Blarney Castle Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by mvtouring
  • Grounds going toward Barney Castle
    Grounds going toward Barney Castle
    by grandmaR
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    Going toward the castle
    by grandmaR

Most Recent Things to Do in Blarney Castle

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    The castle in a nutshell.

    by Ekaterinburg Updated Sep 18, 2012

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    The North Wall of the Castle

    Forgetting about the whole Blarney issue, this castle is well worth a visit. You can see from this picture of the North Wall, how it is built on a solid 8-metre deep rock cliff and how imposingly it rears up towards the sky. This is the third building on the site and was completed by Cormac McCarthy in 1446. Though captured by Cromwell in 1646 it was returned to the McCarthys in 1661 but then confiscated again after the battle of the Boyne in 1690. At this point it ceased to be the stronghold of the McCarthys of Munster and was sold to the Governor of Cork Sir Thomas Jeffreys. This brief history of the castle is in part a mini version of the history of Ireland and the systematic destruction by Britain of the old Gaelic way of life dominated by clans and chieftans.

    This photo also tells a lot about the construction of the castle and the seams indicate that it was built in two stages, the right hand side incorporatating the tower whose gatehouse we will see in the next tip.

    OPENING TIMES :

    May: 9.00-6.30, Mon- Sat

    June, July, August: 9.00-7.00, Mon - Sat

    September: 9.00-6.30, Mon -Sat

    October - April : 9.00- Sundown, Mon-Sat

    SUNDAYS

    Summer: 9.30-5.30

    Winter: 9.30 - Sundown

    Blarney House and Garden are also open to the public during the summer months from Monday to Saturday.

    ADMISSION PRICE 2012: Since writing this page in 2007 the cost of visiting Blarney Castle has now gone up from EUR 8 to EUR 12. This cost includes the gardens, the castle and kissing the stone.

    Check curent prices, times etc on the webpage: www.blarneycastle.ie

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  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo

    Blarney House

    by 807Wheaton Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Blarney House

    This is a panoramic view of Blarney House from the top of Blarney Castle, so click on the picture to see it.
    Blarney House was built in 1847 in the Scottish Baronial Style overlooking Blarney Lake.
    There are conducted tours of the house which is open during the summer season. It is a family home restored to it former glory.
    Entrance fees to the Castle and the House:
    Adults 7 Euro, Seniors 5 Euro, Children 2.50 Euro and families 16 Euro.
    The Castle is open everyday of the year except Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

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    Get the Gift of Gab!

    by 807Wheaton Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Kissing the Blarney Stone

    I wonder if this kind gentleman is still there helping people do this strange activity?
    He has a soft blanket that he lays down on the rock where you lay on your back when you are stretching as far as you can to kiss the stone.
    He holds on to you so you don't go over the stone and fall backwards on your head!
    All of this for the "gift of gab"!
    Maybe it's a bunch of Blarney!

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Blarney Tower

    by mvtouring Updated Nov 19, 2010

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    Blarney's great tower is one of the very biggest in Ireland, with an very interesting building history. It was erected in two stages, the first was in the early fifteenth century when a small 6-metre (20ft) square turret rising to four stories and containing small rooms was built as part of some other building which has since been superseded. This original turret, not then machicolated, remained where it is when about 40 years later the castle owner, Cormac MacCarthaigh, decided to restructure whatever was there by imposing a huge rectangular great tower, 18.3 x 11.9 metres (60 x 39 ft), with five stories, on the earlier building, but incorporating the small square turret at its north-west comer, making the whole an L-plan tower.

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    Badger's Cave

    by mvtouring Updated Nov 19, 2010

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    After walking through the garden we arrived at these caves which are at the bottom of the castle. Like most other caves, it is dark and smelly and one knows not quite what to expect when entering. According to legend this cave was used as an escape route for the castle's inhabitants during the raid by Cromwell's army.

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    Kissing the Blarney Stone

    by mvtouring Updated Nov 19, 2010

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    Probably the thing why most tourist come to the castle. The Blarney Stone or "Cloch na Blarnan" in Irish, it is the legendary stone for the gift of gab. "Blarney" means "Clever, Flattering, or coaxing talk" Quite a number of stairs you need to climb to get to the top where you get to kiss the stone, lying on your back and bending slight backwards. But do not fear there is a lovely man up there to assist you.

