Kissing the Blarney Stone

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Blarney, Ireland

Kissing the Blarney Stone Reviews

skipjay skipjay
1 reviews
Blarney Stone i,e. Jul 23, 2011
This is one of the most hyped attractions when coming to the Emerald Ireland if your near Cork, it's hard not to stop here to at least check it out. I wish I would have listened to other "wiser" reviewers and skipped this run down ruin when there are so many other better castles like Bunratty which has been totally restored and has interesting Irish villages on the grounds. The Blarney Stones initials, BS is so true!!!
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keithmaguire keithmag…
14 reviews
The Blarney Stone Jun 22, 2008
Kissing the Blarney Stone is purported to give the kisser 'the gift of the gab', in other words, it allows you to become a smooth talker and a charmer. Irish people do have a way with words so maybe it is true. In saying that I don't think that many Irish people have been to kiss the Blarney Stone. It's definitely something that is popular with tourists, especially American tourists but it just doesn't seem to occur to Irish people to go and do it!

On a roadtrip to Cork last year with a friend I noticed just how damn close Blarney is to cork city. Blarney is only about 10km away from Cork city. I had always thought that Blarney was in the middle of nowhere in West Cork. Some place that you would have to drive for hours on country roads to get to. It turns out that this small town is less than a fifteen minute drive from Cork city and it is just off a National road (it took me fifteen minutes to drive from Cork to Blarney, it would probably take most people at least a little longer). Once you take the turn off the main road Blarney is pretty much right there. There is no driving in circles around narrow, poorly signposted roads. Also the castle isn't located a couple of miles outside the village. It is right beside it. Once you come into the town there is a signpost at the first junction and a minute up that road there is the carpark.

The village is very nice and quaint but I won't lie it didn't get more than a long look from me as I was rushing to get into the grounds and up to the castle before they closed for the evening. It was getting late and I wasn't going to miss my opportunity to kiss the stone.

We were advised when we paid our admission to hurry up to the castle and not to dawdle in the grounds too long as they were closing soon so my friend and I sped right up to the castle and once we were there we took our time to enjoy the landmark. The castle is really beautiful, almost completely intact (on the exterior) but just ruined enough to make it look rustic and all the more imposing. It's quite a tall castle so although the ascent isn't too taxing, it's also not a short one. You climb up old stone spiral stairwells and across battlements. You can see that not too much remains of the interior of the castle, it has been largely ruined. A couple of chambers seem to have been recreated for affect or interest but once you're inside the castle I think most people only have one thing on their minds. One thing that they are in a hurry to do.

At the top, it's definitely nice to see someone else kiss the stone first. Just so that you can see what is entailed exactly. Unfortunately for my friend and a small group of people had just finished and the view of the gaping hole in the battlement was unobstructed. We could see the drop. However we both knew that there was no way that we weren't going to kiss that stone so we approached the attendant, untentatively. A plastic mat is on the ground, I think the allow the attend to slide you into place and then to pull you back up. He braces his foot on an iron bar in the battlement so that he can bear your weight. It's strange, lying on your back on the battlement. You can feel the stone beneath you is well worn and smoothed from all the people who have done this before you. The attendant is patient and lets you get comfortable into place before you inch yourself to the edge. I wonder if he would've been as patient if there was a long line of people behind us. It's a daunting thing to do so I hope he would have been. There is an iron bar for you to hold onto as you lower yourself down with the attendant's help. So you are holding onto a bar and the attendant holds your waist and puts a hand under your shoulder blade.

Once my bum reached the edge I stopped and kissed the worn stone but the attendant pointed out to me that I wasn't down far enough yet. I glanced up (down in actual fact, I was upside down!) and saw a much darker and smoother stone underneath some broken exterior. I slipped a couple of more inches down and off the side and kissed the Blarney Stone and then I was straight back up on the battlement! It was a litte bit of a rush and quite an exciting thing to do. I was very glad to have done it. We tipped the attendant generously. Hardly necessary considering that admission is e10 but he did have our lives in his hands and was a nice man so we were glad to do it.

As I said admission is not cheap but I don't recall it being that expensive. Probably because I was eager to do it, I didn't care about the cost and was taking my opportunity while I was in the area.

On our way out we took a little more time to stroll around the gardens and admire the castle. When we got back to the entrance they had shut up shop but it's still possible to exit the grounds through a revolving gate. So you just need to make it to the stone by closing time, then you can take your time and enjoy the parkland.

After looking at the official website there is no mention of public buses or coach trips that run from Cork city to Blarney but I'm sure there must be coaches that run to the town. If not then I'm going to set up that business!

According to legend a witch created the stone and imbued it with its magical powers in the middle ages when the castle was being built. The stone was set in the castle in 1446 so it has been kissed a lot of times since then! It might be a good idea to wash your mouth after kissin it!

Queen Elizabeth I demanded an oath of loyalty from Cormac Teige McCarthy. If he did this she would allow him to keep his land. He did not want to lose his land but he also didn't want to kowtow to a queen whose authority he did not recognise in Ireland. His response to the queen was very diplomatically phrased, supplicant in tone but vague in meaning and substance. The queen responded that he was giving her a load of 'blarney'.

I would definitely recommend visiting Blarney castle and kissing the stone. It is an unusual experience and one which you won't find elsewhere. As well as that the kissing the stone is a very famous act and something nice to partake in.
Blarney Castle
The Castle
Me Kissing The Stone
X_Drive X_Drive
837 reviews
Jun 04, 2005
The Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of the tower. Kiss it and you’ll never again be lost for words. But I somehow lost the entire excitement of seeing Blarney Castle, and I do love castles, as our tour bus drove into the small Irish community where the castle sits. A nice little row of shops, stores and restaurants, which is only to be expected, lines the street as you approach. But then the bus comes to the large parking lot and what is on the edge of it but the most California style outlet mall called the Blarney Woolen Mills. And what made it worse was that our tour director instructed us to use his name so that he would get credit for any of the sales. Disgusting. And the fact that my knee had been less than perfect during our trip, I knew it would not stand for climbing the 130 steps required to reach the top and then bring me back down again.

I can only hope that if and when you go you are able to put aside the modern “today’s world” and enjoy the past and the realm of Irish blarney that goes along with it. The area is pretty, green and lush, and the gardens surrounding the ruins are quite nice.
MikeCcc says:
As a local - you didn't miss much by not kissing the stone, other than a few germs ;) The Wollen Mills are a bit of a travesty but most of the tourists there ask for _Waterproof_ Crystal so I suppose it suits the majority.
Posted on: Dec 06, 2007
WaltJake says:
yeah, I hate when tour guides push their own agenda...instead of just letting you see what you came to see!
Posted on: Jul 17, 2007
Andy99 says:
It was fun to lean backwards to kiss it--but I don't think it made me eloquent!
Posted on: Jul 17, 2007
alygally alygally
17 reviews
Jul 25, 2000
The castle is old and magnificent, and the surrounding area, in my opinion, epitomizes Ireland - green, mystical and beautiful. Once you get over being slightly put off by the fact that hundreds of thousands of other people have kissed the same rock that you're putting your mouth on, it's kind of fun to get caught up in the legend of it all.
Kissing the Blarney Stone

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