County Kilkenny's centrepiece is, of course, its namesake city. An enduring gift of the Normans, it mesmerises visitors with its medieval alleys that wind past its castle, cathedral, ruined abbeys and dynamic modern-day nightlife.
But the appeal of the county as a whole shouldn't be underestimated. It's a place of rolling hills, where you'll soon run out of adjectives for green. Tiny roads navigate the valleys alongside swirling rivers, moss-covered stone walls and relics of centuries of Irish religious history. Wanderers and ramblers are rewarded by characterful pubs and fine restaurants. Shamrock-cute Inistioge village may be star of many movies, but it's the real deal, as are towns like Graiguenamanagh, Bennettsbridge and Thomastown, where you'll find skilled artists and craftspeople busy creating in their studios.