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Kilkenny, Kilkenny, Ireland

Kilkenny to Bennetsbridge, Ireland

One of three sections of the Nore Valley Walk,following the River Nore and featuring members of the Food and Craft Trail

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 (11 votes, 5 reviews)
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.5 miles / 12.1 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Overview: The Nore Valley Walk is the flagship project of Trail Kilkenny. The walk will stretch from Kilkenny city to Inistioge and follow the River Nore. The walk is divided into three sections:
1. Kilkenny to Bennetsbridge
2. Bennetsbridge to Thomastown
3. Thomastown to Inisitoge

This Guide details the Kilkenny city to Bennetsbridge section.

The Nore Valley Walk starts in Kilkenny city at the Lacken Walk. At the end of Maudlin Street there is a small car park which leads to the Lacken Walk. Follow the Lacken walk to Ossary Bridge and then continue along the Nore Valley Walk. The Nore Valley Walk is signposted from here to Bennetbridge. After 2km along the river bank the trail heads through a laneway and onto the Sion Road. Follow this road for 1.5km then cross a green stile, through a field and back to the river bank. The route takes you through a farmland, ruined mills, woods and then to the village of Bennetsbridge.

This walk also features several of Kilkenny's best cafes, restaurants, hotels and craft shops, many of which date back into the mid-century.

Tips: Picnic: buy a picnic in Kilkenny to eat on the trail. The mills or Primms wood are beautiful places to stop and eat.

Stiles / Bridges: the trail entails crossing a number of stiles and bridges.

Dogs: No dogs are allowed on this walk due to the crossing of farm land.

River flooding: After periods of high rainfall the trail can be very wet and boggy. Hiking boots or wellingtons are recommended.

Points of Interest


Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail - Foodworks

The first stop on the "Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail" is Foodworks. Presented by Peter Greany and Maeve Moore, Foodworks is an inviting cafe-style bistro located on Gas House Lane. Their emphasis is to provide freshness and value for money. In 2006, Foodworks was established through the opening of a food production kitchen and smokery on a family farm on the outskirts of Kilkenny City, 2008 saw polytunnels erected to grow their own vegetables and herbs. Currently they are rearing pigs and aim to supply from farm to plate. Freshness is everything!

Private and corporate catering available.

Where: Gas House Lane, Archers, Kilkenny
Open: Mon – Sat (9am – 5pm) (last orders), Closed Sun and Bank Holiday Mon
Phone: 056 7777696

Campagne restaurant (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Campagne is Garrett Byrne and Brid Hannon’s critically acclaimed award-winning restaurant, serving the best of local and Irish produce in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Their food philosophy ensures the involvement of local food producers in their cooking and creating a memorable dining experience.

Winner of numerous awards including Food and Wine Magazine Best Leinster Restaurant & Best Leinster Chef 2009 and the Georgina Campbell Guide Restaurant of the Year 2010.

Where: 5 The Arches, Gashouse Lane, Kilkenny
Open: Lunch Fri (12.30 – 2.30pm), Sun (12.30 – 4.30pm), Dinner Wed – Sat (6 – 10pm), open Sun nights June, July & Aug and on Bank Holiday Sun nights
Phone: 056 777 2858

Langtons (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Langtons is a family owned and run hotel. Established in 1938 by Ned & Bridget Langton as a bar offering food, beverages and bedrooms. Expanding over the years, Langtons still trades on the original service, character & charm. Langtons is renowned for its impeccable service, genuine hospitality and has gained an enviable reputation as a leading venue for food, service, accommodation and wedding providers in Kilkenny.

Where: 69 John Street, Kilkenny
Open: 8.00am – 10.30pm
Phone: 056 7765133

Kilkenny Farmers Market (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Open every Thursday on the parade, the Kilkenny Farmers Market is a fantastic source of local, quality food. Products range from organic meat and vegetables, fresh fish, farmhouse cheese, breads cakes and hand-made chocolates.

