The castle in Blarney isn’t the only thing of interest in the area. I’d argue that the grounds surrounding the castle are more engaging that the castle itself.

While Blarney Castle has the stone, dungeons and a lot of stairs, the grounds focus on all those things that we associate with Irish folk legend: witches, druids, leprechauns, and fairies.

Most of the stories from the gardens involve the witches and druids of Blarney. However, it was the faeries that captured Niña’s attention and she spent most of her time scouring the flowers and fields for a glimpse of the wee folk. I’m not sure if she found anything… but there was one vole that was particularly interested in her.

The write-ups below come from signs around the grounds.

Dolmen Stone

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The secrets of this megalithic tomb portal are lost in the mists before history began. Was the great rock rolled or was it lifted? Why does it still sometimes rock? What magic and mysteries has it guarded over the millennia? We cross the portal with care — and we wonder.

Wishing Steps

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For hundreds of years, the Blarney With has taken firewood from our Estate for her kitchen. In return, she must grant our visitors wishes.

If you can walk down and back up these steps with your eyes closed – some suggest walking backwards – and without for one moment thinking of anything other than a wish, then that wish will come true within a year.

Witch’s Kitchen

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Historians will tell you that this was home to the very first Irish cave dwellers. But if you arrive early enough in the morning, you may still see the dying embers of a fire.

Firewood, paid for by your wishes on the Wishing Steps, is lit every night by the Witch of Blarney, as she fights to stop shivering on her nocturnal escape from the Witch Stone.

Witch’s Stone

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It takes little imagination to see who is imprisoned here. The Witch of Blarney has been with us since the dawn of time.

Some say it was she who first told MacCarthy of the power of the Blarney Stone. Fortunately for visitors, she only escapes the witch stone after nightfall — and we close at dusk.