Cork is a large city and the capital of Cork County and is a hustle, bustle city. We used it as base from which to visit Blarney Castle, Jameson Whiskey Distillery, and the lovely seaside town of Kinsale.
We were fortunate to stay at Hayfield Manor located in the center of Cork, another of the many family owned and operated manor homes that we stayed in during our one month trip to Ireland.
One of the family members, the charming Ettienne van Vrede, is the General Manager, who was very welcoming and made our stay most memorable.
Our suite was exquisitely decorated and even had “his and hers” bathrooms.
Visitors from all over the world flock to this legendary ruined castle for the opportunity to “kiss the Blarney Stone”. The “Blarney Stone” is actually a part of the exterior wall of the castle located at the very top. To “kiss it” you have to lay down on your back, bend backwards over an open space with someone holding onto your legs so that you don’t fall crashing to the ground far below, and then touch your lips to the stone where so many millions have done before you. When we saw this, we opted out and just took a photo of someone adventurous enough to do it.
This photo is looking upward at the open space where the Blarney Stone is located.
However, this is only a small part of the visit to Blarney Castle as the castle itself is amazing.
The extensive park around Blarney Castle offer a lovely way to spend at least a half day.
JAMESON WHISKEY DISTILLERY
The Jameson Whiskey Distillery is located about 15 miles east of Cork and is an excellent place to visit for a tour and whiskey tasting.
The town of Kinsale is located on the banks of the River Bandon that flows out to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. It is about 20 miles south of Cork and makes for a delightful day trip with a visit to the town, a coastal walk, touring the fort, and having lunch at one of the many restaurants to chose from.
One of the sites to visit is the star-shaped Charles Fort located two miles east of Kinsale. There is a coastal walk from Kinsale to the fort.
Restaurant where we had a delicious lunch