Blarney Castle & Rock Close
- View as map
Blarney, Cork, Republic of Ireland
This historic castle is world famous for the Blarney Stone, said to have the power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it.
This historic castle is most famous for its stone, which has the power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The word blarney was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards, (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk.
Blarney Castle has long been famous because of the Blarney Stone but the less known Rock Close and castle grounds are well worth a visit in their own right. Many different gardens are to be found around the estat and exploration will be rewarded. There is a fern garden with the atmosphere of a tropical jungle to be found deep in the woods. The Poison Garden, adjacent to the battlements, contains an interesting and educational collection of deadly and dangerous plants from around the world, including caged specimens of deadly nightshade, wolfsbane and poison ivy.
The Rock Close is a mystical place where majestic yew and oak trees grow around an ancient druidic settlement. Follow the trail through giant gunnera leaves and bamboo and you will find such features as a dolmen, wishing steps and a witch's kitchen. A water garden with waterfalls adds the soothing sound of water to the visitor's experience.
There are pleasant walks along the riverbanks where you can sit and contemplate the reflections of the castle. In springtime the castle grounds are filled with thousands of bulbs and the ‘Belgian beds’, full of hybrid azaleas are in full flower. In autumn the whole place glows as the leaves turn red, amber and gold.
Open Times and Dates for Blarney House & Gardens 2015.
Open: All year except Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, Jan- Mar, Mon-Sat, 9am-sundown, Sun, 9am- 6 pm,
Apr-May, 9am-6pm, June-Aug, Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm, Sun, 9am-6pm,
Sept, Mon-Sat, 9am-6.30pm, Sun, 9am-6pm,
Oct, Nov, Dec Daily 9am-6pm,
Restored stable yard and cafe, two souvenir shops, bureau de change, refreshments, Blarney lake and wildlife, arboretums, pinetum, Irish garden, herbaceous borders, rose pergola, rhododendron beds, woodlands walks, fern garden, river bank walk, ice-house, lime kiln and caves.