Like being in a mysterious time-warp realm, much of Kilkenny's charm owes a huge debt to the Middle Ages. The cobbled pedestrian passageways and old-fashioned shopfronts lead to hip bars, fashion boutiques and chic restaurants. Kilkenny is clearly in the modern world, but it didn't sell out its traditions to get here.
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Built in 1752, this is one of Ireland’s oldest walled estates. Now the original manor and converted stables have achieved their own sense of timelessness as a luxury boutique hotel.
Thanks to the moderating effect of the Atlantic Gulf Stream, Ireland's climate is relatively mild for its latitude. More good news - the southeast, including County Kilkenny - is the driest region in the country, enjoying a more continental climate. But don't rely on it not raining - Irish weather generally works on the 'four seasons in one day' principle.
From June to August, days are reasonably warm, with average high temperatures 18-20°C, and - most importantly - very long. At the height of summer you won't need to turn on lights until after 22:00.
In winter, temperatures rarely venture below freezing and the average low temperature from December to March is 2°C. It's cold, grey and dark by 17:00, but there's always a pub to escape into when the rain starts sheeting down.
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