When we visited Cork with some friends earlier this year, I almost brushed off the suggestion of a visit to Blarney Castle as I had it in my head that it was a total tourist trap. I can’t even tell you where that opinion came from as I have never visited or heard that from anyone else who had visited. How our minds can play wicked games on us!

Anyway, I’m glad that we did decide to give it a go because we really enjoyed it. It’s so much more than kissing the Blarney Stone (though we did that too!). We had about 2.5 – 3 hours to spend at the Castle and Gardens and I found that I could have easily spent another couple of hours wandering around the grounds, as there were still a few areas I didn’t make it to.  There are some lovely short walks and a few longer ones if you’re feeling energetic.

Even if you don’t want to kiss the stone, it’s worth taking a wander up to the top of the castle as there are some lovely views out over the gardens and beyond. Just take care on the stairs! As you’ll see from the photos they are narrow and can be tricky to manoeuvre when there are a lot of people about. We were quite lucky that it wasn’t too crowded, as we visited early in the season but if you are visiting at a busier time of year it’s probably a good idea to book your tickets online. You’ll also get a slightly cheaper rate by doing so. Children under 8 go free, which makes it a pretty good option for a family day out and if they’re older the family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children is still great value.

I can’t say that we picked up the gift of eloquence from kissing the Blarney Stone but sure it’s all part of the fun and perhaps we strengthened our immune systems a little. Hehe!