Blarney village in Ireland is approximately five miles outside of Cork and sits amid lush, green countryside. With only 2,000 or so locals, it may be small in stature, but it offers huge rewards for the intrepid traveler.
The attraction that lures tourists in droves is Blarney Castle and its legendary stone. Built almost 600 years ago by Cormac McCarthy, a popular figure in Irish history, this majestic stone structure has garnered attention ever since. The Stone of Eloquence, otherwise known as Blarney Stone, holds mythical powers and grants the kisser the never-ending gift of gab. The climb to the top of the castle alone will reduce your speaking ability, but somehow it is magically restored after a kiss to the stone and a small rest before heading back down.
This storied castle sits on over 1,000 acres, the grounds a magnificent setting. Plentiful trees and vibrant green grass seem to shimmer in pride of its legendary status. Perfectly maintained gardens and wooded walkways are in abundance and set the scene for a remarkable day spent at Blarney Estate.
Irish Witches, Dungeons and More
The first witch of Blarney is held prisoner in the Witch Stone. Fortunately for tourists and visitors alike, she only escapes the stone at night, but seems to get in no more mischief than simply wandering the castle grounds. Not to worry, she is once again imprisoned by dawn’s light.
Beneath the castle tower, the Dungeon is now mostly inaccessible passageways and chambers. It is still worth taking a peek at what many believe was the castle’s prison, holding a secret or two within its ancient stone walls.
There is plenty more to explore including the lake, the Rock Close, the Wishing Steps and colorful gardens.
The Village Square is amazingly preserved and the focal point of this diminutive town. Its inhabitants are extremely friendly and eager to answer any questions you may have about what to see, what to do or simply share some Blarney folk lore.
Shopping, eating and sharing a pint are all great options. The famous Blarney Woolen Mills is one of the greatest craft markets around and well worth checking out.
The Muskerry Arms is located right off the Village Square and has some of the best food around. A worthwhile tip is knowing that the same top quality food served in the restaurant can be had in the pub, yet for pub prices. There is also live music on the weekends and sports can be regularly seen on its many plasma TVs.
Ireland as a whole is very beautiful and attracts tourists in great number every time. However, Blarney is not to be missed without fail. It is the perfect place to make a trip with family, kids or with friends, at any time and at any season. It has mesmerizing scenic beauty and offers complete peace to travelers. It is adventurous too.