Stephanie Buckley is an award-winning Irish travel and lifestyle blogger and creator of Eat Sleep Chic.
To be sure, spending just 24 hours in Co. Cork isn’t enough to get to know the area well. But it’s enough time to eat, drink, sleep and kiss the Blarney Stone! Scroll down to see what we (my partner, David and I) got up to during our short visit to the rebel county.
Nicknamed the “Crossroads of Munster”, Mallow is the perfect base to explore
Cork city, Limerick and Killarney which are all just a short distance away.
Where to stay
The Hibernian Hotel is 2 hours 45 minutes from Dublin. Located right in the heart of Mallow Co. Cork with complimentary parking to the back of the hotel. The Tudor-style building will catch your eye straight away as you drive through the town.
It’s an old building but the rooms are bright and comfortable with simple traditional, classic decor. All rooms include free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and tea and coffeemaking facilities. Our room, a superior double room, was very spacious with a large bay window allowing the sun to flood into the room giving it a bright and airy feel.
The staff throughout the hotel and lounge are chatty, helpful and attentive. There were plenty of staff on duty too, so the service was quick.
Committed to drastically reducing their carbon footprint, the hotel is an eco trailblazer with the swimming pool in the adjoining Leisure centre harvesting rainwater and filtering it for safe use. An Irish first for sustainability, this method of pool maintenance uses less energy and chemicals with 70-90% less chlorine in the pool than before and is incredible for sensitive skin.
During our stay in the Hibernian we sampled the hotel’s Gastro menu created in collaboration with local producers. With a good selection of contemporary and gastro pub dishes and generous portions, you’re sure to be satisfied.
Gluten Free bread and alternatives are also provided. Coeliacs can pretty much choose anything from the menu and the chef will be happy to accommodate you.
The lounge bar hosts regular live music sessions. Unfortunately, we had just missed it, we arrived on Friday and a music session had taken place the previous night.
Things To Do
Get the gift of the gab during your trip to Mallow. Hop in the car and make your way to Blarney Castle and Gardens only 3o minutes away!
Kissing the Blarney Stone had been on my Irish bucket list for years! Knowing it was only 30 minutes from our hotel, I simply couldn’t return to Dublin without kissing it!
Entrance into the Blarney Gardens is €18 per adult which includes kissing the stone. You can pay €16 per adult and save €2 if you book online. But you must book at least a hour prior to arrival.
My other half thought the price was scandalous – paying that much to “kiss a rock” as he put it! I on the other hand, thought it’s well worth it.
You can spend hours rambling through the grounds and the views from the castle are stunning – we got a great day for it! Also, I really enjoyed exploring the castle and reading about the history of the grounds. And obviously I got to Kiss the Blarney Stone, the highlight of my trip to Cork!
The queue on the day in question, Saturday 11:30 am in the month of September wasn’t too bad. We waited approximately 1 hour 20 minutes to reach the top of the queue and kiss the stone. The closer you get to the top level, the stairwell becomes steep and narrow. If you’re claustrophobia or unfit you may not want to make the journey to the top!
The Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of our tower. Kiss it and you’ll never again be lost for words.
You can purchase photos of your kiss at the entrance/exit of the castle. The castle attendant will give you a ticket to view your pic. A photo print and digital download costs €12. I had my photographer, aka David with me so I didn’t need to buy one. In saying that, he didn’t actually capture my lips touching the stone – but the above will do. I got a video too, so it’s all good.
You can follow Stephanie here.