Blarney Castle & Gardens is located in Blarney near Cork Ireland. While there were other fortifications built at the current location, the current castle dates from 1446. The castle is a ruin with accessible stairs and rooms.
Tourists may visit to kiss the Stone of Eloquence (Blarney Stone). If you choose to do this, you must hang upside-down over a very high sheer drop. Legend has it that if you kiss it, you will be given the gift of eloquence.
Surrounding the castle are the Blarney Castle Gardens, which are just beautiful and include a couple of caves. There is even a “Poison Garden” with opium, ricin, wolfsbane and even cannabis.
I originally thought this was just going to be a tourist trap, but found it to be absolutely wonderful and gorgeous. Kissing the Blarney stone was something we definitely were able to knock off our bucket list. My 8 year old daughter chickened out at the last minute due to the height and drop under the stone. She talked a good game until right when it was her time to “kiss the Blarney”.
If for some reason you can’t make it to Blarney Castle in person, they have a great virtual tour you can take on their website.
We definitely recommend stopping here if you are near Cork Ireland! While in Cork, be sure to visit the English Market to tempt your “foodie” palate!