Over 300,000 people from all over the world kiss the Blarney Stone in the Blarney Castle every year in hope to get the gift of the gab as legend has it. Photograph: Grant Eaton on Flickr/Some rights reserved
It is not for the faint hearted. To kiss the stone, which is on the outer wall of the castle, you first have to climb 127 steps to the top of the battlement keep. There you have to lay on your back and heave yourself out over a 90 feet drop holding on to an iron bar. An able man will assist you holding your legs as you lean out over the abyss to kiss the stone lying upside down. It is advisable to empty your pockets before you lean out, unless you want the gravity forces of mother earth to do it for you. You can also buy a certificate in the souvenir shop to tell of your bravery while you waiting for the eloquence to kick in.
There are several stories behind the myth of the. One say the Blarney Stone is one half of the Stone of Scones, given, in 1314, to Cormac MacDermot McCarthy by Robert the Bruce. Another say the Stone was the rock struck by the staff of Moses while he was searching for water for the Israelites. The most accepted story tells of a good and grateful witch that during the castle’s construction was saved from drowning by a member of the builder’s family. She placed a supernatural power into one of the machicolation stones. Why she chose a rock in a most awkward location on the battlement remains for her to know and us to find out.
The Blarney Stone is indeed not the only attraction at Blarney Castle. Under the Castle there is a labyrinth of underground passages and chambers, dating from different periods in the Castle history. If you do venture within, you will find the chambers of what is believed to have been the Castle prison and the castle well.
The grounds around the castle are enchanting being landscaped around many timeless features in the 18th century. Here you can walk under Giant Rubarbs and specimen of trees, one of the finest in the country. You will also find natural rock formations which have been given mystical names, such as the Druid’s Circle, the Witch’s Cave, the Witch Stone and the Wishing Steps. This is a place really suitable for a picnic with your kids.