Where: The Parade, Kilkenny.
Open: Thursday morning 9:30am-2:30pm

Ristorante Rinuccini (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Ristorante Rinuccini is a family run restaurant in the heart of Kilkenny City. We are committed at all times, to delivering fresh local and Irish produce whenever possible. The quality of our
produce is of utmost importance to us and our customers, and has been one of the key factors in our success over the past 21 years.

“Being from Lazio, Italy, and owning and running an Italian restaurant, I strive to produce classic Italian cuisine using the very best Irish produce sourced locally.” – Chef Antonio Cavaliere

Where: 1 The Parade, (Opposite Kilkenny Castle), Kilkenny
Open: Lunch: Mon – Fri (12pm – 3pm), Sat & Sun
(12pm – 3.30pm), Dinner: Mon – Sat (5pm – 10pm),
Sun: (5pm – 9.30pm)
Phone: 056 7761575

Kilkenny Design (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Overlooking the cobbled courtyard of historic Kilkenny Castle, the restaurant is a relaxing and inspiring space to indulge in the delicious freshly made hot and cold menu. Once you've sampled the renowned speciality chicken and broccoli crumble, made with award-winning Lavistown cheese, you are defied not to try one of the selection of fantastic desserts. All food is prepared freshly each day in the Kilkenny Design kitchens. With emphases and pride on the quality and variety of food, customers are constantly asking for recipes!

Where: Kilkenny Design Craft Centre, Castle Yard, Kilkenny
Open: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 5.30pm (Sat),
10.30am – 5.30pm (Sun & Bank Holidays)
Phone: 056 7722118

Zuni cafe, restaurant & hotel (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Celebrating ten years in business, Zuni has gained a reputation for being one of Kilkenny's best food outlets. There are three strands to our business:

(1) Zuni Cafe, for casual dining, opens from 8am daily, offering breakfast, pastries, soups, jams, risottos and great coffee.

(2) Zuni Restaurant, for the more formal affair, is open for lunch & dinner daily, using local produce and cooked by highly-trained chefs from our open kitchen.

(3) Zuni Hotel, for business or pleasure, has 13 beautifully-appointed bedrooms in the heart of Kilkenny city, with free on-site parking. In Bridgestones Top 100 since 2002. Great food, great service, great value!

Where: 26 Patrick St., Kilkenny
Phone: 00353 56 772 3999
(1) Cafe (8am – 9.30pm)
(2) Restaurant: Lunch (12.30 – 2.30pm), Dinner (6 – 9.30pm), Casual Lunch (12 – 5pm), Tapas (6 – 9.30pm)

Cafe Sol (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Café Sol is an intimate bistro restaurant in the centre of Kilkenny. The ethos of the restaurant, like that of its sister restaurant Sol Bistro in Thomastown, is to provide good honest local food, freshly cooked and tastefully presented at value for money prices.

Where: William Street, Kilkenny
Open: Mon – Thur (11.30am – 9.30pm), Fri – Sat (11.30am – 10pm), Sun (12pm – 9pm), Closed 25/26 Dec and 1 Jan, Closed Mon – Tues nights in low season Oct – Nov and Jan – Apr.
Phone: 00353 56 7764987

Marble City Cafe and Tea Rooms (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

The Marble City Bar is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Visitors will experience and savour an atmosphere made tangible by the aroma of international coffees, freshly baked breads and extensive menus boasting the very best in fresh local Irish produce and service.

The Marble City Tea Rooms is an ideal meeting spot. With both indoor and outdoor seating areas, it is the perfect setting in which to experience a varied selection of international coffees and teas, cakes and pastries along with a full and comprehensive menu.

Where: 66 High St & Kieran St, Kilkenny
Open: 9am – 10pm
Phone: 056 7761143

Blueberry Larder (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

According to the Bridgestone Guide, "if you have little time for your kitchen, the Blueberry is your home from home. Conventional dishes – Irish stew, shepherds pie, beef stroganoff, salmon fish cakes, but Will and Kerry’s experience means that nothing tastes clichéd, the cooking is precise and invigorating."

