If you’re driving to Kilmallock the best place to leave your car is in the car park beside the impressive 15th century King’s Castle. You can’t miss it. It’s in the middle of the road! Most of Kilmallocks medieval town wall still exists. In the car park a 150m stretch of it is in plain view. Once on the main street as you walk towards the centre of the town you’ll pass a late sixteenth century merchant’s mansion. Your first stop should be the Friars Gate Theatre. The Theatre contains the Ballyhoura Heritage Hub information point which will relate the story of the wider area and provides details about what to do. The theatre also has free copies of the self guided walk of the town. There is always an art exhibition on display and you can find out what’s on that night by checking out their website.
Another must see is the nationally important and always open Dominican Priory. On your way to Priory drop into the tiny but interesting Kilmallock Museum (typically open Apr-Oct Mon-Fri 10-12 & 1-3, N.B. opening times vary so ring ahead +353 (0)63 98 259). The exhibition is dominated by a model of the 16th century town. If there is a group with you the museum can provide a tour of the town (€4 per person). Make sure to book ahead first though.
Don’t miss out on a stroll through the Collegiate Church, parish church for Kilmallock from 1241 until 1935. There is an interesting collection of 16th and 17th century memorials housed in the south transept. Two sides of the graveyard are surrounded by another stretch of town wall. A short walk to the other end of Kilmallock will let you view the 15th century Blossom Gate. Further on will bring you to the new civic centre which has a series of antiquarian paintings and drawings of Kilmallock on view in the foyer. Round the corner is the Famine Park which was the burial ground attached to the Workhouse.
If you still want more then the internationally important archaeological complex in Lough Gur is just 15km away. This small area contains the largest stone circle in either Ireland or Britain, a megalithic wedge tomb, early medieval stone forts and several other archaeological monuments ranging in date from the Neolithic to Post-medieval period. The lake is also an excellent place for bird watching.
If you are looking for something a bit more energetic, Kilmallock is the hub for a series of cycle routes. You can either bring your bike or hire locally. Altogether there are four routes covering over 280km of attractive countryside. Kilmallock is also the base for the Ballyhoura Mountain Biking Centre. Each year 40,000 thrill seekers go as fast has their nerves will let them over 52km of world standard off-road courses. If the bike isn’t your thing and you prefer to keep both feet on the ground Kilmallock is also ideally placed to avail of 1500km of walks that comprise the Ballyhoura way marked walks. Or, if you like organised walking contact the Ballyhoura Bears Walking Group.