Would You Kiss the Blarney Stone?

posted in: Ireland | 39

Would You Kiss the Blarney Stone?

A trip to Cork would not be complete without a visit to Blarney Castle. Built nearly 600 years ago, this medieval stronghold resides just outside of Cork, in the small village of Blarney. Millions have visited the castle making it one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. The main attraction of the castle being the Blarney stone.

What Makes the Blarney Stone Special?

The legendary stone of Eloquence, more commonly known as the Blarney Stone, is a block of Carboniferous limestone approximately 8 kilometres in size that is built into the castle. Legend says that kissing the stone will give you the ‘gift of the gab’.

There have been many stories which explain the origin of this legendary stone over the years. My favourite is that the builder of the castle, Cormac Laidir McCathy who was involved in a lawsuit, appealed to the goddess Clíodhna to help him. She told him to kiss the first stone he found the next morning on his way to the court and he did just that. After kissing the stone he went on to to win his case after pleading with great eloquence. McCarthy was so happy with his win he incorporated the stone into the castle.

Blarney Castle - Ireland

Kissing the Blarney Stone

To get close enough to the stone to be able to kiss is not as easy as you may think it is. I guess to get the gift of the gab you have to earn it!

When you reach the stone there is an assistant there to help you lie down on your back and lean over the edge. I’ve never had to work so hard for a first kiss! Thankfully they have guard rails to help you ease yourself down. I can’t imagine what it was like trying to kiss the stone before these were installed!

Kissing the Blarney Stone - Ireland

Exploring Blarney Castle

While most visitors may come for the stone, the castle itself has a lot to offer. Surrounding the castle are beautiful gardens that you can walk around. Also, don’t forget to go check out the Witch’s Cave and poison garden while you’re there.

Blarney Castle Gardens - Ireland

Blarney Castle Gardens - Ireland

Tips for Your Visit

  • The top of the castle is open so be prepared to get wet if it’s raining
  • The only stairs to the top are old castle stairs so be careful
  • The Blarney Stone is popular so you may have to queue to kiss it
  • If you do decided to kiss the stone try not to think about how many people have been there before you!
  • Do take advantage of the professional photos they offer (see above for mine)
  • The whole castle is beautiful so give yourself enough time to truly appreciate it

Blarney Castle Stairs - Ireland

 

Would you kiss the Blarney Stone? Maybe you have already? Let us know! Comment below… Also stay tuned for more Ireland posts as later this year we will be taking a 3 week road trip around this beautiful country

 

 

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Would You Kiss the Blarney Stone?

39 Responses

  1. I regret not visiting the Blarney Stone and Blarney Castle while we were in Ireland. But it is a good excuse for why we must return. Yhanks for this very interesting post.
    Maria recently posted…Things to Do with Kids in Yosemite National Park

  2. I’d visit the castle, but I’m not so sure about kissing the stone. I feel sorry for that poor helper guy, stuck out in the rain all day, stopping people from falling 😉 He definitely earns his money!!

  3. Yes, did you know that guy who helps you kiss it has been working there for 20 years? The stories he must have!! I loved my trip there.

  4. I love castles and I plan to visit every castle in Europe. Thank you for a brief history about this place. It is a bit of a hardwork for a first kiss indeed!

  5. Very timely post for me! I’m visiting Cork in May, and will definitely visit the Blarney Stone. It’s something I’ve grown up hearing about… but I’m still not sure if I want to kiss it, since hundreds of thousands of people have gone before me. 🙂 Good to know that you can get professional photos, though, and that someone helps you lean over to get to it!

  6. Megan Jerrard

    Haha I kissed the Blarney stone … although I’ve been told that I already had the gift of the gab! Funny when you think about it, even though it gets cleaned, probably one of the germiest attractions with everyone giving it mouth to mouth!! I agree that the castle and grounds are stunning to walk around in their own right 🙂

  7. I’ve kissed the blarney stone haha! Did it a few years ago when travelling with a friend from the US who was obsessed with castles! We actually took a day trip all the way from Dublin!

  8. I have never been to that part of the world but I hear from friends its beautiful. I’m not sure if I would kiss the Blarney stone or not. If I was there, I would probably do it!! But, I already have the gift for gab. LOL

  9. That looks like a really cool experience! Ireland still is unknown territory for me so I’m glad I read this post. Will definitely visit the castle once I make it to Ireland! 🙂

  10. Short answer. No. But I’d love to visit the castle. The photography opportunities look great.

  11. I might kiss the stone, but I would definitely like to visit the castle. The grounds are gorgeous! I love the shot of the stone stairs.

  12. I would love to kiss the stone. Amazing shots you got there!
    Mars recently posted…Nasugbu Trilogy Dayhike: Mt. Batulao, Mt Talamitam & Mt. Apayang

  13. NYC Single Mom

    i love learning about the history of the blarney stone? And yes I would make the effort to kiss!!!

  14. How cool is this?! I’ve never heard of the Blarney stone .. and I wonder if my husband would appreciate more of my give to gab. I loved all of the pictures of the castle. If we ever visit Ireland .. we’ll add this to our list of places to visit!

  15. No, no I would not kiss the Blarney Stone were 8 billion other people and all their germs did. But I love the idea of the legend behind it. And it would be fun leaning over backward to try. The pond at the Poison Garden looks relaxing.

