When visiting the South of Ireland it’s a travesty not to go to the Blarney Castle. The castle was built nearly six hundred years ago and has been attracted the attention of millions have as travelers venture to the picturesque village of Blarney, often just for the castle and to kiss the Blarney Stone. It’s a must-see, iconic landmark and one of the Emerald Isle’s greatest treasures.
When I first visited Rob in Ireland we took a taxi from Cork airport to The Square in the middle of Blarney to get some groceries before walking the very short walk back to his house. At one point I stopped and stared because, behold, there it was, The Blarney Castle. He laughed because he grew up with literally being able to see the Blarney Castle from his parents front door, and had stopped noticing it really after all these years. But I soon forced him to be a tourist in his own backyard and we wen’t to see that gosh-darn Blarney Stone everyone talks about.
Now the legendary “Stone of Eloquence”, The Blarney Stone, is found at the top of the castle tower. While we were there, we had to climb to the top and kiss the stone. Now, I’ve been blessed with the gift of the gab, and haven’t shut up since! 😅 But to be totally honest, the most famous part of the Blarney Castle grounds is also kinda the least interesting. The stone itself is just well… a stone. But it was fun to say I did indeed kiss it. Rob shot a video of me while doing it so there was no need to pay the overcharged photos they take of you kissing the stone. So have a friend or family member ready to snap a pic for you and save a few bucks.
Be warned however, if you have knee problems, this castle is quite old and the narrow spiral, stone stairway (especially on a typically-Irish, rainy day) is a bit challenging to navigate. If you don’t let that deter you, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view looking out over the grounds as well as the hills and charming neighborhood of Blarney.
Like I said, the least interesting part of the visit for me was the stone itself. But I still HIGHLY recommend going to the Blarney Castle. Why you may ask? Well, if you are one who thinks that you come to Blarney Castle only to see the stone, you’d be missing out on the beautiful and expansive 60 acres of sprawling parklands which include gardens, lakes, dungeons, wildlife and miles of walkways, and waterways. Seriously, you could spend hours exploring and getting beautiful photos. It’s super awesome!
There’s also the equally impressive Blarney House, which is a Scottish Baronial mansion that is open to the public in the summer months. We were there during the winter so I didn’t get to go inside, but Rob and I are already planning a trip to Ireland in the summer and I’m definitely dragging him back down to The Blarney Castle again to play tourist and checking out mansion inside and the gardens during the summer.
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