Legendary Blarney Castle - It Is So Much More Than the Blarney Stone!
Blarney Castle is located approximately 5 miles
from the city of Cork, near the river Martin.
It is one of many castles located in County Cork in Munster Province - and arguably the most famous!
I took this picture on a mild day in June. We arrived around 2:00 in the afternoon and there were many people there - but it wasn't terribly crowded.
There is a lot to see and do on the Blarney Castle grounds, but the main attraction is obviously the Blarney Stone, which is located at the top of the castle.
As you can see from the picture, the line into the castle stretched beyond the main entrance. But it moved quickly, and there was so much to see on the way up that time passed quickly.
get to Blarney Castle from the Dublin Airport, take the M1 out of the airport
and follow signs to the M50, then the N7, then the M7 to Limerick / Cork.
Expect a journey of approximately 3 hours.
Things to Know About Blarney Castle
Here are some fun facts about this amazing Irish landmark. Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!
But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited attractions in Ireland.
- The castle we see today is
actually the third on this site. Built
by the King of Munster, it has been standing since the 15th century.
- It is most famous for the
Blarney Stone, which is built into its battlement structure. Kissing the stone is said to bestow the gift
- Millions of people,
including celebrities and world leaders have made the climb to the top of the
castle, and accomplished the feat.
- The official name of the Blarney
Stone is the Stone of Eloquence. To kiss it, you'll need to lean backwards and
get in a rather precarious position. But for many visitors, the promise of the
gift of gab is worth it.
The castle has seen its share of battles. It was seized during
the Irish Confederate Wars and it was captured just a few decades later during
the Williamite War in Ireland.
Blarney Castle is surrounded by a number of fascinating rock
formations. When you visit, follow signs to some of the most famous, which
include Witch's Cave and the Druid's Circle.
Visiting the Castle is unique because although it is more than 600 years old, you can still explore it yourself. The stone
walkways and uneven floors take you back to an earlier time.
As you walk, look for the so-called murder holes in the
floor. These grated areas were used during battles. If intruders made it past
the main gates, guards would cover them in hot oil tossed through the murder
holes. A rather effective but brutal sign of the past.
You can still see the dungeons of Blarney Castle. While they
aren't as threatening today as they might have been in the past, they certainly
can be spooky.
While exploring the castle is wonderful, the best views come
from outside. Make sure you admire the castle's architecture, and its distinct
lean to one side, from many angles.
The gardens surrounding the Castle are as much of an
attraction as the castle itself. Take time to explore the Poison Garden, where
poisonous plants are herbs were famously grown.
There are three major walks that you can take to explore the
ground, depending on your schedule. The Riverside Walk takes a quick 20
minutes, the Lake Walk will take you about 45 minutes and the longer Woodland Walk
is well worth the full 90 minutes it will take you.
- In good
weather you are likely to encounter a harpist, filling the air with lovely
For much more information on Blarney Castle, visit the official website here.
Want More Irish Castles?
It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish castles! The Emerald Isle is dotted with hundreds of these incredible structures.
Sharing pictures and stories about them gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!
We have captured the most amazing pictures and descriptions of Irish castles in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Guide to Irish Castles and Abbeys."
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That Was Fun! Where Can I See More?
Great question! As you can see, exploring the castles of Ireland offers many opportunities
for enjoying an Irish experience and expressing your personal Irish
For more information of this kind, you might pay a visit to our section on Ireland Sightseeing here!
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