Kilkenny Castle Park and Gardens
In previous centuries the Castle was surrounded by parklands and enclosed by gardens with generous tree planting. This was gradually whittled away and changed over the centuries and, when the castle was first handed over to the people of Kilkenny in the 1960s, only fifteen acres of land was attached.
Today, the park comprises 21 hectares of land providing a fitting setting for the castle and a splendid amenity area.
After the Castle was taken over by the Office of Public Works, new entrances were created to give access to the park. The entrance near the Parade Tower has nineteenth-century cast iron gates that came originally from St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin. The open parkland to the south of the castle has been replanted with emphasis on trees and shrubs that provide year around colour. Pathways have been restored and some have been extended.
On the west side of the castle a formal garden with axial paths radiating from a central fountain retains much of the basic form that could have been there during the ducal period. The existing fountain is probably the base of an original seventeenth-century water feature. Two lead statues stand on pedestals near the castle: one is of Hermes after the original in the Vatican Collection, and the other is of Diana the Huntress. All of the garden features, including the terracing, have been recently restored.
The opening of OPW sites can be weather dependent and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all, access may be subject to change at short notice. Every attempt will be made to announce these closures ahead of time but if you are in any doubt, please check with site for its Open/Close Status.
There is no admission fee to walk and explore the parklands.
Please note BBQ’s are not allowed on the Castle Park grounds.
Click here for opening times.
We welcome dogs and their responsible owners at Kilkenny Castle Park.
We have plenty of paths around the 21 hectares of grounds which are perfect for dog walking.
Please download the Code of Conduct for Dog Owners (PDF) and help us keep our woodland, lawns and gardens clean and fun for everyone.
Take the lead:
Please keep your dogs and puppies on a short lead at all time.
Scoop that poop:
Free bags are available along the paths and near the gates with plenty of bins. Please ‘bag it and bin it’ to keep your favourite places beautiful and safe.
Keep them close:
Not everyone loves dogs, including wildlife, so keep them close by and especially don’t let your dog chase or disturb any wildlife by the pond. Dogs may enter the pond area but not in the water, owners, please don’t encourage them by throwing any objects into the water.
Restricted dog breeds:
As per the Control of Dogs Regulations 1998, owners of restricted dog breeds and every other strain or cross of restricted dog breeds must also comply with the following rules:
- Dogs must be muzzled
- Dogs must be on a short lead or a chain less than 2 metres which must be sufficiently strong
- Dogs must wear a collar with the owners information on it, including their full name and address.
- Dogs can only be led by people over the age of 16
View the list of restricted dog breeds below
Learn more about our bird boxes and the different species of birds that nest and roost in the Castle Park.
International Dawn Chorus Day 2021
To celebrate nature’s greatest symphony we recorded the beautiful birdsongs in the Castle Park on Sunday 2nd May 2021. Click on the soundcloud to listen to the distinctive sounds of some of our most vocal birds.