19 Things To Do In Tipperary That’ll Immerse You In History, Nature, Music, And Pints

Castles, mountains, glamping, and more

rock of cashel ireland
Photo by Brian Morrison via Ireland's Content Pool

There’s an absolute mountain of things to do in Tipperary, regardless of what kind of explorer you are.

From castles and caves to ancient wells and forest walks (and food and drink, of course!), this vibrant county boasts the kind of magic that keeps visitors coming back for more time and time again.

If you lend me your eyes for a couple of minutes, you’ll see why.

What you’ll get from the guide below

  • LOADS of things to do in Tipperary
  • Advice on where to grab a hearty bite to eat
  • Recommendations on where to enjoy a post-adventure pint

The best things to do in Tipperary

The places in the list below are in no particular order.

It’s numbered as I’ve borderline OCD and having guides in a list-like format makes me happy.

Ready to rock*?! Let’s get cracking!

*Pun absolutely intended…

1 – Visit the Rock of Cashel and find out what all of the fuss is about

The rock of cashel
Photo by Brian Morrison

Tourists go mad for the Rock of Cashel.

And it’s not exactly hard to see why. The place looks like something whipped straight from the mind of Walt Disney.

The fairytale-like Rock of Cashel dates back to the 5th Century and the inauguration of Aenghus King of Munster by St. Patrick himself.

St. Patrick travelled to Cashel to transform the Munster kingship from one of paganism to one of Christianity. 

Rising around 200 feet above the surrounding plain, the Rock of Cashel stands impressively atop of a rocky outcrop. 

Once known as St. Patrick’s Rock, it’s now one of Ireland’s most visited historical landmarks.

A grand aul fact: It was here that Munster’s kings were crowned (including the famous Brian Ború).

2 – Nurse a pint in a pub that doubles up as an undertakers

McCarthy’s Pub in Fethard is one of thousands of pubs that you’ll encounter as you explore Ireland.

This place comes with a bit of a twist, however – it’s a pub that doubles up as an undertakers.

The pub, which was established by Richard McCarthy in the 1850s, boasts that they’ll ‘Wine you, diner you, and bury you’.

Nip in here for a pint/tea/coffee and a bite to eat.

A grand aul fact: McCarthy’s has welcomed everyone from Michael Collins to Graham Norton through their doors over the years.

3 – Visit the mighty Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle Tipperary
Photo by Failte Ireland

Situated on an island in the middle of the River Suir, the 800-year old Cahir Castle looks like it has emerged right out from the rock on which it stands.

Once the stronghold of the Butler family, the castle has managed to retain its impressive keep, tower and the majority of its original defensive structure, making it one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles. 

A grand aul fact: You may recognise Cahir Castle from the TV series ‘The Tudors’. 

4 – Then check out the nearby hobbit-like Swiss Cottage

swiss cottage tipperary
Photo by Brian Morrison

Built in the early 1800s by Richard Butler, the Swiss Cottage in Tipperary was originally part of Lord and Lady Cahir’s estate and was used to entertain guests.

While the cottage was restored in 1985, its unusual and rustic features remain intact. 

A visit to the Swiss Cottage is perfectly paired with a trip to Cahir Castle.

You can stroll along the riverside to the Swiss Cottage from the castle in about 45 minutes.

5 – Chill with food and trad tunes in Kennedy’s

kennedys bar tipperary
Via Kennedy’s on FB

OK. So, we rarely get snow as heavy as is seen in the above photo, but the pub looks Christmassy and cosy… so I lashed it in.

Located in the picturesque village of Puckane, Kennedy’s is a stones throw from the shores of Lough Derg.

Visitors during the summer will be treated to traditional live music (more info on shows here).

Visitors during the winter can enjoy cosy pints beside a roaring fire.

kennedys pub tipperary
Via Kennedy’s on FB

6 – Walk the magnificent Lough Derg Way

the lough derg way
Photo by Fennell Photography via Failte Ireland

The Lough Derg way will suit those of you looking to explore Tipperary (and Limerick) by foot.

This walk kicks off in Limerick City and ends in Dromineer in Tipperary.

Over the course of the walk, you’ll be treated to some of the finest scenery that Lough Derg has to offer.

In the video above, the folks at Tough Soles (one of my favourite Irish blogs!) walk the Lough Derg Way over the course of 3 days. Have a watch above.

7 – Have a nosey around the underground passages in Mitchelstown Cave

mitchelstown cave tipperary
Photo via Mitchelstown Cave

You can’t bate a visit to a cave.

The vast system of underground passageways and complex cave formations found at Michelstown Cave has been attracting visitors since its accidental discovery back in 1833.

Those that take the guided tour will follow ancient passageways and visit massive caverns with dripstone formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and huge calcite pillars.

Hold on… I thought Mitchelstown was in Cork?! Mitchelstown Cave is located in Tipp, just over the border from Mitchelstown in County Cork, so don’t let the name confuse you.