  16. I am pretty sure that I dont need to kiss the Blarney Stone to get the gift of the gab! I can talk for England as they say! Another place I would recommend if you like spas and are visiting Cork is Inchydoney Island. It is fabulous with beautiful beaches!
    Anne Slater-Brooks recently posted…What’s the use of the Marriott Best Rate Guarantee?

  17. I don’t think I would– I don’t think I’d be able to get past how many people had kissed it before me! It is an interesting legend though. I love visiting castles.
    Nathan recently posted…The 9 Best Meals I Had In Iceland

  18. never heard of the blarney stone! interesting article!

  19. I think just the very thought of how many people had kissed it before would be enough for me to give it a miss! But I’d love to visit the castle – it looks gorgeous!
    Vicki Louise recently posted…Where to Stay in Budapest – The Best Hotels & Hostels for Every Budget

  20. I feel lucky to be blessed with the gift to gab already. If I where to kiss the Blarney Stone and became even more gabby I’m not sure if my friends and family would like it…lol Ireland is on my to go to list so I’ll have to be sure to include Blarney Castle when I get there…

  21. Oh my gosh your post totally takes me back! I visited back in my teens on one of the first overseas trips I did without parents, and it was such a great trip! I found some of the spiral staircases in the castle a bit scary though!
    Kavey recently posted…A Day in Macau | What To See & Where To Eat

  22. Interesting post! I am pretty certain I would try and kiss the Blarney Stone, although I don’t need the ‘gift of gab’. 😉
    Nancy recently posted…Family hiking in Lech Zürs am Arlberg, Austria

  23. The Blarney Castle is beautiful especially with it’s medieval structure! Kissing the Blarney Stone seems to be quite a complicated process!
    Only By Land recently posted…Petra

  24. Oh wow. This is the first time that I’ve heard of this castle and it surely has an interesting ‘history’! The kissing part is also specially interesting haha. ‘Gift of gab’ now that’s something 😉

  25. I would like to kiss the Blarney Stone, but I didn’t when I visited Cork. It certainly looks like a lot of work, but a good story. There are so many beautiful castles to see in Ireland. I’ll try this on my next trip to Cork.
    Stella the Travelerette recently posted…A Perfect Travel Itinerary for Kyoto, Japan Featuring Kiyomizu Temple

  26. I would definitely love to visit the Blarney castle, but kissing the stone seems a bit weird, but it’s worth the experience! The pictures looked amazing.

  27. I’ve not gone there before. But it’s really strange with kiss Blarney Castle 🙂 note it in my bucket list ~ Thanks

  28. Never heard of kissing a stone but I bet, the experience of lying down and kissing would be an experience in itself! The castle looks magnificent!

  29. We went to Cork but didn’t make it to Blarney Castle which is too bad. I didn’t know it gave you the gift of the gab. I don’t think we would kiss the Blarney stone. We aren’t superstitious but I guess you don’t have to be to kiss it. Are you?
    Wanderlust Vegans recently posted…A Visit to South Yorkshire and East Midlands.

  30. Your post rekindled my memory of our visit to Blarney stone 🙂 Sam did kissed the stone and got himself hurt. It was raining heavily when we visited in Oct 2014 🙂
    Swati & Sam (The tales of a traveler ) recently posted…Ayana Resort & Spa Bali – A Destination in itself

  31. I loved the Blarney Castle! Kissing the Blarney Stone is such a cool experience. Definitely worth the wait – but I agree you do have to try and not think about all the people who kissed the stone before you!

  32. Honestly, looking forward to exploring the castle and grounds more than kissing the Blarney Stone. Already have the Gift of Gab, anyway. 😉
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted…3 Easy Ways you can Save Money for Travel

  33. I am happy that I have read about this post. I don’t know what “Gift of the Gab” means so I had to google for it. It seems to be very interesting to kiss the stone. Are there other evidences that kissing the stone will give you such power to entertain or persuade people easily? I guess salespersons should go to this destination to be a millionaire.

  34. Haha my visit to Blarney was when I was about 6. My whole extended family went on a weekend away to Cork and I remember being so underwhelmed by the size of the stone. You know you’re an Irish child when castles are underwhelming lol. I also remember being terrified my dad would fall down the gap (in my mind there was no grid there but that could be incorrect). This post brought back so many memories and I realise that I have still never kissed the Blarney stone as I was too young at the time! I’m often told I have the gift of the gab though so maybe there’s no need 😉
    Cliodhna Ryan recently posted…Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Outside Ireland

  35. Ha! I have never been to Ireland. But this sounds like something that definitely belongs on any Ireland travel list 🙂

    Happy continued travels!

  36. Never heard about Blarney Stone. Carboniferous limestone approximately 8 kilometres in size is like wow! I would definitely kiss it. Good tips.

  37. OMG, kissing that stone does require efforts as evident in your picture. I mean it looks so risky. Got to know about Blarney stone only through this blog. Would love to visit.
    Harsh Gupta recently posted…Smell, Slurp, Feast: The World Dipped in Chocolate Sauce @ DessertianFest

  38. Ariyamaggo

    I did kiss the Blarney Stone had a wonderful time!!! There’s no way I could go in that case it what’s the point of that!!
    (That’s just me )😊

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