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  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    Kissing the Blarney Stone

    by leafmcgowan Written Nov 6, 2010
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    One of Ireland's most valuable and mesmerizing mythical collections is the infamous Blarney Stone. Called "Cloch na Blarnan" in Irish, it is the legendary stone for the gift of gab. "Blarney" means "Clever, Flattering, or coaxing talk". The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone that is built within the battlements of Blarney Castle, locaed approximately 8 kilometers from Cork, Ireland. It is believed that whoever kisses the stone is endowed with the gift of gab, great eloquence, or the skill at flattery. It allows the gifted to impart the ability to deceive without offending. Its not an easy task to kiss the stone, as one needs to be held upside down atop a drop of a tall tower to reach the kissing spot. The stone became part of the tower in 1446 and has become one of Ireland's most notable tourist sites.
    Where does the stone come from? There are many myths and legends surrounding the stone and its origins, the earliest of which involves the Goddess Clíodhna. It is believed that the Castle's builder, Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, was in a lawsuit and sought out Clíodhna for her assistance. She told him to kiss the first stone he found in the morning on his way to court, and as he did, he gained eloquence and won the court case. Flabberghasted by this magical event he took the stone and added to the castle's stones. Many believe that it was a piece of the Stone of Scone. Others believe it to be the rock that Moses struck with his staff to produce water for the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt. Others believe it to be the stone that Jacob used as a pillow and was later brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah. It is said that it then became the Lia Fail, or ‘Fatal Stone’ and was used as an oracular throne of the Irish kings. Some say its the Stone of Ezel which David hid behind on Jonathan's advice while fleeing King Saul and brought to Ireland during the Crusades. Others believe it to be the rock pillow used by St. Columba of Iona on his deathbead. Some believe that the stone was first presented to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 to recognize his support in the Battle of Bannockburn.
    Some say that the stone was previously in Ireland then taken to Scotland and brought back to Ireland in 1314. It is also said that during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Dermot McCarthy, had been required to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. He told her he would be delighted to do so, but something always happened at the last moment to prevent his surrender. Many believe this was the charm of the Blarney Stone in effect. The Queen replied to this as "Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!"
    Kissing the Stone has been performed by literally 'millions of people' in the world, including world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen. Kissing the stone is kissing all of these people by proxy, and by the magical law of contact - gaining the gift of gab that all these people possess. Its not an easy kiss and its important for the lips to touch the bluestone. This quest involves ascending to the castle's peak, leaning over backwards on the parapet's edge, entrusting a stranger (Castle guard) with your life by holding on to you. Today, safety wrought-iron guide rails and protective crossbars help prevent death or serious injury. Prior to these installations, the kisser was in danger of serious life risk as they were grasped by their ankles and dangled from the plummet. According to the Sherlock Holmes radio dramatization in "The Adventure of the Blarney Stone" (March 18, 1946) reported a man attempting the kiss plummeting to his death - but determined to be a murder as his boots had been greased before the attempt. The cautious and germ phoebic consider the Blarney Stone to be the most unhygienic tourist attraction in the world, as ranked as such by Tripadvisor.com in 2009. When I attended, I watched the guards use antiseptic wipes after every kiss and had hand sanitizer on the spot. Urban legends are amiss that claim locals go up to the Blarney stone at night and *** on it. Of course, anyone who has ever been to the Blarney stone, knowing the tight and tiny ascension up the treacherous tower (that is locked after hours and guarded) that even with breaching security and risking royal criminal punishment, would have to be damn good aim to hit the Blarney stone. Much of the urban legend comes from the incident in the film "Fight Club" where the narrator urinates on the Blarney Stone during his visit to Ireland as his first act of vandalism.

    'Tis there's the stone that whoever kisses
    He never misses to grow eloquent;
    'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber, Or become a member of Parliament.
    "A noble spouter he'll sure turn out, or An out and outer to be let alone;
    Don't try to hinder him, or to bewilder him, For he is a pilgrim from the Blarney stone."

