Though a runaway favorite for the hotly-contested title of “cheesiest tourist attraction in Ireland,” Blarney Castle is an imposing edifice. Constructed in the late 15th century, it was once much bigger; the massive square tower is all that remains of the original medieval structure. This is where you’ll find its most famous attraction, and probably the most disappointing magical rock you’ll ever kiss, the eponymous “Blarney Stone.” Whoever first decided that this particular slab had mystical powers certainly didn’t have the convenience of visitors in mind; after trudging up a series of poorly lit narrow staircases, you’ll find it wedged underneath the battlements, far enough to make it uncomfortable to reach, but not so far that countless tourists cannot lie down, stick their heads outside, and kiss it in hopes of achieving lifelong loquaciousness. There’s no extra charge for kissing the Blarney Stone, though it’s customary to tip the attendant who holds your legs (you might want to do it before you’re slung over the edge). Also check out the dungeons penetrating the rock at the base of the castle. If you need a break from the masses, the gardens are pretty and much less crowded. On the grounds is the later Blarney House, built in 1874 in the then-fashionable Scottish Baronial style with imposing grey stone and filigreed turrets that resemble a mini-Hogwarts. You can tour the interior from June to August only, Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 2pm. Blarney Castle is 8km (5 miles) outside the city on R617. You can easily get here by bus; the number 215 stops about twice an hour (once per hour on Sundays). Ask the driver to let you off at the stop nearest the castle. Tip: Save a few euro on the ticket price by booking online.
Cork City› Attraction
Blarney, Co. Cork, 8km (5 miles) from Cork City on R617
Our Rating Hours June–Aug Mon–Sat 9am–7pm, Sun 9am–6pm. May and Sept Mon–Sat 9am–6:30pm, Sun 9am–6pm. Mar–Apr and Oct daily 9am–6pm. Nov–Feb daily 9am–5pm. Public holiday hours same as Sun. Last admission generally 30 min. before closing; closes at dusk if earlier Phone 021/438-5252 Prices Admission €15 adults; €12 seniors and students; €6 children 8–16; €37 families Web site Blarney Castle
MapBlarney, Co. Cork, 8km Cork City
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.