The journey from Cork to Blarney on public bus takes approximately 30 minutes and takes you through some very pleasant countryside.
Bus Eireann provide the service (Route 224) from Cork to Blarney on a standard bus (bench-style seats). The same-day return fare is 5.60 Euros (valid October 2008).
Be sure to be at the return stop at least 10 minutes prior to timetables times (see my Warnings and Danger tip).
Gillybob (Gillian) Nomad 7890 (Martha) and myself caught the 10.30 bus from Cork.
The bus usually leaves from Merchants Quay (MQ), which is just across the road from the Parnell Place Bus Station. (in front of the Dunnes Store)
Check the timetable boards, as they sometimes leave from Parnell Place. (Usually after 18.30 hours)
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!)
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.
The bus station in Cork has a small coffee bar and a newsagents. There is a left luggage office, but apparently it is notorious for being closed for the day, or inconvenient times. (Gillybob will vouch for this! - she had to drag her case around Blarney (There is an impromptu left luggage facility at the Blarney Castle Ticket Office)
There is just a bus shelter at Blarney (pic 2) near the Muskerry Arms pub.
No seating. - cafes and pubs nearby for food/ drink/ toilets. Also a supermarket.
Be sure to leave Dublin's Heuston Station early in the morning when travelling to Blarney. My friends and I arrived at Blarney Castle just as the sun was going down which is precisely when the gates close. In order to not simply ride the train for three hours and waste our money by turning around we begged the bartender at the nearby O'Connors Muskery Arms to find us a B&B which he did-much to our delight. We slept in Blarney for the night and woke up early the next morning to be among the first to enter the Castle, beating the rush.
All in all it was a perfectly executed unplanned plan.
Traveling to Blarney by public bus is quite easy, inexpensive, and relatively quick. The bus leaves right in front (river side - near bus station) of the Merchant Quay Shopping Center. The bus number is #224, and leaves from a sign on the first pole on that block. The sign lists the time schedule. You may purchase a ticket (€2.30 o/w or €5.60 return) from the ticket machine inside the bus station at the end of the block, or pay the bus driver on the bus. The sign says exact change only, but the driver was giving change to other passengers (although, remember this could slow down the boarding process). The journey to Blarney takes 25-30 min depending on traffic, etc.
Cost: €2.30 o/w or €5.60 return)
%Journey Time: 25-30min
us Number: 224
The best way I have found to get around while in Ireland is the bus (when I'm not walking). I usually stay in Kinsale, so I will just hop on the bus and ride it into Cork, then switch busses to go to Blarney. It isn't very hard to do, and it is an easy way to get around.
I have found that the best way to get around Blarney is by foot. I enjoy the walking and am able to get a lot more enjoyment out of my surroundings that way, as well as some really good photo's for my albums. Beside's, since I stay in Kinsale with all the yummy restaurants, I have to get some exercise!