Blarney Castle is the main attraction on our Cork and Blarney castle tour. We travel to the South of Cork to visit this fantastic attraction and give our passengers the chance to kiss the fabled Blarney Stone and receive the gift of the gab. Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by Cormac MacCarthy, an Irish Chieftain of Muskerry. The castle and its lands were confiscated after the Williamite war in the 1990s and the castle changed hands numerous times before being bought in the 1700s by John Jeffries. He married into the Colthurst family who still retain ownership of Blarney castle. They built a palatial dwelling named Blarney house situated nearby, overlooking the lake.
Blarney Castle is now a partial ruin but some rooms and battlements are still accessible. You climb to the battlements to kiss the Blarney Stone. There are many stories and fables of the origins of the stone and why it bestows the gift of eloquence on all who kiss it.
There are extensive and lush gardens surrounding the castle which are worth exploring. There is a huge collection of trees both native and foreign with many rare and unusual examples. There are ancient trees dating back to 600 years but a lot of the grounds were planted in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Poison Garden is an intriguing and interesting garden with a collection of poisonous plants from around the world. Many of the plants were used as medicine but we now know that they are toxic. The Fern Garden, a lovely garden to stroll through filled by a variety of 80 ferns. The Bog Garden is situated in what is known as the lower rock close and features two waterfalls and a wooden walkway. This area has fantastic bog plants and resembles a prehistoric landscape. It is home to the oldest trees on the estate, three yew trees that sit together on an island date back 600 years. The Irish Garden is home to native Irish plants and is the newest addition to the Blarney Castle gardens.