It's been quite awhile since we had a family day out, our last proper trip being to Blarney Castle and Gardens at the end of March so Jacek decided it was time to have time out as a family and explore somewhere new so off we headed to Kilkenny. Kilkenny isn't a place I'd ever been to before and it was great to see somewhere new. It took two hours to get to the center of Kilkenny City by car but really should have only have been an hour and half, we had to stop for oil along the way, it seems that Jacek's car is quite thirsty for oil on long journeys as we had to stop again on the way back! The weather was glorious, a very toasty 21 degrees and I was glad to be out with my boys, the only problem being that I had a very cranky toddler. Tyler Lee wouldn't sleep in the car on the way up, something he always does but nope, not on our family day out! He's been fighting his sleep all week and it's made him very irritable indeed. I had invested in a BoBo Buddies Hiphop the rabbit reigns for him to give him a bit more freedom when out and about but he still wanted to run ahead and didn't like being held back at all. Eventually he did sleep in his buggy but he still wasn't happy when he woke up, it must have been one of those days!
Kilkenny Castle itself is beautiful. The inside itself is stunning and it's great to see very old aspects of the castle preserved such as the old Chinese wallpaper. The long gallery was a lovely place with old paintings and portraits adorned on the walls, the atmosphere of it all actually reminded me of the Louvre in Paris, some people were just sitting on the benches in there taking in the artwork, it was lovely. I was surprised though by how quickly we went around the castle, yes we had a crying toddler to contend with but I don't think we were going around that fast! The grounds of the castle are also lovely, a wide open grass area and a little garden area with benches and flower gardens, it was great to see so many people out enjoying the grounds on such a sunny day, I do prefer the grounds of Blarney Castle though, so much more to see I think and lots more colour! The ticket for the castle was €6 for an adult and €2.50 for a student, Tyler Lee was free.
When Tyler Lee had dosed off we took a walk along Kilkenny City highstreet which was very busy and full of buzz. I think they have their Sky Cats Laugh (or something like that!) festival this weekend so I put it down to that. There were lots of stalls and music, it was quite nice really and the city itself has a lovely charm to it. We stopped for lunch as a pub and restaurant called the Playwright. Unfortunately we couldn't get a table outside so had to make do with inside which had the vibe of a wine cellar to me - very dark! The food was okay though and it was great to have some quite time with Jacek. Afterwards we took a walk up to St. Canice's Cathedral, a place which Jacek wanted to see. The church boasts gorgeous stained glass windows and a round tower but I was very disappointed to see that you have to pay to go in. Surely religion should be free, no? €4 for an adult to look around the church plus €3 for the round tower, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth to be honest, although the church was lovely I don't think you should have to pay just to enter a church. Afterwards we gave Tyler Lee his lunch and headed to another church which Jacek wanted to see, I can't remember the name but this time I sat outside basking in the sunshine while he went exploring.
Overall we had a nice day out and it was great to spend some time in the sunshine with my boys. I only hope on our next outing that Tyler Lee is a little happier so I can get some pictures of him smiling! I'm delighted to have ticked another county and Irish landmark off my 'to visit' list. I think it's also great that our boy has seen so much of his home country in his short life already.