Welcome to Munster, the land of romantic palaces and magnificent castles. If you are planning a luxury escape to Cork, Ireland, you will be perfectly positioned to explore the province and its spectacular strongholds. Here are some of the best castles near Cork just waiting to be discovered…
This striking 16th Century chateau features classic turrets (the ones imagined from fairy tales) and a fantastic vantage point over the water. Set along the banks of the peaceful River Lee in Castle Cork, Blackrock Castle offers the most awe-inspiring views from the observatory. It’s a great day out for the whole family, and features exciting indoor exhibits and fun events for children.
About an hour away by car is the magical Lismore Castle, a beautiful palace that dates back as far as 1185 when King John originally commissioned the build. It was passed onto the Duke of Devonshire in 1753 and has remained in the family to this day. Not only is this a great castle to visit for its grounds and gardens, but it is also available for an overnight stay. With enough accommodation for 27 guests, and each guest room with its own en-suite bath. The castle itself is surrounded by some of the best golf courses in the county, making it the ideal place to stay for a golfing vacation.
Located in the north west of County Cork, Kanturk Castle is rectangular in shape and features distinct square towers at each side. Situated on the confluence of the River Allow and the River Dallow, this 17th Century fort has the most idyllic country setting. And from the Renaissance style entrance to the archetypal Tudor architecture, this building is a sight to behold. Less than a mile from the market town of Kanturk and with free admission for all ages, this is the perfect day out for the family.
Visit the historical landmark of Mallow Castle and walk around the grounds to soak up the country air. This old castle was originally built by the Normans in 1185 AD, but was burnt down in the late 17th Century. What remains is now a wonderful attraction that adds so much charm to the town’s skyline. The grounds are flat with a good pathway and the surrounding gardens are well-maintained. Making this castle ideal for light strolls, walking with pushchairs, or for bringing an elderly family member.
Perhaps one of the region’s most famous castles, Blarney Castle stands at more than 600 years old (built by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy). For centuries, people have climbed the steps to the top to kiss the iconic Blarney Stone in order to gain the gift of eloquence. To kiss the stone properly, one must stand with their back to the stone and hold onto the railings whilst leaning backwards. Millions have flocked here to perform this ritual, and this medieval fortress remains as the city’s biggest attraction.
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