Blarney Castle, Ireland
Blarney Castle is an interesting castle north of the city of Cork and while it is great for the old architecture and the park most of the tourists just get there because of an old ledgend and in order to kiss the " Blarney Stone " , a piece of stone on the very top of the tower .The old ledgend says that kissing that stone will give you the " gift of eloquence " !
You just have to lay on your back, bend back your head in a crazy way into a hole of the top-fence and while you are held by a strong man you kiss that stone, thats all you have to do...
I admitt, I watched other tourists doing so, But refrained to do it myself...
....Hmmm, maybe I should have done it, but now it is too late anyway ;-((
Blarney-castle is open Monday to Saturday:
May: 09.00 a.m. to 06.30 p.m. Jun-Aug: untill 7 p.m.
Sept: 09.oo a.m. to 06.30 p.m.
Oct-Apr: 9 a.m. to sundown (or 6 p.m.)
and on Sundays:
During Summer: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
In Winter: 9.30 a.m. to sundown
Last Admissions is 30 minutes before closing-time !!
Admission is 7 Euros / 5 Euros for senor-citizens
16 Euros for parents and 2 children !
The Castle is open for the entire year, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Absolutely worth a short trip by Bus Eareann.
When you walk around in the castle you have the feeling you can here the voices of people sreaming about another pig that is cooked...:-)
The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens with a druidic circle and the wishing steps inside them.
The gardens around the Castle were truly beautiful. Lots of soft green grass, colourful trees and a small stream. The walk to the Castle from the gates was a pleasure in itself. Even if you don't fancy kissing the stone the Castle and gardens are worth the entry fee which I think is 7.50 euros.
You can't go to Ireland and not kiss the blarney stone. It is not for the feint hearted though! If you can make it up the steep windy steps you can kiss the stone. Not sure which was the harder to do.
To kiss the stone you must lay down while two men ease you over the edge...backwards. A man holds your legs as you dangle precariously. The stone itself must be about a metre down.
Actually I kissed it twice! I was told that you have to give it a big smack of a kiss and not happy with my first go at it I did it again just to make sure...I haven't shut up since!
There is a photograper on hand to snap that crucial moment. As you leave the park there is a booth you can go to to order your copy. Cost was about 12 euros? They give you an envelope for you to write your address and they post it for you.
Thursday, September 29 - CORK - KILLARNEY
Back on the "freeway" to Blarney Castle. Had to kiss that Blarney Stone. Blarney Castle is very interesting and the grounds are beautiful and the size of the plants in the gardens confirmed it is centuries old.
Kissing the Blarney Stone is not easy. You must first walk up 127 stairs, then do a backbend and kiss it, the stone, upside down while looking down from approximately six stories. It was worth it wasn't it Faye - and we had our picture taken too.
We made the mistake of going into the Blarney Woolen Mills, that is where I left a large debt on my credit card. So much to buy and so little money. My best investment was a Donegal sweater and Faye's was her Arian sweater and cap. The sweaters were 1/3 the price of what they cost in the US. By-the-way, we were the only people in the Ireland that wore caps.
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.
Queen Elizabeth I wanted Irish chiefs to agree to occupy their own lands under title from her. Cormac Teige McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, handled every Royal request with subtle diplomacy, promising loyalty to the Queen without "giving in". Elizabeth proclaimed that McCarthy was giving her "a lot of Blarney", thus giving rise to the legend.
You too can acquire the gift of eloquence by kissing the stone.
OK, can you REALLY go to Ireland and NOT want to kiss the Blarney Stone? Legend has it, kissing the Blarney Stone will imbue the kisser with the gift of eloquent and persuasive speech - the gift of gab. The catch is... the Stone is at the very top of the castle, and to reach it you have to lay on your back, lower yourself over the side, twist backwards and pucker up. Someone is actually employed there to hold onto you as you do this - so you don't plunge to a horrible death?? I'm dreadfully afraid of heights, but seeing as how I had flown over 4300 miles to get there, by goodness I was gonna do it! I will upload the photo as proof, but the video tells the story better - the nice man holding my hips as I say, over and over, "oh my god oh my god oh my god...."
