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Perfect Day Trip from Dublin: Kilkenny and Glendalough

Perfect Day Trip from Dublin: Kilkenny and Glendalough

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Ah, Dublin!  Friendly people, incredible pubs, great music, and literary history surrounds you in this vibrant city.  While I loved our time in Dublin, it’s always nice to take a break from the city and get away on the perfect day trip from Dublin

It was really a hard decision, do we go to Kilkenny and Glendalough, do we visit the Aran Islands, or do we go on a Dublin to Cliffs of Moher tour?  I mean, there are just so many amazing things to do in Ireland!

After doing some research, we decided that we definitely wanted to see the charming town of Kilkenny and the beautiful monastic site in Glendalough.

For this outing, we selected the Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains & Glendalough Day Tour from Wild Rover Tours and boy were we glad we did!  Read on to hear all about our perfect day trip from Dublin! 

If you find yourself short on time while visiting Dublin, then you definitely want to check out these Dublin stopovers!

*This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.  That Texas Couple is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Day Trip From Dublin

Getting Started From Dublin

We began our day bright and early by meeting our guide at one of the three convenient locations right in the heart of Dublin.  We were so excited to be going on one of the many fabulous day trips from Dublin

After boarding our tour bus and meeting some of our fellow travelers, we set out on our journey.  Our guide, Conner, did a fabulous job of immediately engaging us in some of Dublin’s fascinating history. 

I found myself intrigued by the stories of the hard-working spirit of the Irish people and loved the stamina they portrayed throughout a turbulent history.   Don’t worry, you won’t be bored though. 

Conner did a great job of sliding in some humor and fun facts into his stories.

Getting out of Dublin and into the Irish countryside seemed to take no time at all.  Listening to Irish tunes and watching the beautiful green fields out the windows made time literally fly by. 

Before I knew it, Conner was back on the microphone telling us about the town of Kilkenny, our first stop. 

Not only did he share some of the histories of the town, but he also advised us on all of the things that are available to do in the town as well as giving us food recommendations.

Wild Rover Tour bus on our day trip from dublin

Kilkenny

Upon arriving in the charming town of Kilkenny, we had the option to explore on our own or to take a walking tour with Conner.  Of course, we chose to take the walking tour.  Conner taught us all about the history of Kilkenny Castle, including its ties to some of the characters in The Game of Thrones!

Walking through the town I couldn’t help but notice all of the fabulous shops and cafes we were passing along the way.  Note to self must come back!

Stopping across the street from one of the town’s attractions, the Rothe House, Conner told us all about the ‘witch of Kilkenny’, Dame Alice Kyteler. 

Born into nobility in 1280, Dame Alice was married four times.  Suspiciously, all four of her husbands died, making her the heir to their estate.  Accused of rejecting the Christian faith and after being tried for heresy, Dame Alice fled to England in 1325 never to be heard of again. 

However, her servant, Petronella de Meath, wasn’t so lucky.  Petronella was burned at the stake in 1325, making her the first person in Ireland to be accused of heresy and burned at the stake!!!

Yeah, so after that fun story, Conner advised us that we have about an hour to tour the town. 

He gave us tips on where to visit and off we went.  Marty and I chose to just roam around the streets, admiring the architecture and beauty of the city before grabbing a picnic lunch and of course, and ice cream from Murphy’s.

Smithwicks in Kilkenny
Murphy's Ice Cream during our day trip from Dublin to Kilkenny

Wicklow Mountains

Upon leaving Kilkenny, our awesome driver, Joe, strategically navigates our tour bus into the Wicklow Mountains. 

As we make our way into the mountains, I quickly understand why so many movies choose to use this stunning area as backdrops for their films.  Surrounded by gentle slopes and rounded peaks that are covered in green, I find myself lost in the beauty of nature. 

Stopping for a quick stretch and photo opportunity, I can see why millions of visitors come to this area every year.  It’s absolutely stunning!

sheep grazing in the fields of Wicklow Mountains

Glendalough

Upon arriving in Glendalough, we joined Conner on another walk as he explained the history and importance of this beautiful monastic site. 

I was fascinated by the story of how the hermit, St. Kevin, gained many followers, thus creating the monastic site that we see today.  The 33-meter tall round tower was said to have been built as a landmark so that locals could locate the monastery even from far away. 

