The famous Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle & Gardens is officially called the Stone of Eloquence, with a legend that states if you kiss the stone, you will never be at a loss for words. People travel from all over the world to kiss this mystical stone, which can only be done by hanging upside down over a sheer drop from the castle's tower. In addition to the draw of the stone, the 600-year-old fortress also boasts an array of handsome gardens and several interesting rock formations known collectively as Rock Close and given whimsical names such as Wishing Steps and Witch's Cave. Take your turn to kiss the stone, but don't leave the castle without exploring the grounds a bit too.The Basics
Rail and bus tours that showcase the best of the Irish western and southern coasts—including the Ring of Kerry scenic drive, the Cliffs of Moher, Galway Bay, and the Burren—often includes a stop at Blarney Castle. Find an itinerary to suit your interests, and choose one with a tour guide to learn about the history of the castle and the stone. Make the most of your time with combination tours to other sites such as the Rock of Cashel, the Celtic Cathedral, the Hall of Vicars, the Galtee Mountains, and County Kildare.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get to Blarney Castle
- Come prepared with layers for Ireland's famously unpredictable weather.
- Prepare to wait in line if you’d like to kiss the stone.
- Stone kissing is best suited for those who are able-bodied, as the line winds up steep staircases to the castle’s top.
Located only 6 miles (10 km) northwest of the city of Cork, the Blarney Castle & Gardens are easy to reach on a simple afternoon trip from the city. The castle is also often experienced as a stop on a trip from Dublin to Cork, or vice versa. Blarney is 385 miles (620 km) from Dublin.When to Get There
The castle is open daily from 9am to sunset; as with most popular attractions, it’s best to get there early to beat the crowds. Although chilly, Christmas time is lovely at the castle, which is sumptuously decorated for the season.Exploring Cork City
A Cork day trip often includes time in the city as well as a visit to Blarney Castle. Stroll down St. Patrick Street and stop for lunch at the English Market, which hosted a visit from Queen Elizabeth II of England in 2011, or do some tax-free souvenir shopping at Blarney Woollen Mill. The Irish countryside throughout County Cork is picturesque and makes for a lovely drive.