Tour Ireland's medieval capital, which is also its craft and design center!
Kilkenny City, the centerpiece of County Kilkenny and the Southeast's prime inland city, is considered the medieval capital of Ireland because of its remarkable collection of well-preserved castles, churches, public buildings, streets, and lanes. But, perhaps more interestingly for shoppers, it's also the national center for crafts and design, with perhaps the country's best selection of pottery, woodwork, jewelry, and other handmade items.
After meeting you at the pier in Waterford, your driver/guide will escort to Kilkenny City, driving through New Ross in County Wexford, the ancestral home of the Kennedy family of Massachusetts. It was from here that John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick set sail for the U.S. in 1848, during the height of the Great Famine.
Your tour will continue north through the lush pastures of County Kilkenny passing through the very pretty village of Inistioge until you arrive at Jerpoint Abbey, 11 miles southeast of the city of Kilkenny.
You will tour this outstanding Cistercian monastery, founded in the latter half of the 12th century and preserved in a peaceful country setting. The abbey's highlights include a sculptured cloister arcade, a splendid array of artifacts from medieval times, unique stone carvings on 16th-century tombs, Romanesque architecture in the north nave of the abbey church and an aura of tranquility.
Next, you’re off to Kilkenny City, the medieval capital of Ireland, and Kilkenny Castle which stands majestically beside the River Nore. Built in the 12th century and remodeled in Victorian times, the castle was the principal seat of the Butler family, the earls, marquises, and dukes of Ormonde. In 1967, the castle was given to the Irish government to be restored to period splendor as an enduring national monument. From its sturdy corner towers to its battlements, Kilkenny Castle retains the imposing lines of an authentic fortress and sets the tone for the entire city. The exquisitely restored interior includes a fine collection of Butler family portraits, some from as far back as the 14th century. The 20-hectare (50-acre) grounds include a riverside walk, extensive gardens, and parkland.
Directly across the road from the castle is the Kilkenny Design Center which is well worth a visit as it houses some of the best craftspeople in the country with retail space and a very nice cafe.
- Tour price does not include admission fees or lunch. Admissions to Jerpoint Abbey €7 and Kilkenny Castle €9 are payable directly, on site.
- Some of this tour is done on foot, so please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.
- Bring cash (Euro) for shopping, gratuities, lunch, snacks, and beverages.
If your ship does not make port, this tour will be non-refundable. Please take out travel insurance to cover this rare occurrence. This is an exception to the normal ShoreTrips Terms of Service. This tour will NOT be refundable in cases in which conditions make it impossible for the ship to dock and disembark passengers in a timely manner.
Days offered: 7 days a week