I loved hearing all about how the tower was used by the monks as a defense against the invading Vikings.

Wandering around the site, surrounded by the beautiful Celtic crosses that dot the graveyard, I didn’t think I was ever going to get Marty from out behind the lens.  LOL!

Kilkenny and Wicklow Mountains should be on your couples bucket list

Pulling Marty away, we wander down to one of the lakes on the site.  We chose to take the boardwalk through the marshes to the southern lake, but you could also choose the upper path by the forest. 

No matter what path you choose to take, you end at the gorgeous lake nestled in the valley of the Wicklow Mountains.  There was a serenity that seemed to surround us at this site, inviting us to stay all day.

Irish Sheep Dog Demonstration

The highlight of our trip was the final stop on our tour, and something that is completely unique to Wild Rover Tours, a sheepdog demonstration! 

Upon arriving at the sheep farm, we are introduced to a family of sheep farmers that explain the unique process of training these fabulous pups.  After answering all of our questions, then we are treated to two different demonstrations. 

I could not get over how smart these dogs were.  Marty and I truly loved this part of our tour!

dog in the Irish sheep dog demonstration

Final Thoughts on Kilkenny-Glendalough Day Trip

After a great day touring the Irish countryside, we relaxed on our drive back to Dublin, reflecting on all of the memories we created.  Conner advised of places to eat and visit in Dublin as we reentered the city, and gave directions to everyone as needed. 

He and Joe were so helpful and professional during our journey.  I felt like we were 100% taken care of the entire time and will totally book another tour with Wild Rover Tours. 

Upon arriving back in the city, we started exploring more of the items on our list of free things to do in Dublin.

Please note, this was a sponsored post.  Marty and I were provided with a complimentary tour, but as always, all opinions are our own.  

Suggested Dublin Tours:

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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight:

We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.

Book Your Vacation Package:

If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.

Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!

For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.

Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”

Book Your Accommodations:

We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!

There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.

Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!

HotelsCombined is another cool site. They allow you to compare all of the top travel sites with one search to ensure you are finding the best deal out there. Kayak works in this way as well.

If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.

Tour Companies We Trust:

We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!

For a guided city tour, check out City Sightseeing and BigBus Tours. These bus tours are so much fun and easy to hop on and hop off at top attractions in cities around the world.

CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.

Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.

Looking to Save Time and Money?

Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!

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    Michelle Snell founder of That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel

    About The Author

    Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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    Mohana Das

    Friday 13th of July 2018

    Ireland is high on my list for its splendid castles and its windswept landscape. Your photographs are amazing! Did you get to pet those cute sheep?

    thattexascouple

    Friday 13th of July 2018

    Thank you so much, Mohana. My husband is the official photographer so I will be sure to pass along the compliment. Ireland was gorgeous and yes, we got to pet the sheep, including lambs :)

    Aimee Horgan

    Thursday 12th of July 2018

    Glad to hear you enjoyed my country, I'm from Cork a little further South. I do love Dublin as a city, it has a great vibe and Glendalough is a gorgeous (very green) place.

    thattexascouple

    Friday 13th of July 2018

    You have a beautiful homeland, Aimee. And with fabulous people. Everyone was so nice.

    Nerissa

    Thursday 12th of July 2018

    I was in Dublin earlier this year for St Patrick's Day and I absolutely loved it! I never got the chance to do any day trips out but it looks like you had such a great time. The countryside of Ireland is just so green and so beautiful.

    thattexascouple

    Friday 13th of July 2018

    I bet Dublin during St. Patrick's was a blast! I'd love to hear about that!

    Lindsay

    Thursday 12th of July 2018

    We were just in Ireland in January and did the northern 2/3. Now we just have to go back and cover the bottom 1/3. This region is definitely on our list, I just love how the old cemeteries and crumbly castles photograph!

    thattexascouple

    Friday 13th of July 2018

    Oh, wow! That sounds like a great trip, Lindsay. Thanks for reading and the compliment on the pic!

    Amy Dodd

    Thursday 12th of July 2018

    Great tips! Wish I had this guide when I was visiting Dublin! Keeping it for my next trip though as it is so useful.

    thattexascouple

    Friday 13th of July 2018

    Thank you, Amy!