    Many nation's around the world have attempted to obtain the Blarney Stone. There are quite a few imposters out and about. The one and true stone is in the Blarney Castle. According to a tradition at Texas Tech University, a stone fragment on display since 1939 outside the old Electrical Engineering Building claims to be a missing piece of the Blarney Stone.

    One can kiss the stone from monday thru saturday, 9 am to 6:30 pm in September and May, 9 am to 7 pm from June through August, and 9 am to sundown from October to April. On sundays, kissing can commence from 9 am to 5:30 pm during the summer, and 9 am to sundown during the winter.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Walking Around the Estate

    by grandmaR Updated Mar 29, 2010

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    Grounds going toward Barney Castle
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    I did walk far enough up to take photos of the castle - over the path which crossed the river. The website says

    There are numerous woodland walks on the grounds of the Blarney Castle estate, through which winds the River Martin. In the arboretum you will find colorful displays of copper beech, ornamental pear, southern beech, nothofagus and evergreen oaks. Adjacent to the arboretum, one finds the Belgian Beds planted with hybrid azaleas, and a western red cedar tree from British Columbia.

    Even if you think the stone is unhygienic or are afraid of heights or (like me) don't have good enough knees to do the steps, you can walk around the grounds.

    Our admission was included with our tour, but Blarney Castle Visitor Rates are

    Adult Admission: Euro 10
    Student / Seniors: Euro 8
    Children (8-14 years): Euro 3.50

    Family (2 Adults, 2 Children): Euro 23.50

    The Castle, Rock Close Gardens and Lakeland Walk are open all year, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Gift of the Gab

    by grandmaR Updated Mar 29, 2010

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    Grandson getting ready to kiss the stone
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    A very touristic activity to do at Blarney Castle is kissing the Blarney Stone. I am not afraid of heights in the slightest, but I was afraid that I would not be able to make it all the way up the steps or which I understood there were many. So other people on our tour volunteered to take my grandson up with them and then they took his camera and took some pictures with it for him. He also did buy the official photo.

    He was a charming, engaging teen before he kissed the stone, and he still is. That's probably due more to his Irish heritage than to the stone kissing.

    Monday to Saturday

    * May: 9.00am to 6.30pm
    * Jun-Jul-Aug: 9.00am to 7.00pm
    * Sept: 9.00am to 6.30pm
    * Oct-Apr: 9.00am to sundown

    Sundays

    * Summer: 9.00am to 5.30pm
    * Winter: 9.00am to sundown

    Last Admissions: 30 minutes before closing

    The Castle, Rock Close Gardens and Lakeland Walk are open all year, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

    Our admission was included with our tour, but Blarney Castle Visitor Rates are

    Adult Admission: Euro 10
    Student / Seniors: Euro 8
    Children (8-14 years): Euro 3.50

    Family (2 Adults, 2 Children): Euro 23.50

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  • illumina's Profile Photo

    The Blarney Stone

    by illumina Updated Jan 24, 2010

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    Me in 1998

    Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster, is said to have supplied four thousand men from Munster to supplement the forces of Robert the Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Legend has it that the latter king gave half of the Stone of Scone to McCarthy in gratitude. This, now known as the Blarney Stone, was incorporated in the battlements where it can now be kissed. It is said to give the 'gift of the gab' to those who do.

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  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo

    Blarney castle.

    by DEBBBEDB Updated Jul 28, 2007

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    Looking through the grating
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    On the way to Cork from Bunratty, we stopped at Blarney castle and my husband went up and kissed the Blarney Stone. My son and I did not. Since we had learned to hit these sorts of places early, the line wasn't too bad, when we left it was a lot longer.

    .. lots of steps. Kissing the stone involves leaning backwards over the edge.

    The stone is believed to be half of the Stone of Scone which originally belonged to Scotland. Scottish Kings were crowned over the stone, because it was believed to have special powers.

    The stone was given to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in return for his support in the Battle of Bannockburn.

