Spending a day at Blarney Castle and Gardens is truly recommended, whether you’re a history enthusiast, ready for a hike or just looking for a nice place to spend a relaxing afternoon with the family. Blarney Castle is one of the most important historical buildings in Cork and most visited attractions. Here is how to make the most of your trip here:
A much-loved historic icon
The Blarney Castle was built around 600 years ago by Dermot McCarthy. It’s actually the 3rd castle to have been erected on this site. The first building was a wooden construction, built in the 10th century, which was succeeded by a stone structure built around 1210. Millions of people have visited the castle over the last hundreds of years, making it a famous landmark around the world and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures.
Kiss the Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone is an object of many myths and legends. If you don’t mind a little work out, walk up to the impressive castle and the world renowned Blarney Stone. Tradition says that whoever kisses the stone will never be lost for words. To do so, as many world statesmen and famous people have done through the years, is a rather thrilling experience. You actually have to lay down on your back, head first down a hole with someone holding your waist. It may sound rather curious but it doesn’t put people off. Today, there is now a lattice at the bottom of the hole to keep you from falling all the way down, should you be unlucky enough to drop. Whether you believe the myth or not, it is a great place to visit and a fun (perhaps even thrilling!) activity to do.
Stroll around the castle gardens
For those less eager to sweat, this place is still worth visiting. Enjoy the view of more than 60 acres of lush gardens, beautiful avenues and waterways at the Castle Gardens. See the stunning waterfalls in Bog Garden, where, on a sunny day, you may be lucky enough to spot a colorful rainbow. At the Herbaceous Border, an 80 metre long rose pergola is constructed, looking delicate in colours of white and pink. Actually, a journey through the gardens can be a somewhat thrilling experience itself, at least if you visit Poison Garden. Some of the plants here are so toxic that they’re kept in large cage-like structures. Enter at your own risk and make sure the kids are always accompanied!
A romantic trip to Rock Close
A unique and truly romantic experience awaits you in Rock Close, where art and nature go hand-in-hand. This spot has a wide range of rocks that have been interestingly shaped by nature. This has been utilized to create tasteful and characteristic combinations of nature and art. Today, it’s in fact hard to decide what is primitive and what is designed. Rock Close also holds the Wishing Steps, which if manoeuvred right will make your dreams come true, another local myth. Taking in this mystical and enchanting atmosphere with a loved one is truly a romantic experience that is not to miss.