Are you looking for the gift of gab? Or how about a fun story to tell your friends? Well, look no further than Ireland’s famous Blarney Castle. The castle and its grounds are a popular destination on the Emerald Isle and for good reason!
Blarney Castle is situated in a small town in southern Ireland, outside of the city Cork. The grounds possess an impressive castle, a large manor house, and hundreds of acres of gardens and grounds to explore. Visiting today you will actually see the third structure that was built on the site. The first wooden structure was built in the 10th century and was replaced by a stone building around 1210. The third building was erected in 1446 by the King of Munster, Dermot McCarthy. Though it’s the third structure, the one you see today is almost 600 years old!
Blarney Castle is most famous for its Blarney Stone. Legend goes that a kiss of the stone will give
you the gift of gab or eloquence. For over 200 years, millions of people have climbed the stairs and kissed the stone in search of its gifts. To kiss the stone, you lean over backwards, hold onto a rail, and kiss the stone upside down. But there’s no need to worry, as there’s a nice person there to hold onto you to ensure you stay in the castle!
There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, including that the stone is the deathbed pillow of St. Columba, or that it had been a prophetic stone used in Scottish royal succession, or that it was even used as an oracle for Irish kings. Whatever the true story behind the stone may be, it’s certainly an adventure to kiss it and gain whatever strengths or powers the stone may possess.
After a kiss of the stone, be sure to explore the grounds of the castle. Make sure to wander around the Poison Garden to learn about poisonous plants and where they grow throughout the world. Also, check out the Fern Garden to be in awe of ferns that come in all shapes and sizes. As you meander the grounds, you’ll find yourself stumble upon a café in the stable yard. Here you can take a break and imagine what life would have been like 600 years ago. Or, you can simply sit back and enjoy your newfound gift of eloquence!