8 – Listen to the sounds of history in the chambers beneath the Rock of Cashel

This sounds deadly (Irish slang for great!)

Sounds of History is an imaginative experience that takes place in the Brú Ború Cultural Centre… in the subterranean chambers that lie seven metres underground at the base of the Rock of Cashel.

The Sounds of History exhibition takes you on a journey through Ireland’s rich culture & history.

The exhibition details everything from musical instruments that have been used for hundreds of years to the history of traditional Irish music, song and dance.

Traveller tip: If you visit during the summer, make sure to check out one of the shows (bash play on the video above to see more).

9 – Grab a big aul feed in Mikey Ryan’s (and learn about its colourful past)

mikey ryans cashel
Photo via Mikey Ryan’s

Mikey Ryan’s is a handy stroll from the Rock of Cashel.

Set back from the road, Mikey’s overlooks the Plaza and comes with a colourful history.

According to Legend, the original hops plant used to make Guinness came from the garden here.

A serious claim to fame, if the legend is in fact true. 

Many of the buildings original 19th-Century features are still intact and can be gawked at while you enjoy a bite to eat.

10 – Go rambling in the Galtee Mountains 

galty mountains
Photo by Britishfinance via Wikicommons

Activewear and packed lunches at the ready!

Some of the best inland hiking routes in Ireland await adventurers in search of active things to do in Tipperary.

The Galtees are Ireland’s highest inland mountain range, with a range of peaks for climbers to choose from including Galtymore, which stands at an impressive 3,018 feet.

There are a number of different hikes you can head off on here if you’re a seasoned hiker looking for a challenge. There are also several different shorter walks in the area.

11 – Opt for accommodation with a difference and glamp by Lough Derg

lough derg glamping

You’ll find plenty of places to camp right the way across Tipperary but if you fancy sleeping outdoors in style, then glamping by Lough Derg is a must.

You’ll find the cosy little tipi above in the town of Dromineer, surrounded by nature and on the doorstep of Lough Derg.

There’s a seating area and BBQ next to the tipi, so if you get the weather, you can cook up a storm and kick-back outside with burgers and beers for the evening.

12 – Learn about olden day Ireland at Cashel Folk Village

Right, so I couldn’t find one decent photo online of Cashel Folk Village.

That usually sets alarm bells ringing for me, but there are enough great reviews online to prove that this place must be worth a visit.

Cashel Folk Village is an extension of the Rock of Cashel attractions.

Here, you can have a ramble around and take a look at memorabilia from Irish life, transitioning throughout Irish history all the way to the present-day.

The folk village also contains a Famine memorial, an Easter Rising Museum and a Garden of Remembrance.

13 – Give your head a break at St. Patrick’s Well

st patrick's well clonmel
Photo by Nicola Barnett (via Creative Commons)

You’ll find this well nestled in a sheltered valley in Clonmel. 

This peaceful and well-maintained spot (pun not intended) is the perfect place to escape the world for a while.

It’s said that St. Patrick and St. Declan first met at Saint Patrick’s Well over 1,600 years ago.

The story goes that St. Patrick was looking to confront the pagan King of the Déise (County Waterford).

St. Declan was afraid that St. Patrick might curse his people during the confrontation. The two holy men met and resolved their differences and the site was given to St. Patrick to mark the new friendship.

A grand aul fact: It’s estimated that there are over 3,000 holy wells in Ireland, and St. Patrick’s is the biggest of the lot.

14 – Spend an evening by the lake in Larkin’s Pub

larkins pub tipperary
Photo via Larkin’s on FB

You’ll find this picturesque little pub on the banks of Lough Derg. 

At over 300 years old, Larkin’s Bar and Restaurant has been in the game of shelling out great food (and an even greater drop, by all accounts!) for quite some time.

Visitors to Larkin’s can kick-back to trad sessions that take place each week, with music performed by a wide variety of gifted musicians.

15 – Explore the medieval town of Fethard

fethard town walls
Photo via Tipperary Tourism

An afternoon spent in the gorgeous little town of Fethard is one of my favourite things to do in Tipperary.

I’ve visited Fethard several times over the years, and it always amazes me how few tourists you tend to encounter.

Fethard is one of the best examples of a medieval walled town in Ireland.

Dating back to 1292, the walls are still, for the most part, completely intact and are best explored on foot.

Traveller tip: There’s a guided walking tour that’s given by the Fethard Historical Society called Backs to the Wall Tours. If you’d like to explore the area with an informed local, give these folks a shout.

16 – Uncover the tale behind the ruins of Loughmoe Castle

You only need to take a quick glance at the ruins of Loughmoe Castle to know that there’s an interesting tale behind it.

Loughmoe Castle is incorrectly referred to as ‘Loughmore‘ (which means ‘The Big Lake’). The correct Irish translation of the area is ‘Luach Mhagh’, which means ‘the field of the reward’.

The name alludes to the way in which the family that first gained ownership of the area did so.

