Map of Ireland: Kilkenny & Surrounds including Ireland

Medieval villages and green pastures deep in the Irish heartlands

Travel to the heart and soul of Ireland's ancient east on a five-day regional escape from Dublin. Use the historic hub of Kilkenny as your base and get involved in the local Gaelic game of Hurling, watch a live sheep herding demonstration and cosy up in a pub for a lively group whiskey tasting. Cycle the converted Waterford Greenway and discover the river system from Bennettsbridge to Kilkenny on a leisurely hike with your guide. With a range of historic and active inclusions, plus all the hassle taken care of, Ireland’s countryside is all yours to experience.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Dublin, Ireland
Finish
Dublin, Ireland
Destination
Ireland
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
BWKK
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Learn the tricks of the trade at a local farm, with a live sheep herding demonstration and an insight into a rural way of life, plus a picnic lunch to soak it all in.

  • Try your hand at the Gaelic game of Hurling – one of Ireland’s treasured national sports. After a city tour of Kilkenny, join a local team to hear about its ancient roots and give it a go yourself!

  • Cycle through the lush Irish countryside as you explore the Waterford Greenway – a traffic-free trail built on a disused railway line – and hike along the River Nore to Kilkenny Castle.

  • What’s Ireland without a drink at the pub? Join your small group in Kilkenny for a night of traditional live music and whiskey tasting, celebrating the best of the country.

  • The charm and small-town feel of Ireland is hard to resist. With the option to extend your stay in Kilkenny or the lively and central Dublin, why not discover more of the country?

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • As this trip starts in the morning of Day 1 and ends after 1 pm on the last day, we recommend you arrive a day early and stay an additional night in Dublin before and after the trip. We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

  • This trip includes a bike ride and a leisurely hike. While neither are strenuous, both activities can be opted out from should you wish not to partake. Your leader will be at hand to facilitate alternative arrangements for you.

  • Ireland can be cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, waterproof clothes/umbrella and anything else that you think may be applicable.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge (some exceptions may apply). Please ask your booking agent for more details. Keep in mind hotels in Europe may seem small by Australian or American standards, and often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together or apart.

