Blarney Castle: More Than Just a Kissing Stone

Why do more than 400,000 people a year visit Blarney Castle, in the south-west of Ireland? I’d always assumed that they all went to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, and not much more. Certainly that’s what I did, on a long ago visit to the nearby town of Cork. But I had...

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The Historic Places of County Kerry

Ireland may be modern and vibrant, with a lively social scene, but it is also an ancient country. The first people arrived almost 10,000 years ago, travelling by boat from the continent of Europe. They soon began to leave their mark and today you will find evidence of...

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Ancient Burial Sites on the Isle of Man

I recently wrote about the Celtic and Norse heritage of the Isle of Man. But I was surprised to discover that the island also has lots of prehistoric sites, including one of the largest neolithic sites in the British Isles. And, in keeping with the mysterious history...

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Books to Read Before You Visit Ireland

I’ve just booked my trip to Killarney in October, and I’ve been thinking about what books I’d recommend to anyone visiting Ireland for the first time. It’s not an easy task. Ireland’s long and sometimes troubled history, combined with a rich folklore, has provided...

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