A Visit to St. Patrick’s Rock

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.

This is my contribution to Travel Photo Thursday. To see more travel photos from all over the world, be sure to click over to Budget Traveler’s Sandbox.

The “back way” to approach the Rock of Cashel was truly lovely.  What helpful hints have you received when planning a trip?

The mystery book is linked to Amazon for your convenience. A Traveler’s Library is an affiliate of Amazon, so although it costs you no more, we earn a few cents when you shop through our links, and thus show your support. Thanks!

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

17 thoughts on “A Visit to St. Patrick’s Rock

  1. lovely photos, Vera. your joke about 12 and 13th century ‘modern stuff’ made me think of a saying I wonder if you’ve come across:
    in Ireland people think a hundred miles is a long distance — in America people think a hundred years is a long time.

  2. Oh shoot, I missed St. Patrick’s Day! Embarrassing, rather embarrassing 😛 well, thanks for the reminder and awesome photos! Hope you had a good one 🙂

    – Maria Alexandra

  3. The cathedral looks fantastic. It is a very long time since I have been to Ireland and although the name is very familiar I cannot remember being here. It looks very interesting. Ireland was one of our favourite countries and the people so lovely. It is hard to choose when you have so many good photos isn’t it.

  4. The history of Ireland makes for some great travels! Looks like you had a great adventure visiting the Rock of Cashel. I’ll make sure to remember it when I make it to Ireland.

  5. And a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you too, Vera!
    Thanks for taking me on this lovely ride to the Rock of Cashel. The back way path sounds like the way to go — one to remember when I finally make it to Ireland.

    1. Although the path is not that far–rather by road or the Bishop’s Walk, we found it more “historic” and pleasant to walk the unpaved path. And we were totally alone on the path, whereas the road was a virtual parade of tourists.

    1. Jackie, next to Greece, Ireland was the most photogenic country I’ve visited, based on the size of the photo file on my computer! So I suddenly realized it has been 5 years since I was there, but I had never shared these pictures of Rock of Cashel. And how nice that it is actually St. Patrick’s Rock.

  6. I’ve been in Dublin heaps – and to Galway, but I’ve not seen much more of Ireland. It’s high on the list for a summer road trip. Thanks for sharing this place.

    1. HI Sophie: I’m going to be hanging on every word (and picture) of your trip to New Orleans! And yes, since you’re relatively close to Ireland, it definitely should be on your road trip list.

  7. We didn’t know about Bishop’s Walk when we visited the Rock of Cashel, but even a walk from the parking lot up to the ruins is a bit of a heart pounder. When we visited, we joined a walking tour of the site, including the Romanesque Church. Between what we learned from the guide and from Rick Steve’s Ireland guidebook, I think we had a good feel for the place and for some of what occurred there. Finally, as you know, the view is spectacular. Those Munsters knew how to pick a place to fortify.
    I’m not sure if you want people posting links, so I will in no way be offended if you remove this one, but I’ll share my blog post about our visit which has some different photos than yours:

    1. THanks for sharing your pictures, Boomeresque. It’s such a picturesque place, that I had a hard time selecting which pictures to use. Had already used the giant Celtic cross, which you also picture, so I left that out, although it is one of my favorites, with the view from the graveyard out over the Plain of Tipperary.

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