Tree walking at Castlecomer Discovery Park
Kilkenny is certainly not short of leisurely things to do. The walks around the city, the marked cycle routes and hill climbs around the county make Kilkenny a very attractive destination for the entire family.
Take Callan, and the home of Edmund Ignatious Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers. Around this quaint farmhouse is a nice stroll, with a pond, chickens and goats. It's a real pleasure to see. Another nice stroll for the younger members of the family is the Nore Valley Park, a wonderful petting farm.
Stepping up the pace, the Castle Park, Canal Walks and Linear Walks would warm you up for the more brisk walks around woods like Jenkinstown, Millennium wood and then on to the climb up Brandon Hill outside Graignamangh. Other wonderful walks feature in Windgap and Tullahought area in south Kilkenny — notably the Kilmacoliver walk and the spectacular views of Sliabh na mBan.
Castle Morris woods in Piltown is also something special.
Then it’s on your bike, there are many wonderful cycle routes - indeed there is a cycle lane the entire way from Kilkenny City to Carlow, obviously avoiding all motorway traffic.
In the city, Kilkenny Cycle Tours will hire bikes, and you can cycle out to Bennettsbridge on country roads, and return to Kilkenny by walking along the river Nore, it’s a must-do.
Also, if you’re worn out walking and still have some sights to see, then take one of the two tour trains available outside the gates of Kilkenny Castle.
For the more adventurous take a trip out to Castlecomer. Apart from viewing the fine museum detailing the history of coalmining in the area, the Discovery Park offers tree top clinmbs and a wonderful zip line right throught the woods. There is also a playground, fishing and wonderful woodland strolls with fairy villages throughout - Castlecomer Discovery is a must for all.
So for active family fun, Kilkenny has a lot to offer - other facilities include the Watershed leisure complex which has a 25m pool, toddlers pool, gym, soccer pitches and running track.
Apart from the Nore, Kilkenny is also blessed with the stunning Barrow - an anglers paradise and suitable for boating from St Mullins right the way up to Dublin.
Many locks and quaysides are dotted along the way, making your boating trip all the more memorable, with plenty of places to rest awhile.