Itinerary

Welcome to Ireland! Meet your fellow travellers at Dublin’s Green Hotel this morning – further details can be found in the ‘Joining Point Instructions’ of your Essential Trip Information. From here, jump in your private vehicle and head through the Wicklow Mountains National Park to the ancient monastic settlement at Glendalough. Listen up to your group leader as they fill you in on local lore, myths and legends of the ruins and surrounding mountain range. Continue to a nearby sheep farm, where you’ll discover the rural way of life here in Ireland. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the farm, complete with local treats, then witness a sheep herding demonstration. Skilled border collie dogs are well practised when it comes to this task, rounding up the flock and taking the commands from their shepherd. Afterwards, head to Kilkenny, located in what is known as Ireland's ancient east – this is your base for the next four nights. Settle in to your comfortable accommodation, and perhaps round up some friends of your own with an optional first dinner in town. Be sure to ask your leader their restaurant recommendations!
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wicklow Mountains - Local Picnic Lunch
  • Wicklow Mountains - Sheepfarm Visit & Sheepdog Demonstration
  • Glendalough - Visit to Monastic Site
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Special Information
This morning's meeting will take place at 10am in the hotel lobby of the Green Hotel. Please make sure you are on time for this important meeting, as the group will leave Dublin straight after. If you can't find a flight that arrives on time we recommend you book an additional night in Dublin prior to the start of the trip. We are able to book rooms at The Green Hotel (subject to availability at the time of booking), or alternatively you can choose any other hotel in Dublin.
This morning after breakfast, get your walking shoes on for a guided city tour around Kilkenny. Afterwards, keep the activity going as you participate in one of Ireland’s treasured national sports – Hurling. This Gaelic game is one of the fastest field sports in the world, and forms part of the lifeblood of the country. Join one of the local teams in town for an introduction to the ancient roots of the sport, then don the gear and give it a go yourself! This afternoon, take a breather – the city is all yours to explore at your own pace. Your leader can help you organise an itinerary for the rest of the day, perhaps heading to Kilkenny Castle, Canice’s Cathedral or Rothe’s House & Garden. Otherwise, if you just want to stroll Kilkenny’s so-called ‘Medieval Mile’, go for it! Keep in mind that tonight you’ve got a special meal planned at the 13th century Kyteler Inn pub. Fun fact – this pub is most famous for its original owner, Alice Kyteler, who was tried and convicted as a witch. Yes, you read right!
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kilkenny - Dinner at Kyteler Inn Pub
  • Kilkenny - Hurling Experience
  • Kilkenny - Leader-led Walking Tour
Optional Activities
  • Kilkenny - Rothe House & Garden - EUR8
  • Kilkenny - Castle Visit - EUR8
  • Kilkenny - The Kilkenny Famine Experience Guided Tour - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
A short train journey this morning brings the group to Waterford, where you’ll transfer to a bus and head to Kilmacthomas – a picture-perfect village at the foot of the Comeragh Mountains. Once arrived, hop on two wheels as you take a leisurely cycle along the Waterford Greenway, which was once a railway line and now converted into a traffic-free cycle path. Your leader will point out some hidden gems along the way, including a Hurley maker’s workshop, small art galleries, quaint gardens and a couple of cafes. Plus, the scenery along the trail is quintessential Irish countryside, so be sure to have a camera handy. On your return to Waterford, the rest of the day is yours to explore at your own pace. You might like to ask your leader where to find the Wall Art Project, or else, go searching for the strong medieval and Viking heritage in town or visit the famous Waterford Crystal workshop.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kilmacthomas - Waterford Greenway Bike Tour
  • Waterford - Day Trip by Train
Optional Activities
  • Waterford - Mount Congreve Gardens - EUR10
  • Kilmacthomas - E-Bike Upgrade (payable locally) - EUR20
  • Waterford - House of Waterford Crystal - EUR14
  • Waterford - Wall Art Project - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s bike ride is around 26 kilometres (approximately 3 hours) on mostly flat terrain. E-bikes are available at an additional cost. If you would prefer not to ride you can take a bus back to the city where you will have some free time until the group finishes the ride.
Join your group on a short taxi transfer this morning as you head off to discover the small village of Bennettsbridge. Historically, this town has been a hub for milling as it is located in the heart of the grain-rich farmlands of rural Kilkenny. Begin a short hike near the studio of a world-renowned Irish potter at their riverside converted mill building, which you can visit, depending on the group’s desires. From here, follow your guide on a trek back into the city, hugging the banks of the River Nore – part of the mighty river system known as The Three Sisters. A host of cottage industries sprung up along the river during the pre-Famine years, including breweries, woollen mills, marble works and flax mills. The hike will finish up on the grounds of the 11th century Kilkenny Castle. Tonight, join your group and raise a toast to the Irish countryside with an included whiskey tasting session, accompanied by some traditional live Irish music in a local pub. Cheers!
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bennettsbridge - Hike along the River Nore
  • Kilkenny - Live Music & Whiskey Tasting at a Local Pub
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After an included breakfast, board a train with your group from Kilkenny to Dublin Heuston Station (approximately 1.5 hours). Your tour ends on arrival at the train station around 1 pm, where you are free to continue your own adventure or begin your homeward journey.
Optional Activities
  • Dublin - St Patrick Cathedral - EUR8
  • Dublin - Guinness Storehouse - EUR25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you would like to spend more time in the region, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation either in Kilkenny or Dublin (subject to availability).

Meals

4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Bicycle, On foot

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Wicklow Mountains - Local Picnic Lunch
  • Wicklow Mountains - Sheepfarm Visit & Sheepdog Demonstration
  • Glendalough - Visit to Monastic Site
  • Kilkenny - Dinner at Kyteler Inn Pub
  • Kilkenny - Hurling Experience
  • Kilkenny - Leader-led Walking Tour
  • Kilmacthomas - Waterford Greenway Bike Tour
  • Waterford - Day Trip by Train
  • Bennettsbridge - Hike along the River Nore
  • Kilkenny - Live Music & Whiskey Tasting at a Local Pub

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Ireland: Kilkenny & Surrounds trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

ITINERARY
As the trip starts in the morning of day 1 and ends after 1pm on the last day we recommend you arrive a day early and stay an additional night in Dublin before and after the trip. We are happy to organise additional accommodation for you, subject to availability

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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