Like so many visitors to Ireland, we came to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. What we found was much more. A medieval castle along Southern Ireland, near the village of Cork, Blarney Castle is nearly 600 years old. Legend tells us that kissing the famous Blarney Stone of Eloquence will leave you never short for words, although some say the magic only lasts seven years.
I wouldn’t know. I opted not to hang upside down at the top of a tower to kiss a stone that is kissed by thousands of tourist each day. Of course, there is both a guide and a rail there to make sure you don’t fall, and the guide disinfects that stone after every kiss.
Kissing the Blarney Stone
My family felt differently about it. Sarah (age 12) shares her experience:
I have been given the gift of gab! Today we kissed the Blarney stone, so we have goodly speech now 😉
Okay, now you’re probably wondering, what is the Blarney stone? (unless you already know of course) The Blarney stone is this special stone that, if you kiss, gives you eloquence. We think it gives you the gift of gab. Seems very easy, doesn’t it?
Sadly, the stone isn’t in the middle of a room, easily accessible and kissable.
You have to climb all the way to the top of the castle via spiral stairs (which I love and mum doesn’t) and then wait in a long queue before lying on a blanket, holding two bars on the wall and leaning backwards over the dizzying drop (its over a hole all the way down to the ground). You reach your head down while the man holds you to make sure you don’t fall and kiss the farthest stone. Congrats, you now have the gift of Eloquence (or the gift of gab).
Blarney Castle Gardens and Gardens
Expecting to come here just to kiss the stone, I was most impressed by the rock formations in the gardens, especially the Witch’s Cave (not shown here).
Tour Blarney Castle from Dublin
If kissing the Blarney Stone is on your must-do list whilst in Ireland, you can take a day trip from Dublin.
Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin:
This full-day tour brings you from Dublin through the dairy farmlands of County Cork with a first stop on the city of Cork where you can peruse an English market, visit St. Finbarre’s Cathedral, or just wander through the charming village. Next, you will arrive at the Blarney Castle. Here you will get an opportunity to explore the gardens, see the Witches Cave, and, of course, to kiss the Blarney Stone.
Visit Blarney Castle – What you need to know
- Blarney Castle was constructed in 1446, although the original stone structure built on the site was completed in 1210.
- It is 27 metres tall, at the top of its tower.
- Blarney Castle opens at 9 am daily. Closing times vary based on season, weather, and events. Check times out here before you go.
- The drive time from Dublin to Cork is 3-4 hours.
- Blarney and Cork are near Ireland’s South Coast.
- Children under the age of 8 may not be allowed to kiss the stone, it is at the discretion of the staff.
- An audio guide is available at an extra fee.
Have you kissed the Blarney Stone?
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All photos on this page © Rhonda Albom. All rights reserved.