extended with a huge garden area and converted barn – an impressively large area for a small cake shop and the perfect place to chill in the Autumn sun with a coffee, cake and watch the world go by!
Lunch in the Muse Coffee
Kick back in a sun-soaked glass pod with lunch a glass of prosecco at Muse Coffee. Each pod has their own speaker docks so you can personalise the experience, setting the mood to enjoy a memorable lunch against a background of your favourite tunes.
Pizza & Beers in Sullivan’s Taproom
Sullivans Tap Room and Brewery has an enormous outdoor beer garden and serves up some brilliant pizza and beer deals (pizza and a pint for 15 euro!). Sit back in their colourfully painted huts, enjoy the 90’s background music and contemplate all that you discovered about Kilkenny in your day
Brunch in Award Winning Aran Artisan Bakery and Bistro
Make the most of your visit to Kilkenny with brunch in Aran Artisan Bakery and Bistro. Recently named Ireland’s Best Brunch at the Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Award, you officially can’t leave the city without a visit here! Before you leave be sure to grab a loaf of their in- house speciality baked fresh bread made daily in a stone baked oven to take home with you!
Commenting on the many attractions and places to visit for couples in Kilkenny, Chairperson of Kilkenny Tourism, Ciaran Conroy said; “Autumn is a great time for couples to visit Kilkenny, the streets are quieter, as are our restaurants and attractions, which give visitors more time to linger in some of Kilkenny’s best loved cultural sites, shopping experiences and cafes and pubs. Also, our hotels are offering great value escapes for couples who want to get out and enjoy the last of the mild weather and enjoy the Autumn colours.”