Smooth talking. Silver-tongued. A real charmer. However you phrase it, once you’ve kissed the Blarney Stone you’ll never be lost for words – or so the legend goes. Whether there’s any truth in the story remains to be seen, but British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill certainly thought so. And he’s just one name in a long list of famous faces that’ve kissed this rock. To reach the stone’s precarious perch at the top of Blarney Castle, you’ll scale a spiral staircase that’s barely wide enough for one person. And even if you don’t fancy a close encounter with the boulder, the climb is worth it just for the view. You can see right over the Blarney River and the surrounding countryside from here. Blarney Stone aside, no visit to this part of the world would be complete without stopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills. This 200-year-old mill sells distinctive green Blarney Castle jumpers they make right here on the premises. It’s also the place to come for cashmere, crystal and, of course, all things woollen. Your day rounds off with a tour of Cork city centre taking in the Gothic splendour of St Finbarr’s Cathedral. All gargoyles and birds, the carved exterior of this place is really something. You’ll also see Cork’s old courthouse, the city hall and the Bells of Shandon.
There are many steps to climb at the Castle if you wish to kiss the Blarney Stone.
- SUITABILITY Moderate physical activity.