Kilkenny
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Kilkenny Day Trips

From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow, & Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

1. From Dublin: Glendalough, Wicklow, & Kilkenny Full-Day Trip

First, make your way directly to Kilkenny, a town that was once the medieval capital of Ireland. Enjoy a 2-hour walking down the cobbled streets and visit the Black Abbey and the Cathedral of Saint Canice. After that, travel through the Wicklow Mountains to your next stop. Visit the Monastic site of Glendalough. Hollywood Blockbusters like ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘Braveheart’ have been filmed here. Explore for 2 hours the area renowned for its ruins, magnificent lakes, and waterfalls. Finally, head over to a sheepdog farm and watch a sheepdog herd with his master. Look at the Border Collies using a tactic called “The Eye” on sheep. Witness a shepherd and his dog at work and watch how they herd a flock of sheep.

Wicklow Mountain, Glendalough & Kilkenny Full-Day Tour

2. Wicklow Mountain, Glendalough & Kilkenny Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a combined full-day sightseeing tour of some of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes, including the 12th-century castle of Kilkenny, the rugged Wicklow Mountains, and the 7th-century monastery of Glendalough. The first stop is Kilkenny Castle, majestically located on the banks of the River Nore. The craft capital of Ireland, you can visit the Kilkenny Art and Design Centre to get a better appreciation of the craft traditions of goldsmiths, sculptors, painters and more. Stroll around the cobblestone streets, and visit Saint Frances Brewery, Ireland’s oldest. Admire the magnificent silk merchant’s mansion of Rothe House, containing priceless Viking artifacts. And walk in the medieval gardens to see historic varietals of fruit and veg, such as Gortahok cabbage and Blood of Boyne apples. Enjoy lunch in one of the city’s artisan cafés. En route to Glendalough, drive into the wild Wicklow Mountains of County Carlow. Watch as the landscape changes from lush green pastures and gentle valleys, to the glacial valleys of Wicklow Gap, giving it a cinematic quality that made it a popular location to shoot movies such as “Braveheart” and “PS I Love You.” Continue over the mountains to explore the monastic site of Glendalough, where Christianity was re-introduced to Ireland after the Dark Ages. Learn about Saint Kevin, founder of the 7th-century monastery, and see intact architecture, such as St. Kevin’s Kitchen, Church and Round Tower. Meaning “Glen of 2 Lakes,” a hike around the glen’s lower lake takes less than 1 hour, while a walk around the upper lake takes just over 1 hour. The final part of your epic journey takes you through the highest village in Ireland, known as Roundwood. Marvel at the Sugarloaf Mountains, which were higher than the Alps before the Ice Age. Pass Powerscourt Estate and the Glen of Imaal en route to Kilnacanogue. Your guide will regale you with stories about Ireland, and you’ll even be treated to some traditional Irish music as you drive back to Dublin.

Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

3. Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

The first stop on this guided tour is Glendalough, known as the valley of the two lakes, and its 6th-century monastic site of St. Kevin. The guide will walk you through the ancient monastery of St. Kevin and explain some of its important buildings, their folklore and history, before giving you plenty of time to explore the valley yourself. Then travel through the Wicklow Gap and see some of the most beautiful scenery of the area and a few small rural villages. Once the group reaches Kilkenny, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the medieval Norman town and its top sites, like St. Canice's Cathedral, Rothe House, and Kilkenny Castle. Kilkenny is steeped in history and was once the capital of Ireland. It was also the location for one of Ireland’s earliest witch trials, the famous story of Dame Alice Kyteler and her servant Petronilla. Spend 3 hours in Kilkenny, explore Kilkenny Castle and have some lunch.

Kilkenny and Wicklow Mountain Full-Day Tour from Dublin

4. Kilkenny and Wicklow Mountain Full-Day Tour from Dublin

Travel through beautiful Kildare to historic Kilkenny on this full-day scenic tour from Dublin. Once the medieval capital of Ireland, Kilkenny boasts Ireland’s finest Norman castle and will also provide you with the chance to try a pint of Kilkenny beer in the city where it is produced! Enjoy some free time to shop for traditional Irish crafts at Kilkenny design shops, such as the one in the Kilkenny Design Centre, where you can purchase unique knitwear, pottery and glass. Continue to the monastic city of St. Kevin at Glendalough, best known for the wedding scenes in the blockbuster movie “Braveheart” and famous as the location for the film “PS I Love You.” Sparkling lakes, dense forests and babbling brooks make this a spectacular scenic drive, and a fine day out from the big city. Plus, as an added bonus, you will go to the megalithic portal tomb of Brownshill Dolmen for a sneak peak at how ancient Irish ancestors buried their dead and celebrated their passage into the next world.

From Dublin: Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough & Kilkenny Tour

5. From Dublin: Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough & Kilkenny Tour

Embark on a guided day trip through the lush pastures of Ireland from Dublin. Tour the vast Wicklow Mountains and see the monastery of Glendalough. Lose yourself in the medieval lanes of Kilkenny. Depart from Dublin and set off on a luxury bus to Glendalough. As you journey out of the city, your guide will fill you in on many interesting facts and fun stories about Dublin. Arrive at Glendalough, considered one of the most beautiful corners of Ireland. Enjoy an optional guided tour of the monastic settlement and some free time to explore the area or relax at a local café. The more adventurous can opt to take a hike to the Upper Lake and return via a boardwalk (approx. 2.5 km). The route takes you past the Lower Lake through a stunning nature trail that leads deep into the valley and on to the Upper Lake. Continue to the Wicklow Mountains. As you drive, your guide will tell you about its geology and history. Pass through famous movie locations featured in P.S. I Love You and Braveheart. Stop for a 10-minute photo opportunity at the Wicklow Gap before a scenic ride to Kilkenny. Once you reach Kilkenny, have free time to navigate the narrow lanes and historic buildings. Admire its extraordinary castle where you can picnic, or enjoy lunch in the local pubs. Then, join an optional guided tour of the city before making your way back to Dublin.

Frequently asked questions about Kilkenny Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Kilkenny?

The other unmissable things to do in Kilkenny are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Kilkenny

Want to discover all there is to do in Kilkenny? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kilkenny

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,218 reviews

We had such a lovely time on this tour and our guide Godfrey was so amazing (with additional humour and musical treat) to explain everything about the places we visited. The lovely sunny weather was the icing on the cake to enjoy the beautiful sites.

Great full-day tour that gives the perfect insight into nature and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, the guide only spoke English, but it was an all-round perfect day. The respective free time on site was very nice.

We had a great day exploring Glendalough and Kilkenny. I do recommend the tour if you are short on time but want to get a good overview of both. Great craic, Finn McCools Tours!

Really nice experience, Philip the guide, makes it better telling you stories through the trip. You can explore many places in one day. All in all it’s a nice tour to take!

Our trip was excellent and our guide humorous and helpful. The scenery off the beaten path was beautiful.