The view from the castle was stunning in October when I was there. And after it's all over, I have to admit, I am very glad I did it. :-)
It is believed that those that kiss this stone will have the gift of eloquence bestowed upon them. Well the gift of the gab rather being" blarney" which means the gift of pleasent talk, intending to deceive without causing offence. This gift is supposed to last 7 years
Some stories you'll hear is that this was the castle's latrine system.
Anyway I waited my turn in the queue & bent backwards over the railings & placed a smacker on the stone.
the cost for entrance into the castle grounds is (2010) Euro 10 & children Euro 3.50, family of 2 adults & 2 children is Euro 23.50
Open 9.30 to 6.30pm Mon-Sat Sunday until 5.30pm and until sundown during winter months
If you are an inveterate gabber, you must go and kiss the Blarney Stone, thereby absolving you of all blame-it's the stones fault! I didn't realize that you have to lie down, and bend over backwards to kiss the castle wall. Even though the wall is sprayed with disinfectant between kissers, my friend wouldn't do it! But she did save me the money of buying the souvenir photo by taking one with my own camera. And the Blarney Castle is nice to see. There's a beautiful countryside view from the top. Best soup I had on the trip came from the cafeteria on the grounds...
If you kiss the Blarney Stone you are supposed to have 7 years of luck... Well, it is up to you to do so! But first you will have to climb up quite a few pretty steep stairs!! It is well worth it, if not for the stone, but definitely for the view!
Do take your time to stroll through the fantastic gardens and visit Blarney House! There is also a grotto somewhere, so plenty to see and discover!
I wasnt bothered about kissing the Blarney Stone. I mainly just wanted to see the castle. You have to pay to get into the grounds which the castle is situated. Its worth the price, the gardens are beautiful! They have a cave that will be open in a few months time too. The castle itself was the best we saw in Ireland, as its stunning to look at, and the interior is like a big maze with all the rooms inside accessible! It was a little slippery in places, you have to duck to get into different rooms & the final stairway to the top was so narrow & steep (compared to notre dame in paris, but even more narrow!).
When we got to the top, where the stone is, we decided to give it a go, i mean it didnt cost any extra! Was a quick thrill really, the guy who holds you while kissing the stone kept pushing me further down! (so i got to kiss it three times! haha) Glad i did it!
Most people are attracted to Blarney Castle because of its famous stone. The walk through the gardens before you actually get to the castle was very enjoyable and do remember to visit the Poison garden before you head back to your car.
At the top of the castle you will find the famous stone that is believed to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it.
You will have to be in a weird hanging position to kiss it...:-)
Blarney Castle is one of the most famous castles in Ireland, largely due to the presence of the Blarney Stone. The stone is rumoured to be one half of the rock upon which the kings of Scotland were crowned. For some inexpicable reason kissing the stone is meant to give you the gift of gab, and I shudder to think how much more talkative my family would be if they got anywhere near it.
The castle is a nice place - and a good example if you aren't familiar with this type of historic building, and the grounds it is set in are simply enchanting - like something out of a fairy tale. The Blarney Stone itself is okay, and worth the kiss just to encounter the grumpy old man who helps you lean backwards over the battlements to plant a pucker on it.
While in Ireland, make your way to County Cork and visit Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone! It is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget! To kiss the stone, you have to make your way up a winding set of stairs to the very top of the castle. From there you will have a great view of the grounds below! Once it is your turn, a handsome Irish gentleman will help you lie down and bend backwards to kiss the stone while another person takes your picture. You can have the person infront of you in line take your picture too, so have your camera ready and be polite and ask before if they mind doing so. Dont waste your money on the ones they take there! After you kiss the stone, make sure to take time and photograph the surrounding grounds from one of the best spots in the area! Try to get there as early as possible, as once the tour groups arrive...the line gets VERY long!
"There is a stone that whoever kisses,
Oh! he never misses to grow eloquent
'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber,
Or become a member of parliament."
This is probably one of the most famous castles in Ireland because the "blarney stone" is here. Actually there isn't much of the castle left, just the keep built in 1446 which is designed like the typical tower house. We went up the narrow stairs to the top where you can "try" to kiss the blarney stone. After watching several people try and fail, we decided we weren't even going to try. You have to be very agile to do it. You lay down on your back, then hold the metal bars and lean all the way back and drop down so your mouth can kiss the wall behind your head. I'm too old for that! In the castle we saw the ruins of the kitchen, the chapel, banquet hall and family rooms in 3 layers connected by curving stairways.