My first reference when travelling in Europe is always Rick Steves as I believe he usually gets it right and saves me precious time. That said, based on his assessment of Blarney Castle, we almost skipped it. I'm very glad we didn't. We went early on a weekday in mid-September, so outside the main tourist season. There were no long waiting lines and it was very easy to get up to the Stone. It took only about 15 mins. The main castle building is remarkably well preserved and from the top there were beautiful vistas of the Irish countryside. The gardens surrounding the Castle are vast and beautifully maintained. They are worth seeing on their own. We spent over 4 hours there and enjoyed every minute. Rick is usually right, but on this one he gets it wrong. Blarney is well worth seeing, especially if you can avoid the crowds.
I completely agree. We visited in May, before the summer tourist rush, and also found it a fabulous sight. The gardens were delightful then, too.
Rick says the castle tower has very little explanations, but that wasn’t right, either. Ample signs provided context and a good understanding of the functions of rooms, and what they were like centuries ago. Glad you enjoyed your time at Blarney.
I liked Blarney Castle too, especially the gardens. Rick is very good at guessing what the average US tourist will like, but he’s not infallible and no one individual is an average US tourist.
Totally agree both posts. We were there twice and felt it was a great experience also.