Sunset Ridge Hotel
Killeens, Blarney,Co., Blarney, Ireland
More about Blarney
Interior of Blarney Castle
If I am staying in Cork, how long would it take to walk to Blarney Castle?
By road from the centre of Cork (not necessarily your starting point) it is around 6 miles. You will not, of course, be able to walk alongside the motorway.
So it will take as long as it will take you to walk 6+ miles, using smaller roads, allowing extra time to navigate etc.
You can find the route (with or without motorway) here:
Alternative choice is the number 224 bus from Merchants Quay (though sometimes from Parnell Place Bus Station (A few metres away)- check the timetables
Buses run daily except for Christmas Day (December 25th). On Public Holidays, the buses usually run as for the Sunday Service. Christmas and New Years Eve they stop at 2100hrs.
From Cork - Mon - Friday 06.20 - 23.00hrs. Saturday 07.25 - 2300hrs Sunday 0800 - 2300hrs
From Blarney Mon - Fri 06.55 - 23.35, Saturday 08.10 - 23.35 and Sunday 08.35 - 23.35
The journey takes about 25 minutes (Get to the stop in plenty of time - as from Cork, the bus was pretty full, and from Blarney, it is quite usual for the bus to leave at least 10 minutes early!- If you look at my Blarney page you'll see that we were taken by surprise- Sunday in Ireland- surely the bus won't leave early!!-WRONG!)
Buy your ticket from the automated machines in the bus station (to save time, and to prevent annoying the other passengers as you fumble for change). The instructions are quite easy to follow. You can also purchase your ticket from the ticket desk.
We paid 5.60 euros each for a same day return ticket. Keep your ticket safe, refunds aren't given if you lose it, and inspectors can board the bus to check tickets at any time.
Have A Great trip-Please feel free to contact me for more info.
Looking forward to reading all about your trip.
Blarney Castle is about 4-5 miles from the centre of Cork but the way there is pretty hilly......i would say about 1-1.5 hours depending upon how fast you walk
Travel Tips for Blarney
Unfortunately Blarney Castle was one of two castles I visited that weren't on the Heritage Card that I purchased but you can use one of the other cards that offer discounted admission, the Heritage Island Card which offers 2 for 1 or discounted admission to many attractions throughout the country.
From their website it appears that you purchase a touring guide for 5.99€ and then you can get 2 for 1 admission into Blarney Castle. At 10€ per person, even if this is the only attraction you visit, you still save a little money, more if you are visiting some of the other attractions on the list. It appears that you can either purchase online, give yourself at least a week for the post, or you can purchase at Dublin or Shannon airport or some tourist offices.
The Heritage Card that I bought was valid at a lot more places that I visited, you might also have a look at that card for other tourist sites in Ireland.
Lucky Or Unlucky
Ireland is well known for the belief in superstitions. Below are some examples of some superstitions that many believe.
Never give a knife as a gift unless you attatch a coin to it, to prevent cutting off friendly ties.
Break a mirror and you'll have 7 years bad luck
Crossed knives on a countertop will lead to an arguement
It is bad luck to walk under a ladder
Bad luck for a black cat to cross your path
It is lucky if a stray wanders into your home and remains with you, but if you move you must leave it behind.
Putting shoes on a table or chair is bad luck
A horse shoe is lucky if you hang it upright, but if you hang it upside down all the luck will run out.
Blarney Castle - Getting In
For entrance into the Castle and grounds, you first need to purchase your ticket!
Handing over 10 Euros entitled me to enter the castle, kiss the Blarney Stone and wander around Rock Close.
We had a short while to wait at the turnstyles - I can't imagine how long this would take when it's busy!
Prices and conditions are displayed, so you can read these while you're waiting (pic 2 + 3)
May and September 0900 - 1830
June to August 0900 - 1900
October - April 0900 - Sundown or 1800
Summer - 0900 - 1800
Winter - 0900 - Sundown or 1700
Adults - 10 Euros
60+ - 8 Euros
Students - 8 Euros
8-14 yrs - 3.50 Euros
Family (2 adults 2 children) 23.50 Euros
The lady in the ticket office was very helpful - she spotted Gillybobs case, and offered to keep it for her in a room nearby.
There were guide books for sale. I purchased one 'Blarney Castle, the story of a legend' for 3 euros. This was pocket sized, and had lots of useful information, including a guided tour of the Castle and grounds.
Blarney Castle- On the way to the castle
After passing through the turnstiles, there are gift shops, toilets and refreshments. We passed by these, but returned at the end of our visit.
Blarney Castle is set in very attractive grounds, which I appreciated, in spite of the rain. We crossed over one of the 3 rivers that flow through the estate. The River Martin follows the path for a while. The other 2 rivers are the Shournagh and the Blarney.
Looking over the bridge, we were surprised to see many coins glistening in the water. I guess this is one of those 'quaint Irish traditions', where you toss in a coin and make a wish!
On the river banks are picnic tables.
Blarney Castle - Some History
The Castle, seen today began its construction in 1446 by The King of Munster, Cormac Mac Carthy, aka Cormac Laidir and Cormac The Strong.
The first recorded Castle on this site, was a wooden structure, built in the 10th century, which was replaced by a stone structure, around 1210 A.D.
Mac Carthys used this castles stone for the foundations of his.
The Castle was to be a fortress to offer protection from attack, and also as a symbol of his power.
Built on this elevated limestone outcrop, the tower offered panoramic views, so that approaching enemies could be easily spotted. The walls at the base are 18 feet thick- enough to withstand bombardment. Narrow slit windows were designed to prevent weapons such as arrows or stones penetrating the castle walls.
For any armies that reached the castle walls, they could expect a welcome of boiling water, tar or stones to fall on them from the battlements above!
Walking up to the Castle entrance, we noticed a tower, which we presumed was a look out tower, but were puzzled as it was quite short. Apparently, it was one of the remaining outer guard towers, which would have been built at strategic intervals around the castle. This remaining tower would have been much taller when it was in use.
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