Visiting the Blarney Castle and Gardens in Cork

Visiting the Blarney Castle and Gardens in Cork

Another Sunday, another sunny surprise! What an amazing day, I wasn’t imagining to have such a great day and enjoying it so much! The Blarney Castle and Gardens definitely worth the visit if you are in Cork!

Again, the problem was lack of preparation…, I definitely should start preparing my trips in advance, and when I say in advance I mean preparing my trips.

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I could compare Blarney Castle to the Portuguese Quinta da Regaleira, a playground for grownups! But Blarney’s gardens are bigger, much bigger! While Quinta da Regaleira you can enjoy it properly during an afternoon…, for Blarney Castle and Gardens you’d need a full whole day…, and because I am lazy and I left home after lunch, I had to run a bit…

Blarney Castle, as the name says, is a castle… Despite the fact that’s the main attraction, the gardens, the forest, the lake and the mansion makes the 10€ ticket to worth every single cent! There you can kiss the iconic stone, which I did…, that allegedly it gives you “great eloquence or skill at flattery“…, let’s see if it really works…

Visiting the Blarney Castle and Gardens in Cork
Visiting the Blarney Castle and Gardens in Cork

Walking throughout the forest and by the lake is quite a half a day…, I didn’t have time for everything since I have “L-A-Z-Y” marked on my DNA, but for the part I saw it’s worth the trouble. It is a quite relaxing walk, around 3-4 hours for the forest trails and small wood gardens, the fauna and flora is quite interesting!

Then you have the “other side” of the gardens, the Rock Close, a “not so fairy tale” corner of the gardens where you can see, allegedly, witches and druids settlements. It is funny, though, it seems that is quite old but not impressive as the rest of the castle. As I said before, it is like a playground for grownups and please, don’t miss that part!

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About the “private” area…, unfortunately that’s restricted and I believe it might be amazing as well! The mansion, or Blarney House, where people still live in…, therefore it isn’t public… yet…

Curiosities about the Blarney Stone

  • Blarney Stone is in a district of Cork City (it used to be a village, now incorporated into the city). Though it is about 8-10 km from the city center, which requires transportation to reach it
  • The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone part of Blarney Castle, at the very top of it.
  • The Blarney castle, gardens and stone (of course) are one of the most popular tourist sites in Ireland, even Churchill visited and kissed the stone!
  • Those who kiss the stone are gifted with the gift of eloquence or skill of flattery, or so the legend says…
  • The word blarney has become an expression and it means to be clever or flattering.
  • The name of the town (or district?) comes from the Irish word An blarnameaning, which means “the plain”.
  • Kissing the stone nowadays is “safe” (excluding the germs), though before one would have to be hold by their legs or ankles downwards to kiss the stone. Until one day one person actually fell to his death, from then on they changed the “method” and added bars for extra safety.
  • There are other legends that credit legends to religious beliefs.

Where is the Blarney Castle?

As mentioned before, nowadays Blarney is within Cork city boundaries. However, it is still 8 km away from Cork city center. You have a few options to get there, mostly by bus. In the past there used to be a train station in Blarney, but it was closed a while ago.

By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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