Blarney is an excellent area from which to visit other areas in the South of Ireland. Its proximity to other tourist attractions in both Cork, Kerry and Tipperary makes it an ideal location in which to base your holiday. The following are some suggested day tours by car from Blarney:
This is a classic late Georgian Mansion with Italianate printed walls, Adam Fireplaces and one of the finest staircases in Ireland.
Barryscourt Castle, Carrigtwohill
Dates from the same period as Bunratty and Dunguaire Castles. Built in 1206, it was the seat of the Earl of Barrymore until 1700. The castle was opened to the public after extensive renovations
The Jameson Centre, Midleton
Experience the history of Irish Whiskey, see the world’s biggest Pot Still and after your tour enjoy a sample of Irish Whiskey.
Fota Wildlife Park, Fota Island
Here you will see over 70 species of wildlife from all 5 continents, roam freely past bird-filled lakes, monkey islands and flamingo parks. A great family day-out.
Fota Gardens Arboretum and Fernery Why not take a relaxing stroll through these gardens and explore the 150 year old world famous Arboretum
Cobh (pronounced “Cove”)
Previously known as Queenstown, was the centre of Irish emigration, the last port of call of the Titanic, and the place to which survivors of the Lusitania were brought. Visit the Queenstown Story – a multimedia exhibition at Cobh’s Victorian Railway Station
A village renowned for its superb pottery. Visit the potters at work at Stephen Pearse’s emporium
Created by the Strangman Family in the early 1800’s and impeccably maintained until the death of Lydia Strangman in 1952. A programme of restoration began in 1983, when Tim and Darina Allen established their famous Cookery School. Gardens are open April to September.
There are 3 beautiful beaches in the area (approx. 30 minutes from Blarney): Ballycotton, Garryvoe and Youghal
The ancient town of Youghal was occupied by the Danes and Normans and was also part of the great tract of land that was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. His home, Myrtle Grove, still stands today and is open to the public. Tradition has it that it was here he planted the first potatoes. The main street is spanned by the Clock Gate built in 1777.
Ballycotton Sanctuary & Wetlands
A bird sanctuary of international importance stretches from Ballycotton around the bay to Ballymacoda.
Farran Forest Park
This is only 8 miles from Blarney and is ideal for nature trekking. The park contains a wild life refuge and picnic areas. Open all year round
The Farm at Grenagh
The Farm at Grenagh, Co. Cork, is like nothing you have experienced before! It is be a vibrant place to learn about the history and heritage of Irish Farming. Experience life on a farm first-hand and be inspired by a unique environment that promotes a holistic approach to farming and encourages interaction with everyone who comes through the gate. http://visitthefarm.ie/
One of Ireland’s oldest and most picturesque towns. This town prides itself on the quality of its environment and has been a winner of Ireland’s Tidy Town Competition on a number of occasions. It has also established itself as one of Ireland’s leading gourmet centres, with a wide variety of restaurants offering top quality dishes.
Charles Fort, Kinsale
Constructed in the 1680’s in honour of King Charles, Charles Fort is a classic example of a star-shaped fort. In use until 1921, it was destroyed in 1922 during the Civil War. Open mid-April to mid-September. Tel +353 021 – 772263
Desmond Castle, Kinsale
Desmond Castle built in 1500 AD as a custom house, has a varied history, ranging from being occupied by the Spanish to use as both a French and American Gaol, and also as an auxiliary workhouse tending to the starving during the Great Famine. Opening times vary so Tel +353 021 -774855 to avoid disappointment.
Castle Gardens, Timoleague
Just outside the village these Castle Gardens include a sunken formal garden, herbaceous borders, lawns and terraces around the ruined 13th century Ballymore Castle. Open weekends from May to September.
Model Village, Clonakilty
The Model Village depicts in miniature life an industry in West Cork during the 1940’s. The theme is enhanced by the miniature working railway, a model of the long closed West Cork Railway. For further information and opening times Tel +353 023 – 33224
The old world village of Castletownsend is situated between Glandore and Skibbereen on the south coast. This is the village where Sommerville and Ross Sisters lived and wrote the ‘Irish RM’ stories. St. Barrahane Church and graveyard is well worth a visit, housing 3 stained glass windows by Harry Clarke.