Will & Kerry Fitzgerald’s Blueberry Larder has a range of delicious take-away options, including scrumptious snacks, desserts, salads, dinners and breads. A home catering option is also available. Blueberry Café also open at Winstons.

Where: Winstons Shop, Kieran Street, Kilkenny
Open: Monday – Saturday (8.30am – 6pm)
Phone: 00353 56 7761456

Country Market Ltd (Kilkenny City) (Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail)

Selling a variety of breads, cakes, preserves and honey, plus seasonal vegetables, flowers, plants and some craft items, Country Markets Ltd began in Ireland over 60 years ago, and the Kilkenny City branch has been trading in Kilkenny for 53 years.

Where: Market Yard, Kilkenny City.
Open: Friday 9.30am – 1pm & Saturday 9.30am – 12pm
Phone: Anne Bolger 00353 85 7217156 or 00353 56 7729178

Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail: Castle Arch Pottery

The first stop on the "Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail" is Castle Arch Pottery. Ray Power set up Castle Arch in the autumn of 1993 in Kilkenny’s famous Castle Yard. Taking inspiration from Celtic patterns such as Newgrange spirals and traditional motifs, Castle Arch Pottery makes bold, honest pieces that stand out and enhance any domestic setting - be it formal or decorative. At the workshop there is the chance to see the pottery being made and glazed as well as make a purchase in the charming shop.

Where: Castle Yard, Kilkenny City
Phone: 00353 56 7751933
Open: Mon to Sat 09:00 – 17:00, closed Sun. Bank holiday 12:00 – 17:00

Millinery by Rebekah Patterson (Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail)

Milliner Rebekah Patterson designs and makes bespoke hats and head pieces which vary from classic to vintage and one-off arrangements for that all-important event. Handmade silk flowers adorn the more occasional pieces, and materials are dyed, colour matching perfectly to team up with
your garments and other accessories.

Where: No 1 The Market Slip, Kilkenny City
Mobile: 00353 87 2540181
Open: Tues to Fri 10:00-18:00, Closed Sun, Sat & Mon by appointment

Rudolf Heltzel Goldsmith (Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail)

In 1966 Rudolf Heltzel set up and led the trail-blazing gold and silver studio-workshops at the government-sponsored Kilkenny Design Workshops. Since 1968 he has been creating magnificent jewelry in gold, platinum, and silver. He is internationally recognized for his outstanding designs and the quality of his craftsmanship.

Where: 10 Patrick Street, Kilkenny City
Phone: 00353 56 7721497
Open: Mon to Sat 09:30 – 17:30 (closed for lunch 13:00 – 14:00)

Nicholas Mosse - Irish Country Shop (Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail)

Nicholas Mosse opened his pottery shop in 1976, which is now famous for high-quality, brightly-designed gift and tableware. His Bennettsbridge shop is fun and welcoming: it boasts a café area, a large ‘seconds’ bargain area, textile collection, other Irish crafts and gifts, plus full customer service. He also sells online.

Where: Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny
Phone: 00353 56 7727505
Open: Mon to Sat, 10:00 – 18:00, Sun 13:30 – 17:00

Moth to a Flame (Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail)

Since 1999, Moth to a Flame have been making a range of distinctive hand-made candles beside the river in Bennettsbridge. Silkmoth scented, Glow-globe, Rock candles and more can be seen in production and in the studio shop. Visitors always welcome.

Where: Kilkenny Road, Bennetsbridge, Co. Kilkenny
Phone: 056 7727826
Open: Mon to Sat 09:00 – 18:00, Sun 13:00 - 17:00 (seasonal)

Phillipe Hetier (Made in Kilkenny Craft Trail)

Philippe Hetier first came to Ireland to work with Keith Mosse in 2003, and in 2008 he took over the workshop. Philippe specializes in handcrafted furniture using traditional methods and techniques. All furniture is designed with clients to facilitate their requirements. Philippe’s areas of specialty include tables, chairs, living/dining & bedroom furniture. Philippe is renowned for his stairs and kitchens.

