Blarney Village Centre
Blarney village is located just under 20 minutes from Cork City Center, taking the N20 and then the R617 into Blarney, Co Cork, 5 miles from Cork. Blarney is set in a lovely wooded river area, with its attractive old village, dated back to the 18th Century, which centers around the village green. The square is surrounded by many shops, restaurants, bars and a hotel. There is a scenic walk out on the 5k Blarney Way, which passes by the Old Round Tower of Waterloo, and along the old railways of the Muskerry Tram. Come back and relax afterwards and enjoy a drink in one of our many bars located in the town. You may be lucky to come across a number of musical recitals on the village green during the Summer months. Just a short walk from Blarney village green lies the Blarney Castle Estate, where you will find the famous Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone. Having climbed Blarney Castle and kissed the famous Blarney Stone you can proceed to walk the grounds and gardens of the Estate and take time out to enjoy this peaceful setting and see the large range of rare and unusual trees and plants in the gardens.
Blarney Castle www.blarneycastle.ie
Blarney Castle has become a world landmark and one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. The castle is open daily, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There are separate admission rates for children, students, adults, and families.
The Blarney Castle in Ireland should be at the top of any traveler’s list. The beautiful castle, and the entertaining Blarney Castle history, visitors leave feeling like they’ve touched (even kissed) a genuine part of Irish history and tradition.
For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. Its powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.
Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, to kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements.
Blarney House is a Scottish Baronial mansion designed by John Lanyon and is now open to the public in the summer months. The house sits in the middle of the parklands situated less than 200m south of the great castle itself. Built in 1874, it has now been restored to its former glory. The house is situated overlooking Blarney Lake and features a splendid interior that is well worth a visit while in Blarney.
No visit to Blarney House is complete without a stroll through the gardens, which look magnificent all year round. Over 60 acres of parkland including a rare Poison Garden, herbaceous borders, a Fern garden and a magnificent display of rhododendrons. No matter what time of year you visit you will see something different.
Blarney Woollen Mills www.blarney.com
The Blarney Woollen Mills were built in 1823 and originally went by the name Mahony’s Mills. It was a great source of employment for the people of Blarney and the surrounding areas, producing tweeds and woollens of an excellent quality for sale both and home and abroad. Today the Blarney Woollen Mills is Ireland’s largest Irish gifts store, stocking an extensive range of Ireland’s finest home grown products. At the store you’ll find Waterford Crystal, Belleek Fine china, Royal Tara, Celtic Jewellery and not forgetting the infamous Aran Sweaters.
For 30 years Blarney Woollen Mills and demonstrated its expertise in all things Irish, with fantastic customer service and an enviable catalogue of gifts, which are exported all over the world. The great legacy of the Woollen Mills and its continued success is due largely to Christy Kelleher.
Clogheenmilcon Santuary is on the outskirts of the village. It can be reached by continuing east along the road from the southeastern corner of the Square as far as the T-junction and then following the signs to the right which lead directly into the santuary footpath. Car parking is available. The Sanctuary comprises a beautiful alkaline wetland of approximately 100 acres of what used to be a deep lake, a remnant of the last Ice Age. The area has been developed to improve and conserve habitat for a wide range of waterfowl as well as providing a well-maintained footpath.
The Martin Valley Trail
Blarney to Waterloo and Station road,A 5.5 kilometre/3.2 mile walk from Blarney Village to Waterlook Church and Tower and back to station road alongside the River Martin. It begins approximately 150 metres east of the Tourist Office at the road junction and heads due north. The walk begins by following the route of the old millrace whch powered Blarney Woollen Mills in times past. It passes through lovely water meadows bounded to the east across the river by a very find stand of old oak woodland. Beyond the old weir the long mill pond has not been recreated and the parth forks either side of this and then runs right beside the river up to a landmark known as Taylor’s Rock. From Taylor’s Rock the path returns to the road until the Waterloo Inn is reached. Just beyond the Inn is the Church. Waterloo Tower is built in the style of the ancient Irish Round Tower, but in fact it was constructed in 1845 at the instigation of the then parish priest, Father Matthew Horgan.
The Old Muskerry Tram Route
The walk west along the roadside footpath towards Tower from Blarney initially parallels the route of the old Muskerry tram, which passes through Blarney Caste Estate and can be seen across the field to the south below the castle itself. At Paud’s Cross (the crossroads encountered about a mile from Blarney along the Tower Road), the tram route rejoins the roadside and can be clearly identified as such until Willison’s Bridge road junction. Beyond this point it forks into two routes, one heading up the Shournagh River Valley towards Donoughmore, and the other heading for Coachford via Tower. All of this is pleasant, quiet walking country with easy gradients and alternative boreens back into Blarney via bluebell woods overlooking Blarney Castle.