© joestump (Flickr) Blarney Castle
© joestump (Flickr)
Castles in Ireland
There are literally hundreds of castles in Ireland, with perhaps the most famous being Blarney Castle in Cork.
It was built nearly six hundred years ago by a famous Irish chieftain called Cormac MacCarthy, who became King of Munster.
The lower walls of the castle are fifteen feet and built with an angle tower.
Kissing the Blarney Stone
The King of Munster allegedly supplied Robert the Bruce of Scotland with 4,000 men to fight at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
The legend says that the grateful King of Scotland gave half the famous Stone of Scone to Cormac MacCarthy who brought it back to Blarney Castle.
It is said that anyone who kisses it will never again be lost for words.
Its is a bit precarious as you have to hang virtually upside down to reach the stone, but everyone from American Presidents to film and music stars have done it.
The Castle is situated in Blarney village about eight kilometres from the city of Cork.
Castle Hotels in Ireland
Many of the Irish castles have been turned into hotels, where you can enjoy the fun of a stay in a castle but with all the facilities of a five star hotel.
One such is Lough Eske Castle in County Donegal, the first of the five star spa castle hotels in Ireland.
The castle was built in 1474 but was later destroyed. The current building was built following a fire in 1939.
Fitzpatricks Castle Hotel
This beautiful castle hotel is situated just twenty minutes from Dublin city centre but has fantastic views of the Killiney Hills and over Dublin Bay.
It dates from the 18th century and is just one of the luxury Dublin hotels housed in castles.
What could be nicer than to spend a holiday in an historic building but with all the luxuries of a four or five star hotel to cosset you?
You can also find castles for rent if you prefer to self cater on a grand scale
Weddings in a castle
The castles of Ireland have proved popular as wedding venues for many famous people and you also could have your wedding in one of the around fifty castles that provide a wedding service.