Tour from Dublin
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Meet your fellow travellers in central Dublin where you will begin the journey on your bus from Dublin to Cork – home of Blarney Castle. Lie back and relax as we drive to Ireland’s southern capital on board your state-of-the-art tour coach. Slowly but surely you’ll see the urban Dublin landscape give way to the lush green pastures that typify the picture- postcard Irish countryside.
Your day trip to Cork from Dublin will also take you through several other areas of interest, including county Tipperary’s Galtee Mountains and the world famous Curragh (racehorse training area) in County Kildare, which is home to Ireland’s National Stud Farm and the military training plains used by the Irish Defence Forces. Our first stop today will be Rock of Cashel, overlooking the countryside from a height.
Children and adults alike will enjoy this visit to one of Ireland’s most evocative ancient structures. Once the Royal Seat of the Kings of Munster, the Rock was gifted to the Roman Catholic Church in 1101 AD by King Ua Briain. Accordingly, the current ruins are part castle, part cathedral – with excellent examples of Celtic- Christian architecture such as stone towers and crucifixes. If Disney had to come up with a fantasy Irish palace it would probably look something like this! A highlight not to be missed (EUR 7.00 entrance fee included).
The major city in Co. Cork is called, you guessed it- Cork! Locals will tell you that Cork is actually the real capital of Ireland and that Dublin is only a pretender to the throne. We’ll let you be the judge of that! You’ll have approximately 90 minutes at leisure to explore this relatively small city and to sample the local culture. Popularly referred to as the “Rebel County” in Gaelic sporting circles, Cork offered fierce resistance to British rule during the War of Independence (1919- 1921) and even to this day maintains a distinctly Irish character. Stroll alongside the River Lee, walk St. Patrick Street and browse the famous gourmet English Markets (founded 1691 and enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth II on her 2011 State Visit). Insider tip for today? Make like a Corkonian and savour the favourite local tipples, Murphy’s Irish Stout & Paddy Flaherty Irish Whiskey!
For many guests, today’s highlight is when the tour bus reaches the charming village of Blarney (Distance from Dublin to Blarney Castle is only 250km. Where is the Blarney Castle you might ask? Just outside Cork city itself!).
Perhaps grab a cup of tea or coffee and stretch your legs in the beautiful Blarney Castle Gardens – there are even some cool pre-historic and druidic rock formations to discover not to mention a “poison garden” hidden behind the castle battlements, which you must enter at your own risk!
Suitably refreshed, there is the serious business of stone kissing to attend to. According to legend, kissing the stone bestows the kisser with the “gift of the gab,” the so- called talent for eloquence that the Irish famously possess.
The practice of actually kissing the stone is a relatively modern one, but Blarney’s association with smooth talking goes back to the 1500s.
Back in the day, Queen Elizabeth I of England had commanded the Earl of Leicester to take possession of Blarneys Castle in Cork so as to better occupy the surrounding region. Whenever he attempted to negotiate the matter with Lord Blarney he was met with banquets and charm to the extent that whenever the Queen asked for progress reports the castle still remained untaken. Elizabeth is said to have invented the term ‘to talk Blarney’ out of her frustration with Lord Blarney’s capacity to charm endlessly without ever agreeing to her demands! Imagine, now you’ll have this power too!
As a great day comes to an end it’s time to return once more to Dublin. Sit back, relax (allow the Paddy Flaherty to work its magic) and reflect on your experiences of Cork, Rock of Cashel and the Blarney rock in Ireland during the journey. Your tour is scheduled to end at approximately 20:00 in downtown Dublin with ample time for dinner, entertainment or relaxation.
This tour is exclusively in English.