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Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

Annapolis, Maryland
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Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

We will be traveling from Kilkenny to Kinsale later this month during a 10-day trip to Ireland. We like off the beaten path places and interesting scenery. While planning the route, it was suggested that on our return (originally to Carlow, but now we are going to a small town in Co Carlow called St. Mullins), it was suggested to go from Kinsale "through Lismore, stopping at the castle, then over the scenic 'vee' into Clonmel, through Kilkenny and on to Carlow."

However, as noted above, we won't be going to Carlow now, but are meeting some distant relatives at my family's ancestral home in St. Mullins. That will take us on a more eastern route, so we won't be able to go through the 'vee' on our return.

I wonder, instead, if we could make that drive on the way down to Kinsale. Is it worth it to take this path through the mountains for the extra time that it will cause? We aren't in a spectacular hurry to get to Kinsale,but would like to be there by mid-afternoon. The only stop I have so far on the way to Kinsale is St. Patrick's Well in Clonmel. If worthwhile, we'd also stop at the Lismore Castle. AA Route Planner gives a 3 hr 29 min estimated trip w/o stops, but I'm figuring it is probably closer to 4 hrs or more w/o stops, especially coming through the mountains.

The alternative route, which was what I'd initially planned, was to go from Kilkenny through Clonmel then out to Cahir (stop in Cahir), then on down to Kinsale via the faster route. If we skip Cahir by going through the mountains instead, we will be able to see it on a different day when we go to Rock of Cashel.


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1. Re: Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

I've been over the Vee many times and I suppose the most important thing is the weather. If it's a misty wet murky day ( we get those occassionally in Ireland ! ) there is little point in driving it as you'll see nothing.

Secondly it is better done in a northerly direction, the views are better looking north. You'll need to pull in and look behind you but there are plenty of lay by's to do that.

If you're the energetic sporty type you can climb the Sugar loaf at the top of the vee. By the car park you'll see a very obvious stoney path to the top of a conical shaped mountain. Well worth it for the views.

If you like life in the slow lane this route certainly beats the motorway but be aware, the roads are twisty from the vee to Midleton. Lismore is a lovely town and the castle is spectacular. Unfortunately it's not open to the public, just the gardens and a small section which is turned into an artists gallery. Still, I think if you like castles it's worth the visit. If you're into the quaint you mght be interested in The Swiss Cottage, on the route from Cahir to Clogeen en route to the vee.

I hope I've helped and not added to the confusion !

Cork, Ireland
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2. Re: Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

I agree that The Vee is best done south to north. Visiting Lismore should make this route a worthwhile one though. Once you're in Lismore, you can also travel to Kinsale via Watergrasshill. Midleton could be worth a shirt stop though as it has the distillery that you can visit and a remarkable number of decent restaurants for a town of it's size.

Edited: 17 August 2012, 09:42
Waterford, Ireland
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3. Re: Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

Let the weather be your guide. I did it recently on a bright sunny day (one of the very few this summer!) and it was a lovely drive, on a poor day it would just be annoying twisty roads :)

Annapolis, Maryland
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4. Re: Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

Thank you for your comments! Unfortunately, due to our plans to meet relatives the next day in Co. Carlow, the only way we can do this drive is if we do it north to south, but I suppose, even in that direction it's more scenic than the motorway! We'll plan to take it slow and stop where we can to appreciate the views. And if the weather is not on our side, then we may just skip it altogether (fingers crossed!).

Blackgreen, the AA route planner does take us through Watergrasshill on the way to Kinsale. Is there something worth a stop along there? Is there someplace between Kilkenny and Kinsale that is recommended for lunch? If we go the way of the mountain pass, we'd be following the route of Kilkenny, Clogheen, Lismore, Tallow, Fernoy, then down the M8 toward Cork. If the weather stinks, then we'll just go Kilkeeny, Clonmel, Cahir to the M8 and follow that down toward Cork. We'll be leaving in the morning from Kilkenny, I imagine we won't be ready to eat until we reach Lismore or the M8 if we go that way.

We will be stopping in Middleton the next day on the way back to St. Mullins to see the distillery and maybe have lunch. Farm Gate Restaurant was recommended in another thread. Anyone been there?

Thanks again for your assistance and recommendations!

County Dublin...
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5. Re: Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

Even if it's only a half decent day the Vee is a lovely drive and the foliage is now in bloom. This one might make for a good lunch stop.


Allow five hours for that trip.

In St. Mullins the cafe here might be nice for your meet up.


Western Ireland...
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6. Re: Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

I'd be inclined to skip it altogether, go to Kilkenny, onto Carrick-on-suir, under the mountains to Dungarvan and on to Youghal and Cork. Some lovely scenery on this route.

7. Re: Drive from Kilkenny to Kinsale-worth it to go through vee?

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