Tour Duration: 8 to 9 hours
Stepping away from the sights of the country for a little while, embark on this tour to satisfy your interest in the history which runs deep and true within Irish heritage. Castles were the strongholds for our country’s rulers of past, places of well fought battles and exquisite architecture perfect for pictures which dot the landscape to serve as a well-rounded reminder of our unique history. Our knowledgeable guides will be sure to fill you in on all the broadest as well as the most niche of facts alike.
Start off your day with a quick jaunt to County Tipperary where Cahir Castle is situated, sitting on a rocky island in the waters of the River Suir, this castle is one of the largest in Ireland and one of the best preserved too. Built by the Prince of Thomond, Conor O’Brien in 1142, there are guided tours of the interior to expose you to the rich history, an important part of which involves Sir Walter Raleigh residing there for a period in the late fifteenth century. Raleigh was an authoritarian presence in the South for quite some time in history, famed for instating himself as the ruler of Youghal after slaughtering most of the population, but more importantly for introducing the potato to Ireland.
Next, it’s on to Cashel where following the theme of the tour, another castle awaits you. Known as the Rock of Cashel, a hill stands in the centre of the town atop which there is a series of stone structures including a Gothic cathedral, a round tower and a fifteenth century castle as mentioned. From this high vantage point you can overlook the whole village of Cashel, quite picturesque for its roots in Irish tradition, vibrant colour and culture. The Rock first gained importance as a fortress, a stronghold of sorts for the early Kings of Munster, but afterwards became associated with two of the most famed people from Irish history, those being St. Patrick and Brian Boru. The first noted for banishing snakes from and introducing Christianity to Ireland and the second for being the first individual to unite the entire country under one common ruler for any significant amount of time.
Lastly for your day of castle visiting with us at MunsterBus Tours, we will head to Kilkenny castle. Another one of the biggest castles in Ireland, originally constructed by Earl Richard De Clare, also known as Strongbow and renowned for having been a strong ruler, in 1195. Perhaps the lively nature of the surrounding city of Kilkenny is more important to mention here though. The native Irish sport of hurling is of utmost importance here. With such a firm foothold in Irish culture, an escapade around this area would be sure to cause many a giggle and a drink of the local tipple’ Smithwick’ is nothing short of essential either.
To conclude, we will of course drop you right back to the hotel from where you began your trip and bid you a farewell from us, wishing you well on your next adventure, whatever and wherever that may be!