My colleagues and I decided it was a good idea to go to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day. We didn’t really want to spend it in Dublin as it gets rather crazy and is even more expensive than London. (“Did you hear Ireland is so expensive? It’s Dublin in price!”) – Sorry not sorry!
We flew out of Stansted at sparrowfart (6:30am) on Thursday March 15 – Pro tip: if you’re going to be flying that early out of Stansted do yours self a favour and get a hotel near the airport for £50. Worth it. We spent a good chunk of the day in Dublin when we arrived. We saw Trinity College (where The Book of Kells is), and we walked all over the city from there to St. Stephen’s Green and over to the Guinness Factory which was near the train station. Turns out you can’t actually get a beer in the factory without taking the tour and we had heard it was a bit underwhelming so we passed and found a pub nearby and got Guinness there instead! Bonus, the barman liked us and gave us free Ireland shot glasses.
We really had no idea what to expect in Kilkenny. It looked quaint, and we scored an Air BnB walkable to the city center and thankfully only a 6 minute walk from the train station (which would prove handy on our way out when it was snowing and cold!). We ate some amazing Irish Stews, drank loads of whisky and beer and met some really amazing people. My favourite part was probably the Traditional Music Festival that was going on (TradFest). Loads of lovely live music in the pubs and if you’re lucky (we were!) you would stumble upon some Irish dancing. (Click here to see my video from Lanigan’s pub!)
There was an adorable parade on St. Patrick’s Day!
We ended up going to something like 17 pubs in the time we were there which is a CRAZY amount considering the town is only 26,000 people and that was maybe only half the pubs in town! Everywhere we went we had a great time.
Click here for a list of pubs in Kilkenny we enjoyed!
The best pub we went to we found on accident: It is called Hole in the Wall, and I only saw it as I looked down an alley earlier that day and saw a sign at the dead-end. WHY not right? I mean, YOLO – or whatever the kids say these days.
The Hole In The Wall is a new music venue situated in the heart of Kilkenny City. It is housed in the oldest surviving townhouse in Ireland – the 1582 Archer Inner House, 17 High St. The Elizabethan building with its tavern, snug and Archer room has been fully restored over the last 10 years and is now open to visitors for the first time in hundreds of years.
We walked into the tiny barroom, and there were about 15 people shoved in there listening to an iphone playing a haunting irish song. Everyone was smiling as we walked in and said shhhhh. The barman, an older man who is apparently a hear surgeon by day, hipster barman by night let us order some drinks. From what I heard from some of the folks in there, it’s a very exclusive bar, not in the way of being elitist, more in the way of if they like the look of you. Like, do you seem normal. ha! I wish I had taken some photos in there because it was magical. We went back two times and met some interesting folks! There were poetry readings and off the cuff shakespearean monologues and live music and just generally very secretive. We felt like we were in Diagon Alley somewhere that wasn’t real. (the photo below is from tripadvisor) This is the snug.
The next day we woke up hungover (don’t tell my mom), and we woke up to snow! I always seem to miss the snow when it comes to London, so it was a nice change for me! Until we were cold and I realised I was wearing converse – then I wanted it to be just cold and not snowing and windy! It was beautiful anyway!
Kilkenny is worth a visit for sure, the people are amazing and the city is full of endless charm.