Thomastown (Irish: Baile Mhic Andáin) is a 13th Century medieval walled town in County Kilkenny. It is on the bank of the river Nore and is famous for Jerpoint Abbey, Kilfane Glen gardens, and Mount Juliet Golf Course. Thomastown lies in a valley. Thomastown is 17km southest from Kilkenny on the R700. It is the middle town on a series of towns dotted along the River Nore. To the northwest is Bennettsbridge. To the southeast is Inistioge. If driving please note that the centre of Thomastown operates a one way system due to the narrow nature of the streets in its core. The town has grown substantially over the past decade due to its proxminity to Kilkenny and less expensive housing. The town has all the essential services required for tourists. In the last year a new Super Valu and Lidl supermarket opened on the road towards Gowran on the edge of town. The town's best aforementioned attractions lie a couple of kilometres outside the town all in different directions so a car will be required to see them. Be sure to visit the watergarden in the town just off the main street.
JJ Kavanangh's bus services between Waterford and Dublin pass through the town. Thomastown is also serviced by a bus run between New Ross and Kilkenny City.
Thomastown train station (Station Road, +353 (0)56 24218) was opened on 12 May 1848. It is on the Dublin - Waterford line, which also serves Athy, Carlow, Bagenalstown and Kilkenny. There are 6 trains a day in each direction. It is open M-Su 7am-7.30pm.
The platform is very small and not suitable for wheelchairs. Tickets and timetable information can be got at the stations, online or by phone (+353 (0)1 7034070 between 09.00-17.00 Monday-Friday).
Thomastown is a small town. Everywhere in the town is within walking distance. If driving bear in mind that the centre of Thomastown operates a one way system.
The River Nore, Thomastown
- Jerpoint Abbey, Thomastown (2.5km west of Thomastown (N9)), ☎ +353 (0)56 7724623. 10AM-5PM (6PM Jun-Sep, 4PM Nov-Feb). Built in the 12th Century. It is Ireland's finest Cistercian monastic ruin with a magnificantly sculptured cloister arcade. Includes visitor and exhibition centre. €2.90 Adult, €1.30 Child.
- Kilfane Glen and Waterfall, Kilfane, Thomastown (3.2km north of Thomastown on N9), ☎ +353 (0)56 7747105, . 11AM-6PM Jul-Aug. The gardens of Kilfane House were build in the 1790s. They were restored in the 1970s. They are listed as an Irish Heritage garden. There are woodlands, walks and a waterfall over 15 acres. €6.
- Grennan Castle. A 13th century, built by Thomas FitzAnthony, after who Thomastown is named.
- Watergarden, Ladywell Street, Thomastown, ☎ 056-774690 ([email protected]). Peaceful garden hidden in Thomastown with many interesting features – sparkling fountains, water wheel, waterfall, wonderful plants, coffee shop, craft shop and garden centre..
- The Irish Whiskey Event, Stoneyford, Kilkenny. But run in location of choice, ☎ +353 (0)86 8580630, . This group whiskey tasting has some excellent reviews. Learn about whiskey and try some rare Irish whiskies.
- Mount Julie, Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 777300, .
- Golf. This golf course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is one of the top golf courses in the country. It often holds international golf tournments. Green fees €70-150.
- Horse Riding (Mount Juliet Equestrian Centre), ([email protected]). 8AM-6PM Daily. Lessons, treking and cross country over 700 acres.
- Spa. The perfect place to escape
- Tara Antiques, 2 Market St., ☎ +353 (0)56 7754077, . Some beautiful old furniture, mirrors and clocks.
Kilkenny is knows for its excellent array of high quality arts and crafts. All of the items below are made in Thomastown. In most cases, you can visit the workshops themselves and see how the items are made.
In 2009, the brand 'Made In Kilkenny' was created to help promote the local craft industry. Look out for it.
- All That Glitters, Ladywell Corner, Thomastown, ☎ 056 7724081 ([email protected]), . Kilkenny is known as the marble city. This designer makes necklaces from local marble and other gems/stones.
- Clay Creations, Low Street, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724977. 10AM-1PM, 2PM-5.30PM W-Sa. Ceramic studio that makes comtempory, original designs. There is also a gallery.
- Earthworks Ceramics, Grennan Watermill, Waterford Rd, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724714, . 10.30AM-5.30PM Tu-Sa. Set up by three local ceramics artists, Karen Morgan, Oonagh Anderson and Caroline Dolan to show and sell their work. Located in an old watermill.
- Gus Mabelson Ceramics, Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724777 ([email protected]). By appointment. Makes tiles, functional and large scale pieces to commission.
- Jackie and Ed Keilthy Jewellery, Sugarstown, Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 7793694. By appointment. Have been making individual jewellery for over 17 years.
- Jerpoint Glass Studio and Gallery, Stoneyford, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724350 ([email protected]), . 10AM-6PM M-Sa, noon-5PM Su. A family run glass studio production handmade items since 1979.
- Sol Bistro, Low Street, ☎ +353 (0)56 7754945. 11:30AM-9:30PM Wed-Sun. good honest local food freshly cooked and tastefully presented at value for money prices.
- Mount Juliet, Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 7773000, .
- Kendal's Restaurant. Informal French restaurant in The Hunters Yard.
- Lady Helen Restaurant. Award winning formal restuarant.
- The Long Man of Kilfane, Dublin Rd., ☎ +353 (0)56 7724774. A restaurant running for over 17 years. Serves traditional food, steaks and seafood.
- Watergarden Cafe, Ladywell, Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724690. Traditional cafe. Coffee, lunch, organic food.
- The Bridge Brook Arms, . Traditional family run pub. Has live music and poetry readings. Also has internet café.
- Carroll’s Bar, Logan Street, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724273, . Over 70 years old, this pub is knows for its traditional old surroundings. Have beer garden, serve lunch, and has live gigs and exhibitions.
- Presidents Bar (Mount Juliet), Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 7773000, . The main bar at Mount Juliet. Also serves light food.
- Murphy's, Low St., ☎ +353 (0)56 7724160.
- Abbey House, Jerpoint, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724166, . Beside Jerpoint Abbey, this refurbished country house with six rooms. B&B €42-55.
- Ballyduff House, Thomastown (5km from Thomastown), ☎ +353 (0) 56 775 8488, . This house was built in 1760, in parkland overlooking the River Nore. Tastefully decorated rooms. €50 per person.
- Carrickmourne House, New Ross Road, ☎ +353 (0)56 7724124, . Five ensuite rooms in a picturesque location. €35-60.
- Mount Juliet, Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 777300, . This fabulous four star hotel, set in one of Ireland's best golf courses which has played host to Tiger Woods and Pardaig Harrington, is a luxury. Its unbeatable setting with rivers, valleys and forests is worth a day in itself for fishing and riding. Has two restaurtants. €155-625.
- Oldtown Farmhouse, Oldtown, Stoneyford, Thomastown, ☎ +353 (0)56 7728224, . B&B with four ensuite rooms €32-35.
- Kilkenny - The capital city of County Kilkenny is an attractive medieval town is 17km from Thomastown. It is home to the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, held annually in early June.
- Inistioge - a beautiful little village on the river Nore. Just above the village, are Woodstock Gardens, which are being restored to period 1840 -1890. Only a few km south of Thomastown.
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