It'll cost you €18 to visit Blarney House & Gardens.
Blarney Castle is situated just 15 minutes from Cork City and 25 minutes from Exit 18 on the M8 motorway.
On The Grounds
The suitably named Stable Yard Café is situated in the lovely stable yard which is just a short walk from the castle. Here you can get soup, sandwiches, scones and cakes to keep you ticking over while you queue to kiss the stone or explore the grounds.
The Square Table restaurant is in the square in Blarney.
Blair's Inn in Cloughroe is a rural pub with a river running alongside.
4) The Grounds
There is a lot more to Blarney Castle and Gardens than the name suggests. The grounds contain acres upon acres of fields, forests, gardens and waterways. It's hard to know where to start.
Blarney House was built in 1874 and is the current home of the Colthurst family. It is open to the public 60 days of the year. Their walled gardens are closed to visitors.
The shortest walk - The Riverside Walk - runs alongside the River Blarney and takes around 20 minutes.
Walk the Forest Trail and see the waterfall, witches kitchen, druids cave and dolmen among other things.
The longer Woodland Walk takes about 90 minutes. It takes in the lake, the icehouse, the fern garden and the bee observatory where Blarney Honey is produced.
5) The Stone
Last but not least, the Blarney Stone. Lets start with a little history of the main attraction.
The Story of the Stone
In 1314, King of Munster, Cormac McCarthy, supplied 5,000 soldiers to aid Robert the Bruce in the Battle of Bannockburn. The Bruce was victorious and gave McCarthy a piece of the Stone of Scone as thanks. This stone was built into the wall of Blarney Castle and became known as the Blarney Stone.
A Load of Blarney!
In 1602 Queen Elizabeth I wanted to take control of Blarney Castle. McCarthy consistently looked to delay any meeting with alternative suggestions like a banquet. When the Queen asked for a report on the take over she received a long document that she declared was all "Blarney".
The Stone Today
The Blarney Stone is likely one of the most famous worldwide and is renowned for giving those who kiss it, 'the gift of the gab'.
The downside of its popularity is that queues to kiss the stone can be up to 90 minutes at peak times. If you're keen for the kiss, arrive early, late or during off peak times.
6) That Price Again
€18 is a bargain to visit Blarney House & Gardens. Visiting is so much more than kissing the stone. To really get your money's worth, you should allow the best part of a day to kiss the stone and explore these amazing grounds.
Blarney Castle & Gardens - just one of the amazing attractions included on Scratchable Map Ireland. Order yours here and start your journey around Ireland.