The Route: Kilkenny – Bennettsbridge – Stoneyford – Kells – Kilkenny
Leaving medieval Kilkenny behind, you will head south along quiet rural country roads. Bennettsbridge, once a hive of activity with the big mills along the river, is now a little more tranquil. The major activity here is now craft based with pottery, ceramics, leather and candles being the mainstay of the area. Stop off in the village for a while, have a sandwich or visit one of the many interesting local workshops open to the public. There is also a vintage museum worth a visit.
Don’t eat too much though because just a few kilometers along the trail is Knockdrinna cheese. Stoneyford locals have a long standing tradition of making cheese and this brand has won many awards.
Staying on the quieter roads we head on to Kells, famous for its 12th century Augustinian priory. Alice Kyteler of the now famous Kyteler’s Inn had to flee from Kells many many years ago in order to avoid being burned at the stake.
Park the bike and wander off through the field to what remains of this abandoned community. You will be amazed at what you will discover. Unrestricted access all year makes this an ideal spot to chill out and have a picnic. The remains are very impressive, like a film set of a time gone by.
Return to Kilkenny again on the back roads. This tour is classed as reasonably easy. It covers approx. 40km and should be achieved in about 3 hrs.