Visiting South East Ireland
One of the best things about living in Europe is how quick and inexpensive it is to travel. With cheap flights available to and from most major airports, you could be experiencing a completely different language, culture and way of life in just a couple of hours. Ireland is one of Europe’s most culturally enriched and beautiful countries. It’s a must for every travel bucket list. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, Kilkenny should be at the top of your list. Plan an itinerary and take advantage of Ireland’s ferry connections, and start exploring Ireland’s Ancient East by car from a fantastic base at Pembroke Kilkenny Hotel.
Getting to Ireland
Ireland is well connected by air and sea. The main international airports in Ireland are Dublin, Cork and Shannon, with smaller regional airports in Kerry, Donegal and Knock, Co. Mayo. Dublin & Cork airports are closest to Kilkenny, about a 90-minute drive.
The main ferry ports in Ireland are Dublin Port, Cork Port and Rosslare Port. Dublin Port has routes from UK ports like Liverpool and Holyhead. Cork arrivals depart from Roscoff, France and Santander, Spain. Rosslare Port welcomes routes from Cherbourg, France and Bilbao, Spain.
Located in Wexford in the South East of Ireland, Rosslare Port is closest to Kilkenny and can be reached by car in 80 minutes. Bring your car on the ferry, or hire one on arrival, and explore the country in a relaxed, comfortable manner, enjoying some lovely scenery on the way to Kilkenny.
If you have any questions about driving in Ireland, feel free to email us and we’ll do our best to help. Alternatively, public transport options are available from both airports and ferry ports.
Kilkenny, Your Base to Explore Ireland
Make yourself at home at Pembroke Kilkenny Hotel. Situated in the heart of the city centre and just minutes walk from Kilkenny’s most famous landmarks including Kilkenny Castle and St Canice’s Cathedral, Pembroke Kilkenny is the perfect hotel to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kilkenny including its fantastic food, arts & craft culture, outdoor adventure or afternoons meandering through the streets of Ireland’s Medieval Mile.
Pembroke Kilkenny is the city’s No.1 TripAdvisor rated hotel and recipient of the Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best award for the past several years. The central location makes it the perfect base to explore Kilkenny and neighbouring counties in Ireland’s Ancient East.
Every detail is thoughtfully considered to offer guests a memorable stay at Pembroke Kilkenny. All of the rooms come with super king-sized beds, fluffy pillows, fresh crisp sheets and Nespresso machines. Our breakfast menu, full of homemade dishes and the best of local ingredients, is ideal to set you up for a day of exploring. It was recently named Ireland’s Best Hotel Breakfast by the prestigious Georgina Campbell Food & Hospitality Awards.
Free car parking is available for all guests, so you won’t have to worry about finding a spot at the end of a day of travelling and exploring.
Places of Interest
Kilkenny City is one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland and is filled with gorgeous medieval buildings and cobblestone winding lanes, all located on the banks of the River Nore. There is over 800 years of history and heritage to uncover on the Medieval Mile.
Highlights include the magnificent Kilkenny Castle – take a tour to see how royalty lived and admire the interior and treasures that lay within. Make time to walk in the park and gardens, taking in the duck pond and wide variety of trees, flowers and plants.
At St Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower, learn about Ireland’s rich religious background and how it shaped the country. Situated in the oldest part of Kilkenny City, St Canice’s Cathedral dates back to the thirteenth century. Brave the 7 flights of ladders to the top of the tower for breathtaking views across Kilkenny County. There are only two towers in Ireland that can be climbed, so this is not to be missed and is a must-do when in Kilkenny!
Smithwick’s Visitor Centre is a trip back in time to the monks who first brewed alcohol on this site in the 1700’s. Learn how it started and the huge success that followed, now named one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions by Lonely Planet. The tour includes a tasting of Smithwick’s ales – you won’t find them better tasting anywhere else!
Get out of the city and enjoy a forest walk in Castlecomer and some adventure activities in Discovery Park, about 20 minutes drive away. Make a pitstop at Dunmore Caves on the way, stunning limestone caves deep underground where Vikings roamed and hid in 928 AD.
You could also plan a visit to Woodstock House, Gardens and Arboretum in Iniostioge. The gardens have a mix of formal and informal gardens with arboretum, walled garden, terraced garden, yew walk and rose garden.
Want to do some shopping? There’s a myriad of boutiques, galleries, jewellers and craft stores in Kilkenny waiting for you to discover!
Explore Ireland’s Ancient East and South East
Experience the thrill of living history throughout Ireland’s Ancient East. Within one hour of Pembroke Kilkenny, you could be immersed in some of Ireland’s most fascinating historical sites:
- Rock of Cashel, Tipperary – the seat of the Kings of Munster and where Brian Boru was crowned High King
- Viking Triangle, Waterford – showcases three museums situated within the 1000-year-old city walls built by Vikings. Ideal for a morning activity before starting a walk or cycle on the Waterford Greenway, a 46km car-free trail to Dungarvan, a beautiful coastal town in Co. Waterford
- Hook Lighthouse, Wexford – the world’s oldest operational lighthouse. Spectacular views of the rolling and jumping sea await you on the balcony at the end of the lighthouse tour
How to Book Your Stay
Kilkenny is the ideal base for exploring Ireland. We’re well connected by road, rail and public transport so you can enjoy the country from a comfortable base.
For the finest boutique hotel accommodation in South East Ireland, book your stay at Pembroke Kilkenny Hotel. Our special offers and best available rates are exclusively available when you book directly on our website, along with complimentary wi-fi, car parking and free 48-hour cancellation. Click here to check availability now!
We love to hear from our guests when they are planning their visit. If we can help you with suggestions, itineraries, or anything at all, send a mail to our team by clicking here