"Being a Tourist in My Own Backyard" Top 5 Page for this destination Blarney Castle by Ekaterinburg
Blarney Castle Travel Guide: 53 reviews and 189 photos
This summer I'm conducting a little experiment - being a tourist in my own area. Previously on VT I had never mentioned Blarney, not even as an 'Off the Beaten Path' tip on my Cork page and I suppose I would have to admit that the reason for this is because I considered it to be a just a tourist trap and a potential waste of visitors time and money. However, the sheer volume of questions about Blarney on the Irish travel forums has made me realise that it's still high on the 'must-see' list for many visitors to Ireland. I go to Blarney regularly to shop at the Woolen Mills or take a stroll round the village but two weeks ago I bit the bullet and headed off to the Castle. Camera in hand, I queued up with people from all over the world to see what exactly is on offer and if it's worth the bother.
What's on offer is a chance to visit this imposing example of an Irish medieval castle. The grounds are extensive and are worth visiting in their own right. They vary from open grassy spaces to densely wooded areas with the River Martin wending its way throughout. Points of interest such as the Rock Close and Badger's Cave are clearly signposted and all along the way are mounted oval plaques with information, history and anecdote. These I was glad to see, did not lay on the Paddy-whackery with a trowel. They were informative and referred to all the local legends but were very clearly tongue-in-cheek. I was glad to see this vote of confidence in tourist's intelligence and after this I approached the whole experience with a much more open mind.
It's important to say here that I am trying to view this experience in terms of value for money for visitors to Ireland. At EUR 12 to visit the grounds,the castle and kiss the stone, it's maybe a little expensive. If the whole thing turns you off then give it a miss as it's unlikey that you will change your mind. But if spending a pleasant few hours in a nice Irish village with a chance to visit the castle thrown in appeals to you, then you won't be disappointed. I was quite surprised by how much people were obviously enjoying themselves and children especially were really getting into the whole castle and dungeon vibe.
Blarney is a delightful village with a perfectly maintained village green surrounded by pretty cottages. Don't forget to leave time to stroll round and maybe have a drink or a bite to eat at one of the local pubs. The Blarney Woolen Mills is well worth a visit as well ,for shopping or just browsing. It's expensive certainly but the merchandise is top class and despite appearances, it's not just for tourists. This is where most people in Cork go to buy their wooly jumpers and it's a very popular Sunday afternoon destination.
- Pros:Much better than I thought it would be
- Cons:Can be crowded in summer and not for the cynical
- In a nutshell:Kiss the stone but DON"T buy the certificate !
If you are based in the city getting to Blarney is quite straightforward. The 224 bus leaves the Bus Station at Parnell... more travel advice
Despite warnings, it is common for items such as small change, or other things frequently kept in pockets, to fall from... more travel advice
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