In an effort to explore more of our own country, we recently decided to visit Kilkenny. The city is located in the south east of Ireland and it’s a popular destination for both the Irish people and many of our tourists. We decided to begin our day-trip with a visit to Kilkenny Castle.
The castle stands in the city centre and was built in the twelfth century. It has been remodelled and restored over the years and is now open to the public almost all year round. Entry fees were fairly reasonable – it was €6 for an adult and just €2.50 for a student. As far as I know, there are only ‘self-guided’ visits which is nice if you want to explore the castle at your own leisure but not so good if you’re expecting to be shown around by a well-informed tour guide. If you are looking for a little extra info on your visit, there are small explanatory tablets in most of the rooms as well as more detailed pamphlets for sale at the front desk. We spent about forty-five minutes exploring the castle. There are some really beautiful details and pieces in each room. My favourite aspect of the castle grounds would probably be the rose garden though, which is very lovely and peaceful and the perfect place to stop for a rest and some snaps.
There are a few restrictions within the castle grounds. For example, you’re not allowed to take pictures inside the building (I only realised this after I’d taken about fifteen – oops!). As you walk down the long corridors, you’ll see a number of locked doors with ‘private’ plaques upon them (I was driven crazy with curiosity!). Also there are beautiful lush green stretches of grass around the castle which sadly have ‘keep off’ signs in the middle of them (so watch out if you’re bringing kids…).
I can’t honestly say I was blown away by the castle but it was a nice way to pass the morning. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the city and browsing the shops. If we hadn’t had to face the journey home in the evening, we would have almost certainly stopped in one of the many pubs for a drink or two. Instead we decided to leave that for another time…