Thanks to a certain World War I era song, more people have heard of Tipperary than say Cavan or Laois. But aside from it being a long, long way to go, what do you really know about this gem of a county in Munster?
Spread over more than 1,600 square miles, Tipperary is one of Ireland’s biggest counties. Luscious, rolling fields feed sheep, thoroughbred horses and cows. Majestic ruins excite the imagination. The broad Shannon with rolls through Tipperary, giving us Lough Derg, which is equally popular among devout Catholics on retreat and anglers. The Rock of Cashel is one of the most popular destinations in Tipperary, and prints of it make beautiful Irish gifts.
Top Ten in Tipperary
A visit to Tipperary is a chance to experience the best of Ireland away from the bigger, louder cities. And there is so much to see, it is worth taking some time here to relax and enjoy it.
- Rock of Cashel – The iconic complex where St. Patrick converted the pagan King Aenghus on the seat of the High Kings of Munster towers over Tipperary, literally and figuratively.
- Lough Derg – Ireland’s third largest lake is rich in natural beauty and spiritual heritage. Inis Cealtra, known as Holy Island, features the round tower and other remains of a once-thriving monastery.
- Cahir Castle – One of Ireland’s largest castles, this structure might look familiar from The Tudors and Excalibur. This stronghold of the Butler family is on an island in the River Suir.
- Birthplace of the GAA –The Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in Hayes Hotel in Thurles in 1884. It’s been a pillar of Irish society in tiny villages and big cities for generations.
- Ahenny High Crosses – Celtic cross necklaces are popular Irish gifts, and Tipperary boasts two of the original models in the village of Ahenny. Over three meters tall, they are stunning.
- Fethard Medieval Walls – More than a kilometer of the village’s stone walls dating from the 1300s has been painstakingly reconstructed, and the town boasts many other medieval treasures.
- Mitchelstown Cave – Not all of Tipperary’s beauty is the work of humans. The surreal, subterranean beauty of Mitchelstown Cave’s stalactites, stalagmites and other formations is entirely nature’s own creation.
- Galtee Mountains – Ireland’s highest inland mountains are amazing whether you are viewing them in the distance or admiring the view while hiking them. The trails range from easy to extreme.
- Cloughjordan Eco Village – This environmentally conscious planned community is open to visitors and hosts a variety of workshops about sustainable living. And they picked a truly beautiful place to create a community.
- St Patrick’s Well – Thousands of holy wells dot Ireland’s countryside, but this one stands out due to its size and beauty. It is an oasis of tranquility. We can only guess at how many people Patrick baptized here, and religious pilgrims still visit.
Yes, Tipperary is a long, long way to go, but those who make the journey will be rewarded. These are only ten of the many reasons to enjoy Tipperary.