Where: Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny
Phone: 056 7727860
Open: Wed to Sat 11:00 – 18:00

Junction with Trail and Sion Road

At this point the walk joins the Sion road for 1.5km. Turn right and following the markers directing you to Bennetsbridge.

Black Marble Quarries and Saw Mills

The most famous limestone quarries in Co. Kilkenny are in Maddockstown on the left bank of the
River Nore and are known as the ‘Black Marble Quarries’. Although not true marble, the limestone in this area is particularly dense and black, having many fossiliferous inclusions as can be seen in the street kerbing used along High Street in Kilkenny City. When polished, it can be used as a decorative building stone and has given Kilkenny City its name as the ‘Marble City’.
Commercial marble quarrying was started in Maddoxtown by William Colles in 1730 and was
continued by the family on the site until its sale in 1920, a period of 190 years. Colles also founded a number of water-powered saw mills for cutting the stone which are also still extant on the site. The massive nineteenth century mill was powered by twin water wheels. It is now roofless and is in a derelict state. William Colles is credited with inventing the machinery which was used for sawing, boring and polishing the marble and is also acknowledged to be the first person to apply water power to these processes, having been previously been performed by hand (Nevill, 1986, 305)..
There is also an eighteenth century mill on the site and a two-storey mill dating from the sixteenth century which had been converted to a dwelling house. It is a narrow building which is situated beside a dried-up mill stream. This building, known as the ‘middle mill’, was built by and used as a grain mill by monks who lived in a nearby Abbey, although no trace of the Abbey now remains. The lower mill was built by William Colles, grandson of the founder and used as a factory for making paper from linen rags. William also built Riverview, which is now Lavistown House, in 1810. The ruins of another mill, a grain mill, can be seen below the paper mill. The vertical quarried stone faces can be seen
extensively in this area (Murphy, 1948, 14).
In 1748, two travel writers published ‘A Tour of Ireland’, which contained the following description of the marble works:
‘Near the mill are apartments called warehouses where you may see such diversity of chimney
pieces, cisterns, buffets, vases, punch-bowls, mugs of different sizes, frames for looking glasses and pictures, etc. that would employ the eye the longest day and yet find something to admire. The working of the smaller articles is now abandoned as are also many of the contrivances of the inventor. The marble is fully as durable and bears as fine a polish as any brought from Italy.
Though the stone in this quarry sometimes might weigh several tons, yet the method the contriver
has used to lift them, draw them out and convey them to the mill without any other than manual
operation adds still more to the surprise. I am informed that this ingenious gentleman sends yearly
several shiploads to England which gives me a particular satisfaction that they may find a native of Ireland had outdone all they had hitherto seen. I cannot hear that anyone has attempted to imitate the machinery. It is perpetually at work, by night as well as by day, and requires little attendance’.
Stone from the quarries was used to construct the locks of the Kilkenny Canal which was begun in
1775. It was also used to pave the Chancel of St. Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny as well as in the
building of Trinity College and the G.P.O. Dublin.
The marble works were sold by Richard Colles in 1920. The works were carried on by the new
owners for several decades, but were eventually discontinued.

