The Blarney Stone is located within Blarney Castle in, yes you guessed it, Blarney, Co. Cork. Blarney is located in the south of the country, located less than 10 kilometres from Cork city centre. Allow almost 3 hours if you are driving from the capital, Dublin. You can find the location of Blarney Castle on the map below. Blarney village is a stereotypical Irish village that caters to all ages and nationalities, if you are feeling hungry during your visit you can eat in Blairs Inn, sampling the wonders of a proper Irish lunch or dinner!
Why do people kiss the Blarney stone?
The Blarney Stone is said to give the kisser the “gift of the gab”, which is an ability to speak well and with ease. The “gift of the gab” is something which people around the world agree that the Irish possess by the bucketload. Irish writers and musicians are known worldwide for their eloquence and flowery language, with many of them having kissed the famous stone over the last 200 years.
The stone was added to the tower of the castle in 1446 to reinforce the castle in the form of a battlement. The stone itself is made of limestone, which is a common stone in Ireland. The stone has been dated back over 330 million years by geologists and is confirmed to be from the area despite what other legends would say.
The origin of the famous stone dates back to the castle’s creation in its current form in 1446. The builder, Cormac McCarthy, had legal trouble and sought the advice of Clíodhna, the legendary Queen of the Banshees. Her advice was for McCarthy to kiss the first stone he came across the morning of his court date and that it would help him win his case. Her advice was taken on board by McCarthy and he duly won his case, showing tremendous fluency and fervor.
However, the tradition of kissing the stone itself only became commonplace much later in the late 18th century. As you can see in the photo above, from 1897, the process involved with kissing the stone was a lot less safe than current day. There has been millions of people lucky enough to visit the castle and the kiss the stone, keep that in mind if you are a germophobe! All joking aside, the stone is sanitized several times each hour of the day, there is an estimated 400,000 visitors each year so we can be thankful of that. You will be lucky enough to share the experience with some notable names such as Winston Churchill, a man famous for his eloquence in his speeches.
Getting to the Blarney Stone
You can visit the castle and stone year round, you can find the opening hours for the Castle here. The admission price is €12.50 for adults and €32.50 for 2 adults and 2 children. This is excellent value in our opinion and is likely to be one of the highlights of your Irish holiday. The admission price includes access to the stunning 60 acre gardens that are a pleasure to walk through.
If you are visiting Blarney Castle from Dublin you can drive, fly or take a bus/train. You should allow a full day for your visit if travelling from Dublin. Our recommendation would be to make it a 2 day trip and take in the beauty of Cork and the surrounding areas if possible.