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The 2023 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

The 2023 Bucket List Road Trip: 4 Weeks Exploring Ireland (Full Route + Itinerary)

Day 7 (Tipperary and Cork) – A looped walk, the Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle and more

Day 7 takes us back inland to Tipperary (before tipping back out to the coast to Cork), a county that’s home to mountains, rivers, lakes and plenty of farmland.

We’ve a nice mix of active exploring, road tripping, and tours today.

Have a decent breakfast in your hotel and hit the road early.

1 – Cahir Castle

// Your hotel in Dungarvan to Cahir Castle – 45-minute drive (arrive for 09:00) //

Cahir Castle Tipperary

Photo by Failte Ireland

Cahir Castle, which was once the stronghold of the Butler family, is a 13th-15th Century structure that is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles.

It’s situated on a rocky island on the River Suir in Tipperary and was skilfully designed to be a state-of-the-art defensive castle.

Over the course of many years, the Butler family rebuilt and extended Cahir Castle, until 1599 when it reached its present state.

Those that visit the castle can embark on a well-reviewed 30-40 minute audio-visual tour which tells visitors about its eventful history.

Related read: Check out 18+ of the best things to do in Tipperary on your visit.

2 – The Swiss Cottage

// Cahir Castle to the Swiss Cottage – 5-minute drive (arrive for 10:30) //

swiss cottage tipperary

Photo by Brian Morrison

This is one of many hidden gems that you’ll visit on this Ireland road trip.

Welcome to the almost other-worldly Swiss Cottage – a home fit for a hobbit king

So, although the Swiss Cottage looks like something straight from the Lord of the Rings, it’s actually what’s known as a cottage orné (or ornamental cottage).

swiss cottage cahir

Photo by Chris Hill

Built in the early 1800s by a lad named Richard Butler, the Swiss Cottage in Tipperary was originally part of Lord and Lady Cahir’s vast estate, and was mainly used for entertaining guests.

The gorgeous thatched roof looks like it was attached yesterday, and it gives the Swiss Cottage that stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks effect.

3 – The Rock of Cashel

// Swiss Cottage to Rock of Cashel – 25-minute drive (arrive for 11:30) //

The rock of cashel

Photo by Brian Morrison

Our third stop of the day takes us to one of the most iconic attractions in Ireland.

The Rock of Cashel is an ancient royal site of the kings of Munster and its origins date back 4th or 5th centuries.

According to legend, St. Patrick arrived in Cashel in 432 AD and baptised King Aengus here, who then became Ireland’s first Christian ruler.

Brian Boru, the last great High King of Ireland, was crowned High King here in 990.

Most of the buildings that are still in place on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries when the rock was gifted to the Church.

A guided tour runs every hour and lasts about 45 minutes.

4 – Cobh

// Rock of Cashel to Cobh – 1 hour and 10-minute drive (arrive for 15:00) //

cobh houses cork

Photo by Chris Hill

I’m a little bit weary that we’ve done quite a bit of driving over the past few days, so I’m going to slow things down a little over the next 4 days of our Ireland road trip.

When you’ve finished up at the Rock of Cashel, head for Cobh.

We’ll spend the night here and chill for the rest of the day. There’s plenty of things to do in Cobh while you’re there.

Where to stay in Cobh

I’m going to recommend that you stay in Gilberts Bistro & Townhouse, as it’s central and the reviews are great.

Check into your hotel and head down to the Bistro for some dinner.

Where to head for a pint

There’s a handful of brilliant pubs in Cobh. Here’s a few that you can round off week 1 in in style.

  • Kelly’s Bar
  • The Roaring Donkey
  • The Titanic Bar and Grill
  • The Quays Bar
  • The Rob Roy

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Mick Bourke

Sunday 24th of September 2023

G’day Keith-thanks for your trip. My wife and I will be over there in late April and most of May (about a month in total before heading to Scotland for a couple of weeks). I think I’ll be using your trip (which is great (as also is the additional info at the bottom)) as the basis for ours, however, I would like to do abit more of the inland (like a figure eight of the island). Do you have any suggestions?

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Hey Mick,

Is there anywhere in particular you have in mind with the inland section?

Cheers,

Keith

MIchael Katekar

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

A big thank you for all of the time and hard work you have put into this blog. Great information. I don't think we can keep up with your pace but will certainly take up many of your suggestions.

Isabella Dennison

Sunday 26th of March 2023

Good day Keith,

Wow, what an amazing work you've done! I'm forever grateful!!! Please can you email this to me. We are planning to explore Ireland for the first time this year 2023, all the way from South Africa.

Thank you

Keith O'Hara

Monday 27th of March 2023

Thanks Isabell!

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

I've tried to get this converted to PDF on a number of occasions, but the result is very messy due to the volume of photos in it.

If there's any specific questions that I can help with, please fire them on and I'll do my best to answer them.

Keith

Jodie Wilson

Sunday 26th of March 2023

First retirement trip. Ireland for a month! Go big or go home. So excited to start this new chapter in our lives - and to hit the roads of Ireland. This guide is perfect - but I’d love a more readable copy if you could email it to me.

Lorraine

Monday 13th of March 2023

Keith, this is an extraordinary itinerary and so detailed. Thank you

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