By Elaine Whelan
As a Tipperary local myself, it can sometimes be hard to appreciate the beauty of your own county when you see it every day. However whenever visitors come to stay, they always gush about how lucky we are to live here. Tipperary is a gorgeous county where rich green fields and panoramic scenery can be seen at every turn. For a country escape, Tipp is top for getting away from it all and enjoying a touch of tranquillity.
The Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel is a sight to behold no matter where you happen to be in the town of Cashel. Looking like something out of a film, the Rock stands proud on top of a hill overlooking the town. Originally the seat of the kings of Munster, the Rock of Cashel, possesses the most impressive cluster of medieval buildings in Ireland. Among the monuments to be found there is a round tower, a high cross, a Romanesque chapel, a gothic cathedral, an abbey, the Hall of the Vicars Choral and a fifteenth-century Tower House. The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most spectacular and most visited tourist attractions, with even Saint Patrick and the Queen being past visitors. Admission costs €8.00 for adults and €4.00 for children and has to be booked online.
The Swiss Cottage
The Swiss Cottage is located just outside the heritage town of Cahir. The cottage itself resembles something out of the Hobbit and was built in the 1800s with the world-famous Regency architect John Nash having designed it. The cottage was originally built as a getaway for those who lived in the nearby castle to host private parties. The stunning house is immaculately preserved and its gardens are similarly as stunning. You can access the cottage two different ways. The first is from the carpark and the second is by a beautiful 20 minute forest walk from the town centre alongside a golf course and the powerful River Suir. Your kids will love exploring the forest walks and spotting all the wildlife.
Sitting in the centre of the fishing town of Cahir, Cahir Castle is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles. At the time of building, Cahir Castle was at the cutting edge of defensive castle design and much of the original structure remains. The castle has even played a role as a film and TV location as it has featured in productions like Excalibur and The Tudors. You can wonder freely through the castle and learn from the brilliant audio-visual guide. Behind the castle is a pretty stretch of green known locally as The Inch Field where kids can run, play and picnic at a banquet style table.
The Knockmealdown Mountains are famous for its Vee Mountain Pass because of the breathtaking panoramic views that the Mountain Pass offers that stretch across the South of Tipperary. Not far from the viewing point is the stunning Bay Lough, a lake in the middle of the mountain. Locals believe the lake to be bottomless and has been haunted by a witch for centuries. The walk to the lake is very popular with families and kids love exploring the vibrant purple rhododendron bushes and watching the wild mountain sheep roam the terrain high above. There are countless mountain walks and trails, so much so that you could spend days here and still never walk them all.
Lough Derg Aqua Splash
Dromineer is home to the Lough Derg Aqua Splash. For €25.00 you can get a day pass that allows you to kayak, stand up paddle board, take a spin on a banana boat and splash about on the inflatable water park. You can also get the whole family on a paddle boat and have fun paddling out in the sunshine or take a bounce on the water trampoline.
Cashel Foot Golf
Foot golf has taken off this year as the newest must try sport. Combining golf and football, the attraction of this new sport is that it can be played by anyone who is a lover of either sports, while involving whole families from young children to grandparents. The Cashel foot golf course overlooks beautiful lush green Tipperary countryside and will be a hit with all your little athletes.