01 Jan 2017
While you might know Kilkenny for its hurling legacy or its black limestone that lends it the nickname of ‘marble city’, the county’s got a lot to shout about.
It’s a major craft centre with a rich medieval heritage. It’s attracted guests like Tiger Woods and the ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen**, and was voted the ninth friendliest city in the world by readers of Condé Nast in 2013.
There’s a lot to love about Kilkenny, so here’s 11 reasons why you should consider making it your home.
1. It oozes architectural charm
This can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when the city was the seat of political power. You simply can't escape the footprint of the past, from the 12th century riverside castle to Rothe House which dates from 1594, to Jerpoint Abbey which was built in 1180.
There’s plenty to see for historical buffs!
2. The cultural calendar is enviable
Rhythm and Roots Festival is held every April/May; The Cat Laughs Festival takes place every June; Kilkenny Arts Festival is eagerly awaited in August; and Savour Kilkenny delights the foodies in October.
Events are regularly hosted at The National Craft Gallery and there are several galleries including The Butler Gallery as well as the long established Watergate Theatre. Add a buzzing nightlife, and you'll find it hard to stay in.
3. It's family friendly
Kilkenny is a super place to bring up kids, with great schools at primary and post-primary level that are well thought of nationally, including Kilkenny College and lots of amenities and facilities including a playground at castle park.
Desirable areas for families, says Alan, manager of EBS Kilkenny, include College Square, the Loughboy area, the Freshford Road, and Rosehill on the Kells Road. "The overall trend in the market at the moment is that demand outstrips current supply within the city as everyone wants to live within it and be close to all amenities.
“There are no new builds of any significance at present - only four new houses are being built at present in the city," Alan says. "This has meant that people are now going down the self build route and building mainly on family land outside of town. These are now our most popular loans. Not too many are buying sites as they are expensive, with two acres costing up to €100,000."
4. They're the cats that got the cream
They say local kids are born with a hurley in their hand - the Kilkenny hurling team boasts 36 All-Ireland titles. If you're preparing to move to these parts, brush up on your knowledge of DJ Reid et al because hurling is a religion here.
Sports-wise, soccer, golf at the world renowned Mount Juliet estate, and rugby also get a look in.
5. It has serious culinary credentials
The city has two Michelin star restaurants, Campagne and The Lady Helen in Mount Juliet. A vibrant café culture along Kieran Street is complimented by up to 20 other restaurants including Ristorante Rinuccini near the castle and Zuni on Patrick Street.
The county's varied food culture can be sampled on a Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail and in several specialist shops.
6. It’s great for commuters
The M9 Dublin-Waterford gives access to Carlow/Waterford/Kildare and Dublin. "There are good transport links," Alan says. If you need to get to the capital, there are six daily trains, starting at 6:42 am to arrive in at 8:11 am. Check irishrail.ie for full details.
Bus Eireann and JJ Kavanagh & Sons also provide regular Dublin services. Lintown Hall, Altamount, Maudlin Street and Lakeside are all convenient for those who want to commute to Dublin, according to Alan.
7. Employment is strong
Kilkenny is known as a location of choice for sectors such as financial and business services, tourism and culture, agri food, ICT and telecoms.
Companies providing significant local employment in the county include Glanbia, VHI, State Street, Banking 365, Tax Back, and Connolly's Red Mills. The Department of Defence is here too and Revenue Commissioners have a regional office locally.
For the creatives, Academy award nominated animation company Cartoon Saloon is one of the many artistic businesses based in Kilkenny.
8. You can shop until you drop
Fashionistas have plenty to woo them from the department stores of Paul's and Goods to Luxe Room on William Street, The Wardrobe Kilkenny consignment shop, Folkster, and lots of boutiques and shoe shops.
Kilkenny Design showcases Irish craftwork and design. Standout jewellery is crafted at Rudolf Heltzel's workshop, while those interested in interiors can find top international designer brands at Willie Duggan Lighting and Furniture at Hebron Business Park.
9. There's so much to see
Whether you want to picnic in the castle grounds, go canoeing, visit the Smithwicks Experience or take in Dunmore Caves outside the city, it's a pleasure to wander Kilkenny at your leisure.
10. First time buyers have plenty of options
Areas of interest to first time buyers include Robertshill, Alan says, just off the ring road where in early May 2016, €150,000 could buy a four-bed mid terrace. In Lintown Hall near the ring road (which has access to the M9) €165,000 would get a three-bed, both within 15 minute walk from town centre, Alan explains. And in Lakeside - a five minute stroll into the city - €150,000 could buy a three-bed in early May, 2016.
Outside of town there were bungalows in Jenkinstown - five miles outside the city - for €180,000.
"Out ten miles on the M9 motorway towards Dublin on M9 in Paulstown you could get a four-bed detached on the Whitehall estate for €180,000."
11. You can bag a real deal
For a place described by Lonely Planet as "the Ireland of many visitors' imaginations", property is surprisingly good value here, Alan says. "There were 112 properties on Daft.ie as of May 4, 2016, up to €150,000, comprising two-bed apartments in town and cottages outside of town.
There's also a good selection of dwellings, for example five beds near to town, close to all amenities, such as The Sycamores for €295,000, close to hospitals and schools. A four-bed in town - Wellington Square - was available in May 2016 for €315,000."
Between good value, a lively social scene, and a town paved with history, Kilkenny is the place to be – and not just for hurling fans!
Thinking of buying a house in Kilkenny?
If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options, book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with Alan Duggan or one of the team in EBS Kilkenny. Why not try our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow?
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Alan Duggan of Alan Duggan Finance Ltd is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS d.a.c. EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.
EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.
*Prices refer to early May 2016.
**If we mention celebrities, we're not saying they love us. They secretly might, but it doesn't mean they endorse us.