Blarney and its Castle

Blarney Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 18 › view all entries
Blarney Woolen Mills.

Cobh was our first port of call in Ireland. (More on Cobh later.) In Ireland and Northern Ireland we booked shore excursions in advance through the Paddywagon Tours company. (Their gimmick is to have green motorcoaches adorned with shamrocks and leprechauns.) Our driver/guide was a proud Corkman who took us to Blarney Castle (see review), through Cork, to Kinsale and back to Cobh.

Arriving at Blarney Castle car park, one passes a former railway station, now a souvenir shop. I liked reading the informational markers about the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway. Opened to Blarney in 1887, it was the railway that touched off the descent of throngs of tourists upon "Old Castle Blarney". All visitors to Blarney in those days had to pay their enrty fee to railway company, whether or not they arrived by train. The Blarney Castle gardens were laid out at that time as an attraction as visitors made their way to the castle. The railway ceased operation in 1934.

Nearby are the former Blarney Woolen Mills. Wool was spun in Blarney beginning in 1750. By 1870, the woolen mill had become a large brick textile factory employing hundreds of workers. The textile mill closed in 1973. But by 1977 it had been repurposed as a large souvenir emporium, which it remains today. Wool sweaters, blankets and caps, jewelry, crystal, Irish whiskey, and all manner of Irish themed bric-a-brac are sold. Irish souveniers are a big business in the shadow of the castle.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Blarney Woolen Mills.
Blarney Woolen Mills.
Blarney Woolen Mills.
Blarney Woolen Mills.
Blarney Station. Adaptive reuse as…
Blarney Station. Adaptive reuse a…
Poster on the former Cork & Musker…
Poster on the former Cork & Muske…
Blarney Castle directional sign.
Blarney Castle directional sign.
Blarney Sights & Attractions review
Much More Than A Stone
Blarney Castle must be one of the world's most well-known castles. Mention it and the Blarney Stone and Irish folklore come to mind. But there is much… read entire review
Blarney
photo by: hanleyscot