On January 24th my boys and I visited the beautiful and magical Blarney Castle and Gardens, one of my favourite places in the whole of Country Cork. We've been here so many times together and everytime we discover new places and things we hadn't seen before, it really is such a great place to go for a day out with the family. Although Blarney Castle and Gardens is a place we usually visit during the warmer spring and summer months we were in dire need of some fresh air and a family day out and I couldn't think of a place I wanted to visit more than here.
The castle was looking beautiful and quite haunting in the winter sun. I love the second picture I captured here with the sun rays and prisms of light radiating off the castle. Unfortunately on this visit we didn't go up the castle and we had Tyler Lee's buggy with us but hopefully during the summer we'll make it to the top again and let our boy kiss the Blarney Stone, not that he needs the gift of the gab!
|My little adventurer exploring the castle openings and caves.|
|My boys exploring the Ice House.|
The castle and it's grounds were bustling with tourists. It's great to see these beauty spots still busy during the winter months. After our little one was done exploring the various castle openings and caves we went on a woodland walk, trekking down by the riverbank to find the horses graveyard - somewhere Jacek wanted to see but sadly we couldn't find, eventually getting back onto the woodland trail and all it's muddy paths, it's such a scenic walk, I love it. We usually walk down by the lake but decided it against it on this day as it's a one and half hour walk and it was quite cold! We also skipped the main gardens, the grass looked quite muddy after the rain so we decided to save them for the spring when all the beautiful flowers are in bloom.
|The Poison Garden.|
|A run on the battlements.|
|The entrance to the castle itself.|
We arrived back at the castle where we explored the Poison Garden. This is home to a lot of plants which are usually banned in a lot of countries from around the world. There's a marijuana plant, opium, salvia and lots of Harry Potter potion ingredients there too! Tyler Lee had a ball running along the battlements, I really can't wait to bring him up the castle during the summer.
|The new walkway and the waterfall which we have yet to go down to.|
At the end of our journey around the gardens I spotted some beautiful daffodils in bloom at the end of one of the avenues. I just had to go and take some pictures of them all. I couldn't believe that the first blooms of spring had already appeared in January. It was amazing to witness two seasons in one day. This place really is quite magical.
|Loving the swing after seeing them in the distance and running towards them shouting "swing"!|
|Always an obligatory couples selfie of us on our days out.|
We ended our family day out with a trip to the playground where we all had a go on the swings. God I miss going on the swings, everything was so much better as a child wasn't it? Soaring up to the sky with not a care in the world, I love the our son is living this carefree life now, no harm in us joining in with him once and awhile though! We also went to The Mill restaurant for lunch when we had these gorgeous treats - lemon tart and raspberry meringue, they were seriously yummy, I'd go back just for the sweet treats alone!
I loved our first family day out of the year and can't wait until our next, we've vowed to have one at least once a month so that should be a minium of twelve throughout the year. I hope these pictures serve to prove just how beautiful Blarney Castle and it's gardens can be during the winter months too, seriously, who need warmth to have an adventure?! Not us that's for sure!
You can find out more information about Blarney Castle and Gardens on their website.
We shall be visiting again in the spring and summer so expecting more pictures of one of my favourite places in Cork. You can see more places from my wonderful city and county in my Guide of Cork.