The Rocks and Sir Edward Oliver Wheeler

The Rocks in Maddockstown, close to the Marble Mills, was the ancestral home of Brigadier Sir
Edward Oliver Wheeler (1890–1962), who was who was involved in a number of mountaineering
expeditions on Mount Everest. His father Arthur Oliver Wheeler, who was born in Maddockstown,
moved to Canada with his parents in 1876 at the age of 16 for economic reasons. The young Arthur
undertook an apprenticeship as a land surveyor in Collingwood, Canada. In 1881, he qualified as
Ontario Land Surveyor and in 1885 he studied new photo-topographic methods of land survey under
Dr. Deville. These techniques involved photographing the surrounding landscape from elevated positions (Higgins, 2004, 74). In the winter of 1907-08, Arthur returned to Maddockstown for a visit while on a trip to Europe. In 1909 he sold his remaining property in Kilkenny, thus severing the family’s link with the area (Higgins, 2004, 75).
Arthur’s only son Edward, following in his father’s footsteps, was commissioned into the Royal
Engineers and won the M.C. and Legion of Honour for service during the First World War (Higgins,
2004, 75). Edward was chosen to work with Henry Morshead (1882–1931), Chief Surveyor on the
1921 Everest Reconnaissance, for his expertise in the field of photo surveying. With Bullock and
Mallory, Edward Wheeler made the first ascent to the North Col and identified the East Rongbuk
Glacier as the key approach to the col. Edward Wheeler was a competent mountaineer, having accompanied his father (also a surveyor) on
climbs in the Rockies. After serving in France, Mesopotamia, and India in World War I, he joined the Survey of India in 1919. From 1941 to 1943 he was Surveyor General of India. He was knighted in
Col. Howard Bury was subsequently asked by the Royal Geographic Society to lead an expedition to
Mount Everest in 1921, with Wheeler part of the Expedition Team. In 1922, Howard Bury’s magnum
opus "Mount Everest" the Reconnaissance was published. In 1931, Howard Bury inherited his
ancestral home, Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, on the death of his mother. In the post war
period Howard Bury restored Belvedere House and Gardens, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Upon his
death in 1963 the Belvedere estate was inherited by his friend and companion Rex Beaumont.

Leaving Sion Road and back to the river bank

Using the stile enter the field and follow the marker posts back to the river bank.

Video interview with Eoin Hogan from Trail Kilkenny

Video interview with Eoin Hogan the Rural Recreation Officer for Kilkenny and the manager of the Trail Kilkenny projects.
Pictures in this guide taken by: Trail_Kilkenny, Standing: Bullock, Moreshead, Wheeler, Mallory., Photographic Survey Party: using photo-topographical surveying instruments,
An enjoyable walk, very peaceful and relaxing. Quite interesting sites and scenery along the way. I took quite a few photos of the trail. if you want to know what some of the trail looks like before you go you can find them at:

or at,

I'd certainly recommend it, when the weather is good.

Visited on May 31, 2012

by RedBucket on Feb 26, 2014
Really enjoyed this walk, we got a taxi out to Bennettsbridge (with Rays Taxi service, very nice and helpful) and walked back to Kilkenny. We stopped for our picnic half way but had to sit on the grass as there was no where to sit along the way. Met a herd of cows on the path way and had to scare them off to continue. Only disappointing part was where you have to leave the river to walk on a road for half a mile. However, overall truly enjoyable and would highly recommend.
Visited on Sep 15, 2012

by Magsv on Sep 16, 2012
I have walked the Nore walk from Bennetsbridge to Kilkenny in just under 2hrs. It was a beautiful day in late September and I feel very lucky to have had such great weather. The walk is in pristine condition and is the first of many walks I will be sampling.
Visited on Sep 24, 2011

by darrenmccbe on Sep 26, 2011
I guess, it must be a really good hiker to manage 12.1 km in 1 hour as this trip is in the activity Walking!

by takacs on Nov 29, 2010
Hi Trail_Kilkenny. My name is Barry, alias thedogdosingstrip. In 1993, while visiting my cousin in Kilkenny ( She and her husband own/run Kytlers Inn) I purchased a mountain-bike for the purpose of cycling about Ireland. Before I left Kilkenny I spent the week prior cycling around the area you have mentioned in your guide. Viewing your guide has brought back so many very-fond memories of the very-beautiful countryside that surrounds Kilkenny. So much so that I was reluctant to leave.
I have decided to connect with you so I can keep up-to-date with your group and your trips/guides.
Keep up the great work.


by theoutdoorholic on Aug 28, 2010

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