No, this was a quite dark place......we were allowed to roam about a little bit after the GUIDE had left us and so I took the challenge and walked down a rather steep slope and could descry this promising place and....yes, it was good luck: you see me i.e. my shadow, while taking the photograph.....
Imagine: it was dark there, dark, cold & wet and a bit spooky.....but the photo doesn't show that!
The formations, shapes, colour & history of these MITCHELSTOWN CAVES really make for an enthralling visit, which you will never forget!
Glengarra Woods is a wooded area covering over 700 hectares. This peaceful wood, located between Cahir Town and Mitchelstown under the slopes of the Galtee Mountains is one of my favourite places in Tipperary. The woods are laid out with a variety of walking trails and picnic areas and the Burncourt River passes through the woods.
The area was originally belonged to Sir Richard Everand and after the Cromwellian Wars were granted to the Lismore family until the 1940's when it was taken over by public administration.
The Swiss Cottage was built around 1810 and was the rural residence of the Butler's who used the cottage as a country lodge and for entertainment purposes. The cottage is located in a stunning setting on the banks of the River Suir, surrounded by woodland and sitting an a raised hill overlooking the surrounding area.
For more details check my Cahir Page
Cahir Castle is one of Ireland's finest and best preserved castles. Originally it was Conor O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, who built a fort here on the banks of the Suir River in the 12th century. This was later used as a basis for further development by one of Ireland's most powerful families, The Butlers, after they had gained ownership of the Castle in the 14th century. Most of the expansion of the castle occured between the 15th and 17th centuries.
The castle is one of Ireland's most visited heritage sites and because of the town's location close to the town of Cashel, it is an easy catch for anyone visiting the mighty Rock of Cashel.
For more info check my Cahir Page
The Vee is a twisting mountain route leading from Clogheen, Co. Tipperary through the Knockmealdown Mountains into Co. Waterford. The area offers stunning views over the Plains of Tipperary and beyond especially on a clear day.
Hikers and Hill walkers flock to the area to enjoy the undless miles of unspoilt nature through woodland and mountain trails.
The focal point of the Vee is probably Bay Lough. This is a small corrie lake surrounded by steep rocky hills. The gloomy depths of the lake are reputed to hold the half mythical, half real 'Petticoat Loose', a woman of loose morals who was banished to this spot after casting her spell over many a man.
You will also pass an old roadside stone hut just after the lake known as the Bianconi Hut. This hut was originally a stagepost on a nationwide transport system developed by Carlo Bianconi (1786-1875), an Italian emmigrant.
Holycross Abbey is a Cistercian monastery located in the small village of Holycross between Cashel and Thurles. The village and abbey are built on the banks of River Suir.
The name of the abbey and village derive from the abbey's possession of a relic of the True Cross. The relic was first brought to Ireland by Queen Isabella of Angouleme, in 1233. After this the abbey was renamed Holy Cross Abbey.
After the Cromwellian war, Holy Cross Abbey fell into ruins and wasn't used as a place of worship for the next two centuries. However, in 1969, the Dail passed a motion allowing Holy Cross Abbey to be restored and the Abbey has been a a public place of worship since then.
The relic of the Cross is located to the left of the altar.
The Rock of Cashel is the most visted heritage site in Ireland and one of the most recognisable landmarks of Ireland.
Just to clear up some common misconceptions - The Rock (as it is known locally) is not in fact a castle but is actually a church (or series of churches). Also the 'Rock' refers, not to the buildings themselves but to the giant lump of limestone which rises up from the Tipperary plains and on which the buildings are located. Also the whole complex is not just one building but rather a series or buildings which grew over hundreds of years to form what is now collectively referred to as The Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick's Rock.
Originally The Rock of Cashel was indeed the seat of the Kings of Munster and remained so for hundreds of years before the Norman invasion. Brian Boru was crowned King of Munster here in 977 and later High King of Ireland in 1002. In 1101 The Rock of Cashel ended it's function as a fortification when Muircheartach O'Brien granted the Rock to the Church. From here on the Rock was to take on a more religious role and in 1127, Cormac McCarthy (the bishop at the time) started work on the Romanesque Chapel which is still in existence today. The Round Tower was also started around this time while Cathedral was built in the 13th century and is the largest building on the Rock.
In 1647, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Cashel was attacked by English Parliamentarian troops under Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin. The Irish Confederate troops present at the site were massacred, as were the Roman Catholic clergy, including Theobald Stapleton. Inchiquin's troops also looted or destroyed many important religious artifacts.
Many legends accompany the history of The Rock, some based on fact but others are pure myth.
Some of my favourites include the story of how St. Patrick allegedly baptised King Aongus at The Rock. During the ceremony St. Patrick is supposed to have accidently stuck his crozier through the foot of the King without realising it. The King, thinking that this was part of the formalities did not scream in pain or even whimper and it was only afterwards St. Patrick realised his mistake!
Another legend surrounding The Rock is that of a supposed underground tunnel between The Rock and Hore Abbey which lies about 400 metres from the site of The Rock. This tunnel has never been found but some people like to believe that one does exist.
To learn more about the Rock of Cashel check out my Cashel page it's 'Things to Do' tips where I have more detail on the individual buildings at The Rock.
Caher Castle dates from the 12th century when it was constructed on an island on the River Suir by Conor O’Brien. The castle gave its name to the town which later developed in the surrounding area. The Castle has been the site of some important moments in Irish and British history - in 1599 it was besieged by Lord Essex during the Elizabethan wars while in the following century it was taken by Cromwell during the English Civil War.
