06/05/20 • Life in Kilkenny

The best walking trails in Kilkenny city according to our crew

...and all within a 5km radius!

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Kilkenny Castle Park

Kilkenny is a vibrant city, with a jam-packed calendar of events and festivals taking place each year. Each year but 2020, it would seem. However, as much as our crew is missing the usual buzz of Kilkenny’s social life, there are many other enjoyable facets to this city. Getting out for our government sanctioned daily dose of fresh air allows us the opportunity to take in the medieval charm of times gone by and spend some time in nature. Here are some of Kilkenny’s best walking trails according to our crew – and all within a 5km radius of the city centre.


Kilkenny Castle Park

“Moving from another country to Kilkenny has been a journey on its own. But having the castle right at your doorstep makes you feel like you’ve entered a fairytale, adding to the feeling of entering a completely different world. It also serves as a form of escapism in these unusual times, as a gate way into a fantasy” – Nora Al-Shamery, Production Assistant

One of Kilkenny’s most popular tourist attractions, the castle in the centre of town sits on around fifty acres of parkland. Even during the pandemic, Castle Park seems to be a thriving hub of activity as people come here to walk their dogs, work out, read or even tuck into a picnic on a sunny day. As well as the large, open green – perfect for keeping a safe distance between yourself and others – the park also boasts a rose garden and a man-made lake. For those fond of orienteering, the Kilkenny Castle website has several downloadable trails to follow. These can be accessed here.

Canal Walk, Lacken Walk and The Peace Park

My favourite is starting off in the castle grounds with a visit to the ducks, and out the side entrance leading onto the canal walk. Brings back fond childhood memories” – Louise Flannery, HR Manager

For those not coming from Castle Park, the walk begins at the hurling statue on John’s Bridge beside Kitty’s Cabin – which incidentally serves some of the finest ice cream cones available in Kilkenny! The walk takes you along the River Nore, past Kilkenny Castle Park, past the Kilkenny Canoe Club and through the scenic Duke’s Meadows to a footbridge underneath the ring road. From here you can either choose to cross the bridge and turn left to loop back into town via the wooden walkway on Lacken Walk, turn right to walk further along the river along the Nore Linear Walk, or go up the steps to join the footpath along the main road.

We strongly recommend continuing the loop back into town along the extremely scenic Lacken Walk. After you reach the upwards slope and the handrails, you will have the choice to either walk up the steps which will bring you out just before MacDonagh Junction, or down the steps to continue the walk along the river. You can exit via the Council Offices or by the River Court Hotel. If your walk for the day is not yet over, you can then cross the road to walk along the river on the other side of John’s Bridge, visiting the Peace Park memorial along the way.

Continuing along the Canal Walk rather than crossing the bridge will bring you up by the Warrington, where you can see old derelict mill buildings.

The Canal Walk is 1.7km, the Lacken Walk is 1.6km, and the Peace Park Walk is 600m. You can check out a walking trail map here.

Newpark Fen Walk

This lovely loop walk takes you around Newpark Marsh, home to all kinds of wildlife and around 70 different species of plants, trees and shrubs. The entrance to the Fen is around 2km north-east of Kilkenny City. One way to access it is via John Street, bearing left onto Castlecomer Road at MacDonagh Junction, then taking the right-hand turn onto Newpark Lower just after the petrol station on your left. Newpark Hotel operates a wildlife farm which backs out onto the loop walk. Although the farm is closed at this time, keep your eyes peeled as you complete the walk, as you may just see some alpacas casting their watchful eye over the marsh!

Other places to walk in Kilkenny 

Though Kilkenny is considered to be a small city by today’s standards, we are thankful that this fact means we can safely walk around its nature trails and historical sites. As the heart of the city is concentrated in one area, its suburbs also offer plenty of opportunities for exploring nature. One such example is this glorious field of rapeseed near the Waterford Road roundabout, where Ruth Roycroft, Studio Assistant, loves to take a walk sometimes.

The city centre itself also offers an extremely pleasant walking route, with many side streets, alleys and lovely medieval buildings to take in. From Kilkenny Castle, head along High Street past the Town Hall and Medieval Mile Museum. There are plenty information plinths dotted about the city to quench those thirsty for knowledge. Learn about Alice de Kyteler, the first recorded person to be condemned for witchcraft in Ireland, whose servant bore the brunt of the punishment instead. Head up towards Irishtown to find out more about St Canice and see a prime example of an Irish Round Tower.

As lockdown continues, we hope that those of you living in Kilkenny City can get out and enjoy some of the walks we have mentioned. Please remember physical distancing rules at all times.

Stay safe and stay ‘tooned’ for more updates from Lighthouse Studios!

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