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, 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.
2 – The Swiss Cottage
// Cahir Castle to the Swiss Cottage – 5-minute drive (arrive for 10:30) //
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).
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) //
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.
For some bizarre reason, you can only get tickets when you arrive… yet many sites that I’ve visited have recommended buying tickets in advance… which will only be possible if you’re in Tipperary for a couple of nights.
4 – Cobh
// Rock of Cashel to Cobh – 1 hour and 10-minute drive (arrive for 15:00) //
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, so have a ramble around the town and check into your accommodation for the evening.
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