Blarney Castle and Gardens:
Blarney Castle and its gardens can be found about five miles from Cork City, and is home of the world famous Stone of Eloquence, otherwise known as the Blarney Stone, which is said to grant the gift of great eloquence to anyone who kisses it. The Castle dates from the twelfth century but, after being destroyed 1446, it was rebuilt by the Lord of Muscry. Aside from the Stone, the Castle ruins have well-preserved battlements, accessible rooms, the nineteenth century Scottish baronial mansion of Blarney House, and quite extensive gardens that include natural rock formations such as Druid’s Circle, Witch’s Cave and the Wishing Steps.
The stunning and extreme peninsula of Mizen Head is the most south west point in mainland Ireland, and is well-known for its incredible cliff scenery. The furthest tip of Mizen head is actually separated from Ireland by a thin, but deep, chasm with a bridge connecting it. The bridge gives access to the existing signal station, weather station and lighthouse that are placed on the rocks in the sea. The signal station has now been converted into a museum dedicated to the early days of transatlantic shipping and communications. The original access was from the fabled ’99 steps’, but has now been supplemented by extra paths and spectacular viewing platforms.
Fota Wildlife Park:
Fota Island is home to the most visited attraction in Co. Cork, Fota Wildlife Park. In the Park is a collection of nearly one hundred species of animals and birds. Many mammals, such as lemurs and squirrel monkeys, run free with visitors while larger creatures, such as giraffe and bison. roam their enormous paddocks as they would in the wild. The park also boasts cheetahs, zebras, gibbons, ostriches and many more exotic species. There is an education centre that teaches all about the Park’s inhabitants and their natural habitats, and a cheetah run where the fast cats can get up to speed chasing their food on a lure.
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