Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you.
We have fond memories of the Rock of Cashel, in Tipperary–the first stop on our road trip through southern and southwestern Ireland. The small town is lovely, with its Victorian downtown and historic buildings. We ate lunch in the small cafeteria attached to the grocery store, and then walked across the street to the Cashel Plaza Hotel. We wandered into their suitably dark-wood clad pub and asked where to find the Bishop’s Walk.
Thanks to a tip from someone on line, we knew that the best approach to Cashel Rock–Carraig Phádraig, or St. Patrick’s Rock, was a footpath called the Bishop’s Walk that takes off from the back lawn of the hotel. So we went into the hotel, out through the pub and a garden, through the gate and followed the path up to the Rock of Cashel. This grand pile of stone was the seat of power of the Munsters who ruled southern Ireland for centuries. They were here in the 5th century, although what we see here are ruins from the 12th and 13th centuries (you know–modern stuff!)
I wish I had known at the time about this tidbit that I picked up from the Cashel website, ” The Rock is the setting of the fictional “Sister Fidelma Mysteries” mediaeval whodunits from Peter Tremayne.” His latest is due out in July 2013,The Seventh Trumpet: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland .
Although we were on a tight time schedule with “miles to go before we sleep,” Cashel is a town you could definitely settle in to and stay for a week or so. If you don’t have time to explore everything, however, don’t miss a visit to St. Patrick’s rock.
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The “back way” to approach the Rock of Cashel was truly lovely. What helpful hints have you received when planning a trip?
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