Kilkenny or Cashel Enroute to Cork?

Hoping I can get a little feedback. Some friends and I are going to be in Ireland from June 26th and flying out of Shannon to Edinburgh on July 2nd. Quick visit, I know. We have 2 days/2 nights in Dublin and then heading down to Cork for 2 days/1 night. After that we are heading up to Galway for 2 days/2 nights. We are planning on using public transportation for all of this. I would like to stop in Kilkenny or Cashel on the way to Cork. We would most likely have about 6-7 hours in either location. We really like history and culture. Which of these locations would you say is more "must-see"? Kilkenny seems great as a smaller town, and I love the idea of a medieval town. With our other stops on our itinerary, it may be nice to get the feel of a smaller Irish town. The castle looks very interesting as well. The Rock of Cashel, on the other hand, looks incredible and it seems to be on a lot of must-see lists. Our options, as I see them: Stop in Kilkenny Stop in Cashel Skip both and just head straight to Cork to have more time thereTry to get to both in the same day. The only problem with this is that I don't think there is good way to get from Kilkenny to Cashel via public transportation. We'd probably have to rent a car for this option. Any help would be much appreciated!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8507 posts

The Rock of Cashel is one of the iconic sites of Ireland. It has a fascinating history, and beautiful views across the plain. The town is small. You couldn't really spend 6-7 hours there, but you could combine a visit there with visit to the castle in Cahir, on the way to Cork. The only thing "medieval" about Kilkenny is the street layout. It's not a walled city or anything like that. It has a castle (more of a mansion), a design center, and a lot of people. On my first trip to Ireland, I was looking forward to seeing both places. We probably spent two hours plus at Cashel, and we stopped at Cahir. We spent maybe three or four hours in Kilkenny. I loved Cashel, but was completely unimpressed with Kilkenny. Maybe I was expecting something different, I don't know, but it just seemed like any small city.

Posted by Josh
Apple Valley, MN, USA
3 posts

Thank you Nancy! That is good info. Cahir looks like a good addition to the route. I don't necessarily need to spend all 6-7 hours that I have, it is just the maximum amount of time I'd want to use on the way to Cork. Thanks again!

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1274 posts

I agree with Nancy - Kilkenny was "meh." (If you want a medieval city, visit York,) We went to Cashel last April - two hours is plenty of time for the rock itself. Be sure to go to nearby Hore Abbey - it's an interesting site and also an excellent spot for taking pictures of the rock of Cashel. It's only about a mile from the rock - an easy level walk from the town if you don't have a car.......Another place we enjoyed in that area was Birr - lovely gardens to wander through.

Posted by Josh
Apple Valley, MN, USA
3 posts

Cynthia - we are actually going to York later on in the trip! Thank you for the tips. I am starting to lean towards the Rock of Cashel. It would be nice to have a few extra hours in Cork anyways.

Posted by Kristen
620 posts

I agree with everything with everyone else. Cashel is unique and amazing and you could easily do it justice with a few hours. Kilkenny is a fun town for bar hopping but not much to see. Have a good trip!