Known as the "biggest little village in Ireland", Blarney is only five miles from the attractions of Ireland's second largest city, Cork, and yet still retains a country village charm.
The village is steeped in history and also offers much for the visitor to see and do. It is the home of Blarney Woollen Mills which is famous for its souvenirs and fine garments including the iconic Aran Sweater as well as Ireland's leading lifestyle store Meadows and Byrne Homeware Ireland's leading lifestyle store. Over 200,000 people visit Blarney Castle each year. This historic Castle is most famous for its Stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it - the "gift of the gab" as it is known.
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 with a trusted friend holding your legs! The castle is set amid a thousand acres of magnificent woodland.
In the grounds of the castle, the Rock Close is a curious place of ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a centre of worship in Pre-Christian days. The place has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, Witch's Kitchen, Druid's Cave and many other delights, telling a story of centuries past. Blarney also offers a wealth of recreational activities. You can fish locally for salmon, brown trout and coarse fish or take the family around the woodland farm, where you can follow an educational yet fun nature trail.
If golf is your focus, there are two excellent golf courses within 5 miles of the village. The Waterski centre at Lower Dripsey on Inniscarra Lake offers top-class coaching and training , welcoming visitors from May to September.