I was fully prepared to write of Blarney Castle as a tourist trap. You've gotta kiss the Blarney Stone, blah, blah, blah. But we arrived late in the day, after all the tour buses had left. The late afternoon light on the castle was golden. And the grounds, which are extensive, were beautiful. The one drawback of arriving late was not having enough time to really explore them all--the fern grove, the creek running through the estate, and all of the gardens. It was quiet, peaceful, uncrowded. Oh, and kissing the Blarney Stone is actually more interesting than I thought it would be. You have to lie down on your back and lean over the edge of the castle while this guy holds onto you. It's kind of awkward and strange, which, in a place I expected to be completely predictable, was refreshing.
Do better way to experience a bit of mythical Ireland is to make a pilgrimage to the famous Blarney Castle. Make your way up to the top of the castle to kiss the famous "Blarney Stone" for the gift of eloquence. Stroll around the castle grounds for it's beauty, visiting the famous Blarney House, Poison Garden & Fern Garden to name a few of the enchanting gardens that make up the ground. It's a fab place to spend some time exploring.