Cashel is home to the iconic Rock of Cashel. One of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland and one of the most visited. Cashel’s rich history is reflected in its built heritage, from prehistoric raths to medieval monasteries and fortified town houses, a Georgian Cathedral and a 21st century Library (which holds regular exhibitions, workshops and concerts). The Georgian quarter also boasts the Bolton Library where you can find the smallest book in Ireland. Victorian town center is a thriving retail zone, with excellent clothes shops, lively cafes, charming gift shops, pubs oozing with old charm and food retailers offering delicious artisan fare.
It's huge, it's complex, it's iconic, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world and it's right here in Cashel at the heart of Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig), more formally St. Patrick's Rock, it is also known as Cashel of the Kings. Reputedly the site of the conversion of Aenghus the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century AD. Long before the Norman invasion The Rock of Cashel was the seat of the High Kings of Munster, although there is little structural evidence of their time here. Most of the buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries when the rock was gifted to the Church. The buildings represent both Hiberno-Romanseque and Germanic influences in their architecture.
To quote from the WIKI entry "The complex has a character of its own, unique and native, and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe." The Rock is the setting of the fictional "Sister Fidelma Mysteries" mediaeval whodunits from Peter Tremayne. Located just 500 meters from the center of Cashel Town, County Tipperary, the site includes an audio-visual show and exhibitions.
Cashel to Waterford
House of Waterford Factory Tour
Take a tour of the world-famous House of Waterford Crystal. You'll get a unique behind-the-scene look at how master craftsmen create some of the world's most exquisite crystal objects. You’ll also have time to explore Waterford’s retail shop!
There are those that come seeking the stone but leaving understanding the stone is only part of the story. Legend has it that the Blarney Stone--the legendary Stone of Eloquence--found at the top of the castle tower guarantees anyone that kisses it never again to be lost for words. (Kissing the Blarney Stone requires narrow stairs and heights.) The castle originally dates from before 1200. Surrounding the castle are extensive gardens. Blarney House, also open to the public, is a Scottish baronial-style mansion that was built on the grounds in 1874.
There are numerous woodland walks on the grounds of the Blarney Castle estate, through which winds the River Martin. In the arboretum you will find colorful displays of copper beach, ornamental pear, southern beech, nothafagus and evergreen oaks. Adjacent to the arboretum, one finds the Belgian Beds planted with hybrid azaleas, and a western red cedar tree from BritISH Columbia. Don’t miss the poison garden.
The Rock Close is laid out on a pre-historic Druids site with the remains of huge boulders, rocks, a dolmen (a megalithic tomb with a large flat stone laid on uprights), a sacrificial altar and a witches kitchen. You will also find Japanese bamboo trees, magnolias, Siberian dogwood and weeping willows and a stream which can be crossed via a small pedestrian bridge.
Cork-Cobh Queenstown Story Tour
Start out by visiting St Colman’s cathedral, where you can see the architecture of Pugin and Ashlin in splendid detail, then take a relaxing drive by Cobh Harbor, (the Titanic Trail) and end at the Queenstown story at Cobh heritage center. From 1848 - 1950 over 2.5 million people departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. Located outside the Cobh Heritage Center is the statue of Annie Moore and her two brothers. Annie Moore became the first ever emigrant to be processed in Ellis Island when it officially opened on 1st January 1892. A similar statue of Annie can be found in Ellis Island, New York. Following this tour take a scenic harbor Train ride from Cobh heritage center to Fota Wildlife Park Fota Wildlife Park is set on 70 acres on the scenic Fota Island. The park is not like an ordinary zoo; here you can come face to face with free roaming animals & birds from all parts of the world. So whether it's a kangaroo that hops in front of you or a ring tailed lemur which jumps down from a tree, each visit is sure to bring its own fantastic memories.
English Market (a personal favorite of mine) in Cork City
If this stop appeals to you, schedule it first before heading up the road to Blarney.
A mix of traditional Cork fare and exciting new foods from afar, along with longstanding family-run stalls and newcomers from outside, all contribute to its unique appeal, which is celebrated widely, especially by visitors to the city...
Cork picnickers are a fortunate bunch. The wonderful market is a self-caterer's paradise with so many tasty delicacies to choose from it's hard to show restraint. The emphasis is on local produce, with cheeses, ham, buttered eggs, sausages, bread and smoked salmon on offer, but there are some imports such as olives and wine too. If you have cooking facilities, the fresh-fish sellers will tell you exactly what to buy and how to cook it. Otherwise, perch at stall-side counters or take your lunch to Bishop Lucey Park, a popular alfresco eating spot.
- Blarney Castle
- Blarney Woollen Mills
- Cobh Heritage Centre
- Cork City
- Kinsale fishing town
- Old Midleton Whiskey Distillery
Hotel 2 Night Stay: Killarney Royal Hotel
The Killarney Royal Hotel has welcomed a century of travelers from around the world to Killarney. Offering a warm and cozy respite the boutique 4 star hotel, awarded IGTOA Boutique Hotel of the Year 2012, it is centrally located in the heart of Killarney Town, with all the majestic beauty of Killarney and Kerry outside our door. The Scally family, have proudly held the mantle of caring for guests over three generations. Committed to delivering gracious hospitality & creating lasting memories, delivering the friendly personal service and true Irish hospitality synonymous with Killarney Royal Hotel. The Killarney Royal offer guests luxurious hotel accommodation, exceptional and innovative cuisine and the ideal abode to return to after a day spent enjoying all that Killarney has to offer.
So many things to do in Killarney!
Savor Ireland the way it was intended to be experienced with a royal stay at the Dromoland Castle Hotel. Built in the family palace of the Dromoland O’Briens, Kings of Thomond with lineage tied back thousands of years to Brian Boru, the only High King of Ireland, the Dromoland Castle is a quintessential landmark of Ireland tradition, culture, and class. The repurposed castle boasts elegant 5th Century relics, such as sparkling vintage chandeliers, mysterious castle corridors and lavishly decorated common areas.
Spend the afternoon gazing over the property’s enchanting lake or take a stroll through the breath-taking Walled Garden. Enjoy an afternoon golfing on the widely-regarded Dromoland Golf & Country Club or invigorate the body and soul at the hotel’s full-service spa. Savor the relaxing atmosphere of the 100 stately guest quarters or relish a gourmet six-course meal at the Earl of Thomond Restaurant. For guests looking to experience old world Ireland with the convenience of modern day amenities, Dromoland Castle Hotel is an obvious choice.