BlarneyWoolen Mills: Shopping in a Unique Setting
This is as much a 'thing to do' as shopping trip because a visit to Blarney Woolen Mills is stepping back into Cork's industrial history. These mills were originally water-powered and manufactured wool and tweed, one of several large woolen mills around the county. They were built in 1824 but eventually closed in 1973 only to be purcchased by Christy Kelleher, a local entrepeneur, who moved his souvenir shop in there and opened a hotel. The Woolen Mills now have branches countrywide and the whole thing has been a phenomenal success story. The complex is huge, with the shop closest to the road, then a restaurant with the original mill wheel- taking pride of place and finally the hotel, known as Christy's after its founder. Obviously this is a stop for all coach tours and much of the business is aimed at tourists. But locals shop here also especially during the sales, when it's scarcely possible to move there on a Sunday afternoon.
What to buy: Most of the trade here is in traditional knitwear, aran sweaters, and all kinds of gorgeous wooly jumpers, scarfs, shawls and cardigans. These are on the top floor and downstairs you can buy glass, china and all sorts of crafts plus childrens and adults clothes. There's an emphasis on souvenir type garments, sweatshirts with sheep and Guinness slogans etc., but there are also CD's, luxury chocolates, liquers, lace, toys and pretty much anything else you could think of. It is expensive but bargains can be found if you browse through discontinued lines and discounted items. It's a huge cavernous interior and you will really enjoy browsing here. There's also a pub and outdoor tables here so you can relax and have a drink when the shoping gets too much for you.
What to pay: A lot if you want to purchase some of the luxury items but there are also bargains to be found.
Blarney Castle Store: Gifts for Family
While my grandson was off kissing the Blarney Stone, I made a swift sweep of the store and bought a lot of gifts. I spent about 300 euros in half an hour. The Blarney Mills website says "This 30,000 square foot retail store is housed in one of Ireland's oldest and most authentic Irish woollen mills
Shop Opening Hours
Mon. - Sat. 9.30 am - 6 pm
Sunday 10 am to 6 pm
USA Eastern Time: 4.30am - 12.30pm
USA Central Time: 3.30am - 11.30am
What to buy: I bought my granddaughter a Waterford crystal punch bowl, my husband got an Irish sweater, and most of the grandchildren got clothing
I must say the selection in the store is much better than the selection on the internet on the castle website.
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
- Family Travel
Old Woolen Mill: Old Woolen Mill
At the old Woolen Mill they have a lovely shop with lots of articles for sale. Very nice place to browse around. I liked all the cotton stuff they had there.
The store sells many garments produced at the local wool mill.
What to buy: If you want hand woven things, here's the place to get it.