Wayyyy back in December, when I started planning my trip to Ireland, one of the first destinations that came to mind was the infamous Blarney Castle. While planning my trip I made sure to pick the brains of a few people that had traveled to Ireland before. As we discussed places to see, the unanimous vote was that Blarney would be OK to skip.
Well – I’m glad we didn’t skip. I will say that waiting in line to kiss the Blarney Stone, the rock wall meant to bring the gift of eloquence, was a bit intense. Of all the places we visited, this was the busiest and the line was a bit overwhelming. Alas, you cannot come to Blarney and not kiss the stone.
Or at least attempt to.
I’ll be honest. My money makers did not quite touch the wall. The process was very assembly line like, and I tried to reach the very bottom (it was much harder than it looked) and then the man helping me pulled me back up. I was flustered and over it, so…I accepted getting “close.”
Besides, the gardens of “Blarney Castle & Gardens” was waaayyy better.
It felt like there were endless acres of green. The views from the castle were spectacular. Whenever I was asked, “why Ireland” I didn’t have a good answer. My answer was something along the lines of, “the green!” Seeing the hills near Blarney answers this question.
Now if I’m asked “why Ireland” I’ll just show my photos.
I loved walking the lay of the land, from the poison garden, to the jungle, to the bog garden there were endless places to explore. We also happened to be there on the first day of summer tours for the Blarney House – a mansion built in 1874.
The mansion is still occupied to this day, and for three months of the year the tenants allow the public to view the interior.
This was the only day of the trip with “unfortunate weather” and it was raining pretty hard. The rain added to the ambiance of the area, and it actually made the entire experience more magical.
Only a Seattlite would say such a thing…
After a full day at Blarney, it was time to head towards Clonmel, our launch pad before heading back to Dublin. It just so happened to be Sam’s birthday, and we were lucky enough to find a delicious place to eat right next to our hotel.
You’ll never guess what I ordered….
Where to stay: Clonmel Park Hotel, just a little over an hours drive from Blarney. This hotel had a beautiful view, and an amazing breakfast. This hotel gave me my final Irish feast before coming back to reality. It also made me feel pretty fancy.
Where to eat: Red Herring had amazing service, and even better mushy peas. I think Sam would say they also had a great birthday dessert.
Travel Tip: If you’re renting a car to get around, be aware which nozzle is diesel and if your car requires it. Also, you pump BEFORE you pay. Honor system on point.
35 thoughts on “Blarney Castle and Gardens”
Ireland looks so beautiful and green. So glad you shared this.
Thank you. 🙏🏻🇨🇮
These pictures are so gorgeous and I’m in love with Ireland because of you! I’ve always wanted to go there but oh .. you just pushed me over the edge. The green is so green, and it does not look too hot.. perfect weather for me.
It has perfect weather year round thanks to the North Atlantic drift! Keeps it not too hot and not too cold. 😍
GiGi Eats Celebrities
Uhhhhh why the hell did everyone say to skip this castle? Just cause it was crowded? Well, you did a TITS job of making it look like you and Sam were legit the only two people there.
And um, I wouldn’t have kissed the castle. Cause um… COOOOOTIES?!
NO idea, I think maybe cause it’s super touristy? But it was so legit. I have a good way of making my photos look like there are no people. I’m a cootie queen.
Lovely post. I kissed that stone in 1994 but the gift of eloquence it bestows deserted me! Oh well.
Ah snap. We tried. 🤗
We went to Blarney on our honeymoon. I loved the grounds and the green so much! Unfortunately, I had a panic attack climbing the stairs up. I’m not afraid of heights. I’ve been climbing things since I was a baby. But, for some reason, this particular climb made me nervous. The very tall, annoyed Swede in front of me was polite enough only to glare. ;p
Needless to say, I didn’t kiss the stone. My husband did, though. He’s still the quietest man in the world. 🙂 Maybe it doesn’t work for German/Pollacks.
I felt very uneasy on these stairs! Mainly because we were fully packed in and there was no exit plan because there were so many people. So I TOTALLY get it!
No worries about the Blarney stone. It’s probably covered with germs and kooties and leprecahn droppings.
Truth. I saved myself a head cold. 👍🏻
All the flying and time zones and potatoes and such….
HA! Only someone from Seattle would say that indeed! 😉 But I’m glad that the rain added to the beauty of it all! I would have a hard time not visiting here if I was going to be in Ireland. That’s kind of how I was with Santorini in Greece. Everyone said “it’s great, but you can miss it” but I just couldn’t miss such an iconic spot if we were going to be there. I’m just glad I had the heads up to know that it would be crowded (like it sounds like Blarney was as well). Good to know that about this spot! I definitely have it on my must-visit list! 🙂
You make a good point, and knowing that it’s going to be crowded is a good way to mentally prepare. Or come early!
You didn’t kiss the stone?! Ahhhhh I totally would have macked on that thing if I traveled so far to reach it =P All I want to eat now is mushy peas.
I triedddd 😫. I just have to go back. Lolol. ✌🏻🇨🇮
kathy @ more coffee, less talky
sounds and looks amazing! I did a tour of a castle once in Italy (it was sort of a castle) and I couldn’t believe that at one point, people actually lived in a stone castle.
It was crazy all the history! I can’t imagine living in one. Tiny castle for me.
I think it’s amazing people still live in the mansion. How cool. I would have loved to have taken that tour. Also those gardens are spectacular.
It was so amazing.
Ok, I am not quite sure why you have to be upside down to kiss the Blarney Stone? What craziness! The entire grounds are breathtaking, so glad you did not skip it. But I can see people telling you that because it’s so touristy -Kat
I think for center of gravity, less chance of falling forward.
When I learned you were going to Ireland I wondered if you’d get a chance to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the stone! Such a cool experience! And so beautiful 🙂
Ha! Great minds think alike!
That is one gorgeous castle! And I agree the rain looks like it added to the magic of the whole experience 🙂
I love the grey. 😍
So many people told me to skip Blarney castle as well, but I thought it was pretty cool, especially the gardens.
The gardens were amazing!! I will surely tell others DON’T skip, but more importantly go to the gardens!
Liz Husebye Hartmann
Happy (belated!) birthday to Sam!!
Blarney seems quite different–tamed?–compared to the many other places on your trip!
I suppose danger-wise that’s true! Hahah.
I love all the green too…my favorite picture is the one looking down from above – looks like a magical green fantasy land.
Oh it was indeed! I can still see it in my mind. 🤗
OMG – those gardens are LOVELY!!