If you’re looking to get out and about with the kids, there’s nothing better than a day in fresh air exploring. Kilkenny offers plenty of countryside, beautiful gardens and city walks to choose from, so we’ve picked 8 places for great family walks in Kilkenny that are perfect for a fun day out.
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Castles, forests, rivers and gardens – there is lots to see on these family walks in Kilkenny, so you won’t be stuck for choice!
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8 Fun Family Walks in Kilkenny
#1. Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum
Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum provides a mixture of formal and informal gardens to stroll around, with something for all the family.
Take your pick from the arboretum with many specimen trees, the walled garden which is abundant with flowers and vegetables, the yew walk, rose garden, Monkey Puzzle Avenue and Noble Fir Avenue.
Refreshments are available in the tea rooms. There are also picnic tables, a playground and toilet facilities. There is a parking charge per car, payable on exit.
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#2. Ballyrafton Wood, Ballyfoyle
Ballyrafton Wood is a small wood, just off the Castlecomer Road at the turn to Jenkinstown Wood. A circular trail through the wood is unmarked, but starts and ends at the carpark. It’s a nice length for younger children. The trail is a little uneven in parts but you should be able to manage a stroller.
Keep younger kids close on the return half of the trail, as there are some steep slopes down towards the river. There are picnic tables in the car park.
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#3. Mountain Grove, Piltown
Mountain Grove is a marked walk along trails through pretty woodlands with some small streams. It is posted as being 4km long and is not suitable for pushchairs – we would also recommend waterproof boots as some of the ground is quite soft and muddy, even after a spell of dry weather!
#4. Jenkinstown Wood
Jenkinstown Wood is a great location for a family day out. There are two marked walks through the forest – the Walled Garden Loop (2.5 km) and the Jenkinstown Wood Loop (4km). Both walks start and finish at the car park and are suitable for all family members. There are plenty of benches so you can take a rest along the way if necessary.
One notable item of interest is St. Colman’s Well. There are also picnic areas with picnic tables, grassy areas for the children to play on, and public toilet facilities.
There is also a deer enclosure next to the car park which is very popular with children of all ages!
#5. Coill an Fhaltaigh
Coill an Fhaltaigh, off the Callan Road at Castleinch, is a millennium forest covering 230 acres. There is a pond and wildlife sanctuary with lots of flora and fauna, so dogs must be kept on a leash. There are three marked walks, all of which are suitable for all of the family, including pushchairs.
For those in need of a rest along the way, there are plenty of benches. Picnic tables are adjacent to the car park.
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#6. Kilkenny Castle Park & Gardens
Kilkenny Castle Park & Gardens is set in beautiful grounds which can provide a great afternoon out for the family. To the north are the beautiful rose gardens surrounding a large fountain. To the south are parklands with rolling hills, meandering paths, a wildlife area and a large playground.
It is a lovely venue to walk and picnic with the whole family. There aren’t many picnic tables, but there is plenty of open space in which to spread a picnic blanket. Dogs must be kept on a leash.
#7. Lacken Walk, Kilkenny City
This walk features a boardwalk, as well as picnic tables and seating along the way. The walk provides 1.6km of scenic view along the riverside from Maudlin Street to Ossary Bridge.
Walkers can now take the Lacken walk as far as the ring road, where they can then travel to the Bennettsbridge roundabout, down by the Black Quarry and onto the Canal walk, back towards Kilkenny Castle & city. If taking a buggy, you will need help at the Lacken Steps at the Dublin Road access point.
This is a magical walk along the bank of the River Nore in Inistioge. It is narrow in places, so care should be taken with pushchairs and younger children. However, older children should enjoy the walk and the scenery, and have fun trying to spot all of the flora and fauna listed on the nature board at the start of the walk.
After about 1km, the trail leads slightly away from the river bank, and if you follow it for about 2km you will reach the waterfall and ruins of the Swiss Cottage. Again, this is suitable only for older children as the climb to the ruins is steep in places.
Alternatively, instead of following the river, you can take a right turn up the hill to Sandford Castle (signposted), to the ruins of a castle from the late 18th century. The walk to the castle is through lovely woodland, and the views from the castle of the village, bridge and countryside below are stunning.
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