The journey begins leaving the city of Dublin for an amazing day tour of the city of Kilkenny, the mountains of Wicklow and the Glendalough heritage site. Go back in time to the Mesolithic Period, visit the 600 AD monastic site, and view the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle. Throughout these areas you will hear about marriage, murder, witchcraft, legends, and the “saviors of civilization.”
The city of Kilkenny
The city of Kilkenny, known as Ireland’s medieval capital, has remains of colonies that date back to the Mesolithic Period. During your two and a half hours in Kilkenny, you will receive a 30-minute tour of the city where you will hear about some of the callous history of the city and view its present-day beauty.
Starting at the famous Kilkenny Castle, you will learn about the hundreds of years of history behind the magnificent castle. The 12th century castle has an extensive and fascinating past including the legendary Strongbow.
Standing in the same spot where the very first person was burned alive at the stake in Europe, you will hear the story of the innocent condemned. Step inside Kyteler’s Inn, the place where a bar once owned by Alice Kyteler stood. A plaque on the building reads,
“Ósta Kyteler – Kyteler Inn. The house of Dame Alice Kyteler, a member of the wealthy banking family of that name, who was charged with witchcraft and heresy, by Richard De Ledred, Bishop of Ossory, in 1323.”
Found guilty and sentenced to death, she escaped the dungeon of the castle the night before she was to be burned at the stake.
While in Kilkenny, you can also walk through the Butter Slip. It is an enclosed alleyway built in 1616, where butter was sold in the market town.
During your free time here, you can walk through the Roth House and Gardens. Throughout the three finely restored homes from 1594, and the gardens, you will see locally found artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age. Additionally, you can visit St. Canice’s Cathedral, Black Abby, the Kilkenny Old Jail and Courthouse, the Medieval Museum, St. John the Evangelist Church and Priory, and many other landmarks and attractions.
The Wicklow Mountains
The Wicklow Mountains, in the county of Carlow, is the most diverse terrain in Ireland. As you travel through the area, you will notice the lush green countryside with prolific pastures covering gentle valleys transform. Upon reaching the area of the Wicklow Gap, ancient glacial valleys, a brief stop is taken to allow for pictures of the striking and remarkable countryside. Throughout this area many famous movies have been filmed, including PS I Love You, Michael Collins, and Braveheart. Part of this area is now known as Hollywood and it has a Hollywood sign on one of the hills.
Glendalough, a monastic city
Glendalough, meaning glen of two lakes, is a world-famous heritage site. The monastic city dates back to 600 AD. Up to two hundred people would have lived there full-time. People came for safety and to learn life skills. The monasteries were considered universities before universities existed; they were cities before cities existed. People would come here to learn to make wine, honey, and beekeeping. They could learn how to make stone buildings, make paper from cow’s skin, take ink and put it into the quill of a bird feather to write. Thus, creating things like the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells was completed by St. Jerome in 384 AD.
It is considered that the “Irish Monks Saved Civilization.” There was a book written in 1996 “How the Irish Saved Civilization,” written by Thomas Cahill. It was done through monasteries because monks wrote things down at a time when not many did. Hear about the impressive history of the monastery while you are here. You will also have some free time to walk through the majestic forest areas surrounding the two lakes and a beautiful waterfall.
Annamoe sheep farm
The final stop on the tour is a visit to a sheep farm in the village of Annamoe. Here you will watch a shepard demonstrate how he works with his border collie dogs to move his herd of sheep. Through commands and specific whistles, his dogs guide the sheep through corrals, into fields, and across ditches. Depending on the time of the year you are there, you may also see and hold a baby sheep.
History of Ireland
The history of Ireland is a lot more ferocious, intense, and powerful than most people know. Learn about murder, witchcraft, and “saviors of civilization” in Ireland by joining Wild Rover Day Tours for an exciting and informative day tour to Kilkenny, Wicklow, and Glendalough. Adult tickets cost 35 EUR (40 USD) and children under 12 cost 25 EUR (29 USD). For more information on this tour or others, contact Wild Rover Day Tours.