I think the second half of the trip was definitely my favorite. We hit all of the must-see attractions, and the weather was perfect. There was lots of driving involved, but it was all worth it. We stayed at The Heritage Hotel and Spa which was located in Killenard (way out in the sticks). It was quiet and peaceful in the town where we stayed, but only an hour from Dublin and close enough to the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle.
Here’s how we outlined the trip:
- Day 1: Killarney National Park and Muckross House
- Day 2: Ring of Kerry
- Day 3: Spa day! And pubs, pubs, pubs 🙂
- Day 4: Blarney Castle and City of Cork
- Day 5: Bunratty Castle and Cliffs of Moher
- Day 6: Dublin and St. Patrick’s Cathedral
DAY 4: Blarney Castle and City of Cork
I love how green this picture is- it represents Ireland perfectly. Walking through the grounds towards Blarney Castle was surreal. I never thought I’d ever actually get to see the castle in person even though I’d heard about it so many times in my life. The grounds are extremely well taken care of, and luckily it wasn’t even that crowded when we visited. This was the top of the castle while we were standing in line to kiss the Blarney Stone! The line started at the bottom of the castle and wound it’s way up the spiral staircases and across the top of the castle. It didn’t take long at all, and it was definitely worth it to say you were able to kiss the Blarney Stone 🙂 You have to lay on your back and hang upside down in order to kiss the stone. As soon as you grab the pole, the guy slides you across the opening so you can kiss it. It was scary but it all happened so fast that I didn’t even think about how high up I was. A little about the Blarney Stone- legend has it that kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of eloquence. It was passed around for years before being set into the tower of the Blarney Castle in 1446. The word blarney has come to mean clever or flattering 🙂
It might be hard to tell, but these spiral staircases were so narrow! Nick couldn’t even fit his shoulders half the time and had to stand sideways haha. The stairs were also really steep, so on a rainy day it could be pretty dangerous if you’re not careful.
The Blarney House was amazing! I love the details of the architecture and how sturdy it looks from the outside. Normally you can tour the inside of the house, but they close really early in the day. You can spot the house from the top of Blarney Castle and it looks like it’s in the middle of a forest. We walked through the Blarney gardens on the way to the house, and even spent a little bit of the time in the Poison Garden.
After Blarney Castle, we made our way to Cork! Unfortunately though, by the time we got there, around 6 o’clock, everything was starting to close. I wish we had known how early cities in Ireland close! This was the inside of the English Market in the middle of Cork. It was still cool to walk around and explore Cork even if everything was closed.
DAY 5: Bunratty Castle and Cliffs of Moher
Our second castle of the trip was Bunratty Castle, which translates to Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty. It’s a big block of rock but it was great to tour the inside of the castle and around the folk park. The castle is famous for its medieval banquets 🙂
The folk park was adorable, and it had everything you could possibly need in a small town. Bars, restaurants, church, farm animals, tea rooms, you name it.
I loved this ominous walk to the church from the castle.
CLIFFS OF MOHER!
The Cliffs of Moher were absolutely amazing. We got so lucky with the weather and we kept hearing that just a few days earlier, people weren’t able to see a thing due to the fog! When we arrived it was completely clear and sunny.
DAY 6: Dublin- our last day 🙁
I have to say, I loved seeing the different castles, but St. Patrick’s Cathedral blew them both away in my opinion. The architectural details of the outside of the cathedral were so breathtaking and I couldn’t believe how intricate they were.
And just look at the inside!