Blarney Co Cork known as “the biggest little village in Ireland”, is one of Ireland’s most picturesque villages. Set in beautiful wooded countryside, just 8km (5 miles) from Cork City, it is an ideal base to visit the many wonderful sights of Cork and Kerry.
Steeped in history and magical charm, Blarney offers the visitor a host of wonderful things to do and places to discover. One of the finest things that impresses the first time visitor is the well preserved village square. Blarney is one of the few villages in Ireland which has such a fine amenity, and today it continues to be a focal point of village life. In Tudor style, the village has developed around the square which is owned and carefully maintained by Blarney Castle Estate.
For many visitors to Ireland, one of the priorities is to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in order to receive the gift of ‘the Blarney’ or known as the ‘gift of the gab’ as the locals call it. The catch though is the famous stone is at the top of the battlements and you have to lean over backwards to successfully kiss it.
“There is a stone that whoever kisses never misses to grow eloquent, he may clamber to a lady’s chamber or become a member of parliament”.
Over 200,000 people visit Blarney Castle each year. The castle is situated in a thousand acre park with magnificent woodland, fern gardens, lake, magnificent perio house and of course the stories of a thousand years with druids, witches and more. This is an ideal place to take walks to enjoy the clean fresh environment of Blarney.
Just outside of Blarney you have the famous Blarney Golf Resort which is a John Daly (twice Major Winner) designed course and is well worth a visit by any keen golfer.
To those who do not know Ireland, the title “village” does not do justice to Blarney, a village which has played a keen and enthusiastic role in Irish Tourism for over one hundred years. Blarney continues to be widely known internationally, even in places where the word ‘Ireland’ may not be fully understood.
A visitor to Blarney over one hundred years ago would probably have arrived on the Muskerry Tram or travelled from Cork City on the Great Southern and Western Railway which had a station at nearby Station Road. They would have in all probability visited Blarney Castle and then taken tea in one of two hotels in the village – Smith’s or Corcoran’s. Along one side of the square was a row of neat cottages which still stand today. Some of the residents of these cottages found employment in the local Woollen Mills which are hugely popular for a spot of retail therapy!
St. Ann’s Hydro close to Blarney was also a major attraction. This was developed in 1843 and allowed those in need of medical treatment to take steam and Turkish Baths.