    Opening Hours

    Monday to Saturday

    * May: 9.00am to 6.30pm
    * Jun-Jul-Aug: 9.00am to 7.00pm
    * Sept: 9.00am to 6.30pm
    * Oct-Apr: 9.00am to sundown

    Sundays

    * Summer: 9.30am to 5.30pm
    * Winter: 9.30am to sundown

    Last Admissions: 30 minutes before closing

    The Castle is open for the entire year, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

    Blarney Visitor Rates

    Adult Admission: Euro 8
    Student/Seniors: Euro 6
    Children (8-14 years): Euro 2.50
    Family (2 Adults, 2 Children): Euro 18.50

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  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    Blarney Castle Gardens

    by Ekaterinburg Written Jul 27, 2007

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    A tiny path through the woods
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    The estate surrounding Blarney Castle and Blarney House extends to over 1,000 acres so there's obviously lots of 'garden' to enjoy. The area immediately surrounding the castle is beautifully landscaped with many large trees and banks of shrubs and flowers edging the paths. A small river, called the Martin runs through the estate and under most of the bridges 'gold', in the form of coins thrown by visitors, appears to glint under the water. Immediately in front of the south face of the castle is the Rock Close, a landscaped garden, with many rocks and steps, laid out by the Jeffreys family in the 16th century. The two buildings here, basically a large thin tower and a smaller squat tower, are rather fancifully described as a witch and her hat. This, I think is pushing the blarney thing a little too far, but that said the Rock Close is a very lovely part of the gardens. Off in the distance towards Blarney House, herds of cattle graze and the lake comes into view. For the really energetic there are several long walking routes through the woodland and around the lake but even the terminally lazy, can get off the beaten track by just carrying on past the Badger's cave. From here you can take a small path through dense foliage and come out on the castle battlements. A nice way to avoid the crowds and get a real countryside feel.

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  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    To Kiss or not to Kiss ?

    by Ekaterinburg Written Jul 27, 2007

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    Kissing the stone - (seen from below)
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    You don't have to kiss the stone and frequently people change their mind when they actually see what's involved. But if this is why you've come, then nothing will deter you and a little wander around the parapet in advance, photographing the magnificent views on all sides, will give you a chance to pluck up your courage. When the moment cannot be put off any longer, you must take your courage in both hands and surrender yourself to the mercy of the attendant who will ( hopefully ) hold on to you. You have to lie flat on your back, head and shoulders extending over a grid which exposes the sheer drop underneath. Clinging on to the rail, the attendant clutching on to your middle, you lean your head back as far as possible and kiss the stone behind. Crazy ??? Yes absolutely, but this is what you came for isn't it ? So now you've done it and for evermore you will have the gift of the gab and if you believe this you have definitely been exposed to a little too much blarney.

    Incidentally the stone itself is 'reputed' to have come from Scotland as a gift from Robert the Bruce to Cormac McCarthy in return for his support in the Battle of Bannockburn.

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  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    Inside the Castle

    by Ekaterinburg Written Jul 27, 2007

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    View from one of the staircase windows
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    Inside the castle is the part of the visit you will probably enjoy most. The entrance hall has a purpose built wooden staircase to bring you to the first floor, but after that it's fairly authentic and interesting. Apart from the great hall there are many small rooms you can wander freely in and out of. The Earls Bedroom is the one with the 16th century casemented Oriel Window, which looks so good from the outside. This is the largest and most imposing of the 'bedchambers' and while it's very hard to imagine anyone ever having slept there, the views are superb. The staircases wind round and round and everywhere there are tiny slits of windows offering up different slices of rolling green fields and the lake in the distance.

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    The Badger's Cave

    by Ekaterinburg Written Jul 27, 2007

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    The Entrance to Badger's Cave

    One of the points of interest before you actually reach the castle, Badger's cave penetrates under the rock cliff on which Blarney Castle is built. It's dark and smelly (like most caves ) but a little scary and hence enjoyable, especially for children. If you are travelling with children, I think they would find a visit here great fun and quite exciting.

    Legend has it that this cave was used as an escape route for the castle's inhabitants during the raid by Cromwell's army. That same 'legend' tells us that there are 'reputedly ' many secret passges around here: one to Cork, one to the nearby lake and one all the way to Kerry . Whether you believe all this or not will depend on how much you are prepared to enter into the spirit of the visit .

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