It’s really good to be back on the road with you all again after a short break. New knitwear collections and Christmas gift guides have been keeping me busy these past few weeks! This week, we’re heading into the gorgeous county of Tipperary so time to buckle up and get on board as I give you my list of top sights to see in this wonderful place.
Lulu’s Top Places to Visit in County Tipperary
1. The Rock of Cashel
The iconic Rock of Cashel has to be the top of any to do list in county Tipperary. It rises out of the rolling landscape like something out of a fairy tale. It is also one of the most visited attractions in Ireland.
Also known as St. Patrick’s Rock (Carraig Phádraig), legend has it that the rock landed here when St.Patrick banished Satan from a cave at Devil’s Bit mountain. The story goes that the devil took a bite out of the mountain and spat the rock to it’s current location! The Rock of Cashel is also the place where it is claimed St Patrick converted the King of Munster. Indeed it was the seat of the of high kings of Munster for centuries until the Norman invasion.
The buildings that survive today include the round tower and Cormac’s chapel and date back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
2. Cahir Castle
No trip to any Irish county is complete without a castle visit and Tipperary is no exception! In fact, this is one of the biggest and best preserved castles in the country. Built on a rock in the River Suir in 1142, this imposing structure was erected by the Prince of Thomand, Conor O’Brien. In the 13th century it came into the possession of the powerful Anglo-Norman Butler family. The last Lord Cahir died in 1961 and ownership of the castle reverted to the Irish state. Today you can take a state of the art tour of the castle and discover it’s fascinating and varied history.
3. Holy Cross Abbey
There’s no doubt that when it comes to ancient sacred sites, Tipperary certainly has it’s fair share. The Holy Cross Abbey near Thurles is a beautifully restored Cistercian monastery. It was founded by the King of Munster Donal Mór O’Brien for the Benedictine Order in 1168. Queen Isabella of Angoulême brought a relic of the True Cross to the monastery in the 11th century, hence the name. Today it is one of Ireland’s national monuments and is an oasis of calm and tranquility.
4. Mitchelstown Caves
Mitchelstown Caves are a hidden gem in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. Michael Condon accidentally discovered the caves in 1833 while he was quarrying limestone. People flocked to see this natural phenomenon. Tours of this undiscovered wonderland began all those years ago in candlelight and continue to this day. Thankfully, electricity and footpaths have now been installed making it a much safer experience while no less wondrous.
5. Galtee Mountains
Our last stop is the magnificent Galtee Mountain range, Ireland’s highest inland mountain range. The highest peak is Galtymore which stands at 3009 ft. This whole area is a paradise for gentle ramblers as well as serious hikers. The stunning Glen of Aherlow lies between this mountain range and Slievenamuck forming part of Ireland’s Golden Vale. This particular area is hailed as the best land in the whole country for dairy farming.
Well, we’re just about done with our latest trip around the Emerald Isle. Before we go, I must mention one of our favorite makers here at The Irish Store. The renowned Tipperary Crystal shares it’s name with this stunning county. For over a quarter of a century, Tipperary Crystal have been leading the way in Irish crystal. Simple yet striking, their range exudes understated elegance.
Make dinner time a truly special occasion with this set of six Irish crystal wine glasses from their Connoisseur Collection. With Christmas just around the corner, they also make a gorgeous gift from Ireland.
Thanks so much for joining me for our latest trip. Next week it’s the turn of county Kilkenny. I’ll also be continuing my Countdown to Christmas gift guides with my top 10 Irish gifts for him.
See you soon!
Slán go fóill!