The Mizen Vision
Mizen Head is the most southerly point in Ireland. Visit the Mizen Visitors Centre in the Lighthouse Keepers House and view for yourself the famous suspension bridge, the 99 steps and views along the south and west coasts, combined with the exhilaration and excitement of the wild Atlantic waves – guarantees a unique experience. Open mid-March to October. Tel +353 028 – 35255.
Built in the 17th century, this magnificent Georgian House contains furniture, tapestries and other works of art collected by the Second Earl of Bantry. The grounds have excellent views over Bantry Bay.
French Armada Centre, Bantry
This centre recalls the epic story of an ill-fated French Armada led by Theobald Wolfe Tone to invade Ireland in 1796
Garnish Island, Glengarriff
This island, located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff, is renowned for its richness of plant form and colour.
Gougane Barra National Park
This is a magnificent mountain – girt corrie – with a lake, which is fed from many cascading streams from which the River Lee rises. It was on this tiny lake island the St. Finbarr has his hermitage before he went to found Cork City.
A thriving market town, with many interesting features and pleasant walks.
Bealick Mill, Macroom
Beautifully restored and now open to the public
There is a wealth of magnificent beaches speckled along the West Coast of Cork. Enjoy a stroll along the beach or a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
Millstreet Country Park
This consists of 500 acres of lakes, streams, wetlands, moorlands, arboretum meadows, ornamental gardens and archaeological sites. See native deer, birds and many types of wild life in their natural habitat. Allow plenty of time to enjoy this park and for those who like to take the easy way out, take a ride on one of the Park’s transporters and just sit back and enjoy.
This town is best known for its connection with horses. It is here that the famous Cahirmee Fair has been held on July 12th for many centuries. The first ever Steeplechase took place here from the steeple of the Protestant Church to that of Donerail Church – 7 km away
Doneraile Wildlife Park
160 hectares of parklands with mature groves of trees including Redwoods, Chusan Pine, Cork Oak and many more. A number of deer herds can be seen living quite contentedly amidst these great trees.
One of the finest caves in Europe for the dripstone formation of stalactites and stalagmites. Guided tours 10am to 6pm daily, all year round.
Annes Grove Gardens, Castletownroche
Dating from the 18th century theses gardens and woodlands are described as being extremely romantic. Rhododendrons, Magnolia and many more species of trees and plants. Open April to September. Tel +353 022 – 26145
The following self-drive tours can be used for scenic drives during your stay in Blarney. They will take you through the beauty spots of Cork, Kerry and Tipperary.
Cork, Midleton, Tallow, Lismore, Mount Mellary, The Vee (breathtaking Scenery), Clogheen, Ballyporeen (ancestral house of former US President Ronald Regan), Mitchelstown, Fermoy and Cork to Blarney via North Ring Road.
Cork, Youghal, Dungarvan, Waterford (visit the crystal factory), Tramore, Coast Road to Dungarvan, Cappoquin, Lismore, Ballyduff, Fermoy, Cork to Blarney via North Ring Road.
Cork, Mallow, Mitchelstown, Cahir (Cahir Castle), Cashel (Rock of Cashel), Tipperary via the Glen of Aherlow to Galbally, Kilfinnane, Ballyhea, Buttevant, Mallow and Blarney.
Ballincollig, Macroom, Killarney (the Lakes and Muckross House), Kenmare, Glengarriff (Garnish Island), Ballylickey, Gougane Barra, Ballingeary, Inchigeelagh, Macroom, Coachford via the Lee Valley to Blarney.
Cork, Kinsale (Gourmet Restaurants), Charles Fort, Timoleague, Courtmacsherry, Clonakilty, Rosscarbery, Glandore, Castletownsend, Skibbereen, Baltimore (fishing and sailing), Ballydehob (stained glass window by Sarah Purser), Schull, Crookhaven, Bantry (Bantry House and Armada Centre), Drimoleague, Dunmanway, Bandon, Cork, Blarney. The following two tours can be done in a half-day from Blarney
Cork, Douglas, Rochestown, Passage West, Monkstown, Car Ferry to Cobh, Fota Estate (Wildlife Park), Cork to Blarney via the North Ring Road
Cork City, Shandon (Ring the Bells), Crawford Municipal Gallery, Fitzgerald’s Park (Museum), St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, Cork City Gaol, Blarney On the other hand, if you don’t feel like driving, CIE operate a number of sightseeing tours from Blarney during the summer months. Bookings may be made at Blarney Tourist Office at Tel +353 021 – 381624.