Blarney Castle Things to Do

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  • Grounds going toward Barney Castle
    Grounds going toward Barney Castle
    by grandmaR
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    Going toward the castle
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Best Rated Things to Do in Blarney Castle

  • 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

    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

    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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  • 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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  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    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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  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    The Gatehouse

    by Ekaterinburg Written Jul 27, 2007

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    Gatehouse

    This was the gatehouse area of the original castle and the little information plaque here is called 'Kennel, Sentry and Dungeon'. It tells us that the three openings, seen here in the photo, were all concerned with defence: the area for the sentries, the dogs and further in, the chambers which were believed to be the castle prison. This immediately translates to DUNGEONS especially for children and they were swarming in and out daring each other to go further and further in. It's exceedingly dark and dank and I didn't go beyond the entrance to the staircase that leads to the site of the castle well. From here , the story goes ( and remember that everything in Blarney Castle contains a certain element of fiction) there is a 16 m long tunnel which leads to a cave in the rock.

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  • Nobbe's Profile Photo

    Blarney Castle

    by Nobbe Updated Aug 3, 2003

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    Blarney Castle Tower

    Blarney Castle was originally a timber hunting lodge built in the 10th century, which was replaced by a stone castle in 1210. The present day construction was completed by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster in 1446. Most parts of the castle is now ruin except for the main tower.

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    Murder Holes

    by Nobbe Updated Aug 3, 2003

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    Murder Holes

    The spiral staircases are narrow and steep and were used to protect the inhabitants because only one invader at a time could come up the spiral staircase. The narrow windows should also be noted because they were also used to defend the castle. Arrows could easily be shot out the narrow windows at invaders, but it would almost be impossible to shoot an arrow in from outside.

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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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  • 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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  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo

    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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  • 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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  • THE ROCK CLOSE

    by stemc Written Apr 26, 2006

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    h and the wishing steps
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    Take a walk around the Rock Close which THEY say dates from druid times it has a few interesting features and unusual plants along the side of the River Blarney .Most of the stones stand were they have stood for thousands of years ,the yew tree above the witches kitchen is dated to be a thousand years old. So take a walk to the wishing steps, druids’ altar and the witch’s kitchen and have fun

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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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  • illumina's Profile Photo

    Blarney Castle

    by illumina Written May 18, 2006

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    1 more image

    The castle which can be seen today is the third to have been erected on the site; it replaced a 10th century wooden castle and a thirteenth century stone structure which was demolished for foundations. The present castle was built in 1446.

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