From top class food to medieval heritage and some brilliant bars, the Marble city is one of Ireland’s most up and coming destinations. Kilkenny has something to offer everyone but let’s face it a day out in Ireland is never predictable when it comes to the weather, so whether you’re a seasoned local or just visiting for the day, grab your raincoat and get ready for the top 5 things to do in Kilkenny on a rainy day.
1. Dunmore Caves
A little outside of the city and for those more adventurous people among us a visit to Dunmore Caves on Castlecomer Road has to be on the cards for your visit to Kilkenny. Sometimes you just have to go and out and get wet so put the raingear on, take out the wellies and enjoy a guided adventure through the fascinating underground chambers where you can see some of the finest calcite formations Ireland has to offer. Some even say that the rain actually highlights how the cave was formed.
If that’s not enough to convince you, rumour has it that it is the third darkest cave in the world, whatever that means. Find out for yourself when they turn off the lights and try not to get too creeped out as you experience the darkness that thousands of local people endured as they sought refuge there in 928 AD only to be massacred by the Vikings. Learn more about this and impress people with your newfound geological knowledge by taking a look in their excellent exhibition centre.
Address: Castlecomer Rd, Inchabride, Kilkenny, Ireland
2. Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny
Forget the Guinness Storehouse, in Kilkenny we have The Smithwicks Brewery. Founded in Kilkenny in 1710, Smithwicks actually predates Guinness in Dublin by almost 40 years. The Smithwicks experience is in a beautiful old Victorian building in the heart of Kilkenny city and will take you through the site of a Franciscan Abbey where monks first started brewing ale in the 14th Century. Who knew we could thank a crowd of monks for a good pint?!
Finish off by getting hands-on with the brewing process as you learn how to stir the mash and smell the hops and don’t worry you won’t leave thirsty as you will be served a perfect pint of the delicious famous ale before you head home. Make sure to check out the online discounts before booking if you decide to give this a go.
Address: 44 Parliament St, Gardens, Kilkenny, Ireland
3. The Oasis Spa @ The Lyrath Estate Hotel
If the rain is getting you down and you feel like treating yourself then this is one for you. The top class Lyrath Estate 5 Star Hotel is home to the award-winning Oasis Spa where you can choose from an extensive range of luxury spa treatments. While it might be a bit pricey, this is one of the best spas in the country and with the increasing stresses of the hectic modern lifestyle its so important to step back and take some me time. So, whether it’s a personalized facial or a full body massage, kick back, relax and enjoy yourself in the beautiful surroundings of Lyrath Estate’s 170 acres of mature parkland.
Address: Dublin Rd, Lyrath, Kilkenny, Ireland
4. Lanigan’s Legends Hurling Bar
Hurling is the pride and joy of Kilkenny so a trip to the hurling capital of Ireland wouldn’t be complete without making a stop here, Kilkenny’s only bar dedicated to it’s hurling legends. Enjoy hand-painted murals and prints of some of Kilkenny’s finest hurling moments in their unforgettable hurling museum or relive the glory days by browsing through their archive of hurling games. Make sure to enjoy a drink afterwards at the bar and enjoy a game of the world’s fastest sport on their big screens or listen to a local recall one of the MANY All Ireland Finals they’ve won over the years. If this isn’t enough for you and you want to get the ultimate hurling experience you could take the Kilkenny Way tour, a 2-hour tour which takes you to the Lanigan’s hurling museum as well as to Nowlan Park where you can learn how to play hurling like a pro.
Address: 29 Rose Inn St, Collegepark, Kilkenny, Ireland
5. Ireland’s only dedicated reptile zoo
The Reptile Village in Gowran will be sure to entertain. This is one for the kids and completely indoors so great for when the rain is lashing down outside and the cabin fever is reaching an all-time high. The zoo is open 7 days a week all year round and boasts over 50 exhibits and some of the world’s rarest and most unusual reptiles. An entire day could be passed here in the exhibitions as well as in the soft play area for the younger ones and the food is taken care of too with a snack bar and both an indoor and outdoor picnic area if that rain ever decides to relent.
Address: Demesne Road, Gowran, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland