Blarney Castle attracts thousands of visitors each year, who come to kiss the Blarney Stone. The stone has become one of Ireland’s greatest treasures and one of the most popular landmarks in the world. So when in the south of Ireland, make sure you visit Blarney Castle in Cork and you’ll see that the famous stone is only part of the attraction!
The history of Blarney Castle stretches back as far as 1210AD, and the castle you see here today, is in fact, the third castle to be built at this site. It was built by Dermot McCarthy, the King of Munster in 1446. The castle lies beside the River Martin and is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens. There are also a number of walks throughout the estate and an arboretum.
Blarney House is located just 200 yards from the great castle. It was built around 1874 and is beautifully located overlooking Blarney Lake. Take a tour of the house and see a magnificent collection of art, tapestries, antiques and family portraits.
Other things not to miss while at Blarney Castle and Estate are the Dungeon, the Wishing Steps, the Rock Close, the Witch’s Kitchen and the remains of an 18th Gothic Mansion called ‘The Court’.
For over 200 years, people have travelled from all corners of the world to Ireland with one thing in mind – to kiss the Blarney Stone!
The stone is located at the top of the castle, so you’ll have to climb the stairs to the top, lie on your back, hold onto the railings and lean backwards to reach the stone.
It’s not quite sure where this magical stone came from. Some say it was Jacob’s Pillow which was brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah, others say it was the rock that Moses struck for water, while others say it was the rock on which St.Columba died and because of that it became the stone of destiny. The story goes that when Ireland helped Scotland to defeat the English in 1314, that the Scots gave it to the Irish as way of saying thanks.
But what’s so special about this stone? Well, it’s said that if you kiss the stone you’ll receive ‘the gift of the gab’. Whether this is true or not ….well, you’ll have to find out for yourself!
Picturesque Blarney can be found about 8km north of Cork city. If you want a Cork hotel in Blarney this stay at the 4 star Blarney Golf Resort Hotel, the 3 star Blarney Castle Hotel or the 3 star Blarney Woolen Mills Hotel.