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Day Trip 1: Enjoying Kilkenny!
Kilkenny City is long renowned as Ireland’s Medieval Capital, the city’s origins date back more than 1,500 years. Characterised by beautifully restored old buildings and covered slipways, Kilkenny City is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of fascinating, historical buildings, and contemporary shops, design galleries, cafés and restaurants. Your stop here is sure to include the grand and imposing Kilkenny Castle with its onsite parklands which stands dramatically on a strategic height and dominates the 'High Town' of Kilkenny City or Saint Canice's Cathedral, the second longest of Ireland's medieval cathedrals which provides a seminal influence on Kilkenny life. Outside, your kids will enjoy the climb to the top of the 9th century round tower, once used by the monks for refuge.
Day Trip 2: Exploring Wexford
Wexford contains some of Ireland's most stunning scenery and it is easily accessed from Kilkenny. Your day trip today will take in the Irish National Heritage Park near New Ross, always a popular stop with kids; the park features replications of Irish homesteads, burial and worship sites, and takes the visitor on a tour through 9,000 years of Irish history. Continuing on your journey down to the tip of Hook Peninsula, you might wish to pay a visit to Hook Lighthouse which dates to the early 13th century and was a major feat at the time of its construction. On your return you may wish to visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship which is moored on the river in the centre of the town or Kennedy Homestead, birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy.
Day Trip 3: Exploring Waterford
A short distance from Kilkenny, the city of Waterford can be found and the city has a host of sightseeing options; the House of Waterford Crystal for example exhibits one of Ireland’s most famous exports. Visit the newly restored Bishops Palace which charts the history of Waterford from 1700 to 1970 or Reginald’s Tower; the oldest civic urban building in Ireland that is now home to an exhibition of historic and archaeological artefacts that tell the story of Waterford's Viking heritage.
Day Trip 4: Discovering County Wicklow: The Garden of Ireland
Wicklow is often referred to as the Garden of Ireland and since it is only a hop, skip and a jump from Kilkenny it is an ideal day trip destination for you and your kids! You might start your day’s touring by visiting the Chocolate Garden of Ireland, one of Ireland’s newest family attractions where you can learn all about chocolate production, growing cocoa, how Easter eggs and other chocolate goods are made, and even have a go at creating and decorating your very own chocolate product! From here the beautiful Glendalough Valley is less than one hour drive.
Day Trip 5: Exploring Tipperary & Clare
One of your first stops today should be Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, an essential visit for any family tour of Ireland. Built in 1425, the majestic castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour. The houses and cottages of the folk park spread out at the foot of its massive walls, much in the way that the cottages and crofts of olden times would have clustered around its base. Not too far away, kids young and old will enjoy Craggaunowen! Situated on 50 acres of woodland; the Park interprets Ireland’s pre-historic and early Christian periods through reconstructed dwellings and tools that existed in Ireland during these times. You may of course want to visit the town of Moneygall where President Barrack Obama claimed his ancestry in 2011 and on your return stop by the famous Rock of Cashel, Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province.
Day Trip 6: Discovering Cork
Cork contains some of Ireland's most beautiful scenery, historic sites and locations and it is easily accessible from Kilkenny. Your day trip today will take in the famous Blarney Castle where you and your kids will enjoy kissing the famous Blarney Stone which is said to grant the gift of eloquence! Your Irish Tourism detailed itinerary will help you explore the nearby town of Cobh which was the last port of call for the ill-fated titanic in 1912 and is also the gateway to the prominent Spike Island which has hosted a monastery, a fortress and a prison within its 104 acres.
Day Trip 7: Exploring the Capital!
The journey from Kilkenny to Dublin is less than two hours but there are places where you may wish to stop en-route. The National Stud for example comprises three separate attractions. The 1,000 acre Farm at Tully has been in use as a Stud Farm since 1900. There is a Horse Museum tracing the history of the horse in Ireland using artefacts, illustrations and text and the Japanese Gardens situated in the grounds were the first of their kind in Ireland and in Europe. On arrival in Dublin explore all that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Attractions include Christ Church Cathedral which was founded in the year 1030 and the adjacent Dublinia which is very popular with the younger generation.