In 1961 the last of the Caher family died and the ownership reverted to the Irish state. Nowadays it’s run by the Office of Public Works who maintain the castle and run guided tours. It’s one of Ireland’s best preserved castles and is a fascinating place to visit.
The Knockmealdown mountains are in the south of the county and most of the main summits are shared between County Tipperary and County Waterford. This mountain range is an excellent place for hiking and though the highest mountain, Knockmealdown, is only 794 metres high, the terrain can be tricky and it’s vital to carry a map and compass. The small village of Clogheen is the nearest place to the mountains while the larger towns of Caher and Clonmel are within 20 kilometres. For more on these mountains, including a description of our hike which took in six of the peaks, please see my Knockmealdown page.
Possibly the best known tourist attraction in County Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel consists of a number of important religious buildings dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. The Rock of Cashel is run by the Office of Public Works and there is much to see on the site including an excellent guided tour of the buildings and a video on the buildings and other similar sites in Ireland.
As it’s name suggests, the Rock of Cashel is in the small town of Cashel, just off the main road from Cork to Dublin. Though most of the current buildings on the rock date from medieval times, the Rock of Cashel was the seat of the Kings of Munster before this time and is said to be the place where St. Patrick converted the one of the Munster Kings to Christianity. During the ceremony, it’s said that Patrick accidentally stabbed his crozier into the King’s foot. Thinking this was part of the ceremony the King didn’t say a word! No wonder Munster men have a tough reputation!
The most impressive building is Cormac’s Chapel, a Romanesque style church built in the early 12th century for King Cormac. You’ll also see the Cathedral, the Round Tower and St. Patrick’s Cross.
Holycross Abbey was established as a Cistercian monastary in the 12th century on the foundations of a previous Benedictine monastary and took its name from the relic of the True Cross that it once (and again) possessed. Over the centuries the Abbey, like many in Ireland fell into ruin. It was restored in the 1970s and restored to use at that time. Holycross Abbey displays for veneration the authenticated relic of the Cross.
The Abbey is a site of daily worship, but is open to the public (no admission, but donations are appreciated).
This group of medieval buildings on a rock overlooks a wide plain and looks impressive from outside. Cashel was once the seat of the kings of Munster and was given to the bishop of Limerick in 1101. Already in the 5. century, St Patrick has been there, and since then Rock of Cashel has developed to become as well a political as a religious centre.
Cormac’s Chapel (12th century) is the oldest building, and among the ruins you’ll also find a cathedral from the 13th century (what a pity that it fell into ruins, it must have looked great!), a Round Tower and several High Crosses. There’s also a museum and an interesting audio-visual show about the history of Ireland and Cashel which is available in several languages. Also, guided tours are available.
It’s an interesting place, but very touristy. Even at a rainy September day there had been lots of people, and I wonder how it is in the high season!
Open 9:00 – 19:00 (Mid June to Mid September, shorter during other seasons)
Admission: adults 5 Euro, children/students 2 Euro. Free if you have the Heritage Card (costs 20 Euro).
Cahir Castle is situated at the river Suir and dates from around 13./15. century. It once was an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family. As we noticed most Irish castles are tower houses, but not this one. It’s a mighty castle, and it’s interesting to walk around and discover it.
There’s an audio-visual show of about 10 minutes (also in German and maybe other languages), which is very interesting. You’ll get a few information about Cahir Castle, and also several information about other historic sights of this area. Unfortunately it was so much that it was hard to remember all!
Open from 9:30 to 17:30 (depending on season, so check the current times before your visit!).
Admission: adults 2,75 Euro, children 1,25 Euro. If you have the Heritage Card (costs 20 Euro), admission is free.
There’s a chargeable parking next to the castle, but there’s also a free parking close to it/ above it. If you come from the chargeable parking, turn right twice and you’ll see a sign to this parking (it’s on the right side).
And if you want to walk a bit: there’s a nice walking path of 2 km along the river (and a golf course) from the castle to a Swiss Cottage (admission 2 Euro, but we didn’t visit it).
This cave, which was discovered 1833 by a farmer, is a beautiful cave with nice stalactites and stalagmites and some huge halls. Also our guide was very good. I’ve visited also Dunmore Cave (close to Kilkenny) and Ailwee Cave (Burren, County Clare), but this was the cave I liked most.
The cave is privately owned and not much commercialised, you won’t find a souvenir shop here. To go there, you have to drive a small road for a while and you have to take care that you don’t miss the cave. You buy the tickets in a house next to the parking and have to go some more steps to the entrance. Unfortunately photography is not allowed in the cave.
Open from 10:00 to 18:00 (Dec-Feb 11:00 to 17:00).
Can only be visited with a guided tour which takes about 45 minutes.
Admission: Adults 4,50 Euro, children 2 Euro.
During April to September it should be possible to catch a club hurling game between the villages/towns.
Derby games (between neighbouring villages) are generally the best as there is alot of pride at stake.
Ask a local when you are there, what games are on at the week-end and which should be the most "interesting".
It was a programme on "Timmy Ryan" - a local trainer who had a few beers before the match that launched the comedy duo - d'Unbelievables
You are very close to the action and the comments/atmosphere can be very entertaining
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Dublin Road, Roscrea, Ireland
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
Absolutely fabulous! Accommodations first rate! Food excellent! Great Bar! Will recommend to anyone...more