Many years ago, when Loughmoe Castle was inhabited by a king, the densely wooded land that surrounds it was terrorised by a gigantic boar and sow that uprooted crops and killed whoever crossed their paths.

In an attempt to rid the land of the beasts, the king offered their slayer the hand of his daughter, the big aul castle, and the lands around it.

Many hunters tired and failed.

That was, however, until a young lad called Purcell climbed through the nearby forest via the branches of trees to stalk the animals from above. He perched himself above the animals and used his bow to get the deed done and claim his prize.

17 – Go hopping about the lake with Lough Derg Aqua Splash

acqua splash lough derg
Photo via Lough Derg Acqua Splash on FB

This is a nice unique take on a water park.

Lough Derg Aqua Splash is, unsurprisingly, based on the shores of Lough Derg.

You can try your hand at kayaking, SUP boarding, Banana-boating and go flying down bouncy slides into the icy water below.

Just make sure you have a fat flask of tea waiting for you when you get out.

18 – Ormond Castle

ormond castle tipperary
Ormond Castle via Failte Ireland

Ormond Castle is the final castle on the list (we’ll let you decide which is the most worthy of the throne).

It’s said that this 14th-century stronghold in Carrick-on-Suir is the finest example of an Elizabethan manor house in Ireland.

Daily tours of the grounds provide colourful insight into its evolution, destruction, and restoration into the beautiful castle it is today.

Related Read: Check out 13 of the swankiest Irish castle hotels to spend a night (not all of them will obliterate your budget).

19 – Explore the Knockmealdown Mountains

Bordering counties Tipperary and Waterford, the Knockmealdown Mountains are a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

There are several trails on offer here of varying difficulty, peaking at Knockmealdown itself and the famous Sugarloaf mountain. 

Hit play above on the video shot by John McMahon. It shows the Vee Pass in the Knockmealdown Mountains covered in Rhododendrons.

Magic.

20 – The Glen of Aherlow

views of Glen of Aherlow tipperary
Photo by Brian Morrison via Tourism Ireland

The magnificent Glen of Aherlow is a lush valley that was once an important route between counties Tipperary and Limerick.

It’s in this valley that the River Aherlow runs between the towering Galtee and Slievenamuch Mountains.

The Glen of Aherlow is home to an ample number of low-level looped rambles and more strenuous mountain treks, where walkers will stroll alongside mountains, rivers, lakes, forests and seemingly endless scenic landscape.

What things to do in Tipperary have we missed?

The guides on this site rarely sit still.

They grow based on feedback and recommendations from readers and locals that visit and comment.

Have something to recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Keith,

    Just planning a trip around Ireland for an American friend who is coming to visit soon and I cant express how much this website has helped me as I forget the small and beautiful querks this country has to offer. As a Tipp man there are two gems also available in the Premier County that are not on this list:
    1. The Glen of Aherlow which can be seen in all its glory from a beautiful viewpoint known as Christ the King of all the Glen stretching from Galbally in Limerick to Cahir in South Tipperary. The viewpoint also boasts one of the best views of the Galtee Mountains.
    2. Jim O’ The Mills Bar in Upperchurch, North Tipperary is one of the most Irish bars I have ever been to. It opens only one night a week (Thursdays) to the crowds of people who flock to the bar for the weekly trad sessions that go on until all hours of the morning. With only one operational tap, Guinness of course, and a limited selection of other drinks and beverages, people rather come for the friendly atmosphere that Jim and the rest of his family create weekly as he opens his house to the public. Whether you are a perfomer, a singer, or an observer this pub has a place for you.

    • Sorry Damien – I thought that I had replied to this – my bad!

      Thanks for the kind words – glad that you’ve found it useful!

      I can’t believe I left out the Glen of Aherlow… I’ll pop that onto the ever-growing to-do list! Cheers!

      Jim O’ The Mills – what a name! I’ve just Googled it. It looks mighty. I’ll pop that on, also.

      Thanks for the shout, Damien!

      Keith

  2. Hi Keith,

    Just a nugget on cashel for you. You mentioned above Mikey Ryan’s and the Rock and the likes. Interesting fact but Guinness was actually invented in Cashel -next door to Mikey Ryan’s in the palace. The yard man in the palace was a fella by the name of Richard Guinis. He worked for archbishop Price who lived there. Price fancied himself as a brewer and brewed beer down in the cellar. He had hops planted out the back to do this. Anyway Guinis made a hames of it one day by roasting the hops instead of the barely and ended up with this dark beer. I think they referred to it as the wine of Ireland. Anyway, Price and Guinis took out a patent on it and Price called it Guinness as it’s known today in Guinis’s honour. Guinis went on to have a son by the name of Arthur who as you know went on to lease out James’ Gate.

    • It’s just after 7 in the morning and you’ve sent me down a wormhole of article and youtube videos on this.

      Cheers for taking the time to post this, Shane! I’d never heard of this story before.

      A serious nugget of info! Gent!

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