Best outdoor spots for families in Kilkenny


Are you looking for outdoor activities for kids? With Irish weather being so unpredictable we have to grab the opportunities to get outdoors whenever we can. So here’s some of the best outdoor places in Kilkenny for all the family.

Jenkinstown Wood

Jenkinstown Wood, formerly part of the Bryan Bellew Estate, is perfect for a picnic with several picnic tables, grassy areas for the children to play on, and public toilet facilities.

There is a deer enclosure next to the car park which is very popular with children of all ages.


Castlecomer Discovery Park

Castlecomer ParkCastlecomer Discovery Park comprises 80 acres of mixed woodland with 6km of woodland walking trails and nature trails.

There are two rainbow trout angling lakes.  Lots of picnic areas and wooden sculptures throughout.

Related: The Best Picnic Places for Families in Kilkenny

Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum

Located just outside the picturesque town of Inistioge, Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum provides a mixture of formal and informal gardens to stroll around, with something for all the family.

There are also picnic tables, a playground and toilet facilities.  There is a €4 admission fee per car, payable on exit.

Lacken Walk

Lacken Walk in Kilkenny City features a boardwalk, as well as picnic tables and seating along the way. The walk provides 1.6km of scenic views along the riverside from Maudlin Street to Ossory Bridge. If taking a buggy, you will need help at the Lacken Steps at the Dublin Road access point.

Kilkenny City

Jump on the Trail Kilkenny bus to Bennettsbridge at Padmore & Barnes, Wolfe Tone Street on a Saturday morning and walk back along the Nore.

Or even explore the Slips – the narrow walkways that connect High Street with surrounding streets.There are lots of hidden treasures to be discovered!

Take a stroll around some of the county towns and discover little gems like Thomastown, Inistioge and Graiguenamanagh.

Related: Great Family Walks in Kilkenny

Bishop’s Meadows

cycling in kilkennyThere are many shared spaces for cyclists and suitable cycling lanes in Kilkenny as part of the Smarter Travel initiative.

One of our favourite places to cycle in the city is along the Nore at Bishop’s Meadows. Away from traffic, it’s perfect for younger children too.

Trail Kilkenny have also developed various cycling trails throughout the county, suitable for more experienced cyclists.

Nore & Barrow rivers

Kilkenny is lucky to have the Nore & Barrow rivers. There are opportunities to take a canoe or kayaking trip in Kilkenny city or Graiguenamanagh – keep a look out for tester sessions.

During the summer months there is supervised outdoor swimming in Inistioge, Graiguenamanagh and Kilkenny City.

Related: Outdoor Swimming in Ireland

Kilkenny CastleKilkenny Castle Park & Playground

Kilkenny Castle Park has extensive parkland, woodland walks & a superb children’s playground with swings, slides, bridges and benches for adults too! and is open until 8.30pm during the summer.

There’s a playground in almost every town now and most are modern. See Playgrounds in Kilkenny for full list.

Kilkenny Castle Park also provides the ideal spot for kite-flying too with its open spaces.

Nowlan Park

It wouldn’t be summer in Kilkenny without watching a hurling match. You can also see The Kilkenny Senior hurling team train at Nowlan Park on various weekday evenings. Buy a hurl and sliotar and have a poc around in any open space.

Related: Free Things to Do with Kids in Kilkenny

Do you have a favourite outdoor place to go with the kids in Kilkenny?  Tell us about it  in the comments below.

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