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Reviewed on 19 Sep 2019
Reviewed on 12 Dec 2019
A county steeped in history and heritage, Tipperary was once the location of the High King of Munster, and was also an area of huge importance under the reign of Ireland’s most famous king, Brian Boru. The castles, abbey’s and monasteries of Tipperary ensure you will get a real feel for the history and beauty of this famous county.
If you are considering a break in Tipperary, the county has plenty of choice whether you’re looking for an overnight stay or an extended break. The county’s most iconic attraction is the famous Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction. Dominating the Cashel skyline, ‘Patrick’s Rock’ as it is sometimes known (due to its association with St Patrick) is home to several ancient buildings and was once the capital of Munster, and the ancient seat for the High King of Munster. The Rock of Cashel has buildings dating back to the 12th century, and is also home to one of the finest collection of Celtic art anywhere in Europe. The town of Cashel provides plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink, and is a great base for exploring Tipperary.
Tipperary is also home to several stunning castles, and indeed, you won’t have too far to travel to get up close and personal with one of Tipperary’s many castles. While the Rock of Cashel has the remains of an original castle, other popular castles to consider visiting in Tipperary include Cahir Castle, Nenagh Castle and Loughmore Castle.
Along with castles, the county has several abbeys which help tell the story of the heritage of this land. Holy Cross Abbey near the town of Thurles is the county’s most iconic abbey, and a location well worth exploring, while Hore Abbey and Kilcooley Abbey are both popular with visitors to the area. You can also explore more about the heritage of Tipperary by visiting one of several heritage centres in the area, including Nenagh Heritage Centre, Slieveardagh Heritage Centre, Cashel Heritage Centre and Carrick-On-Suir Heritage Centre and Friary.
Tipperary is one of three counties that surround the picturesque Lough Derg, the second largest lake in Ireland, and the Lough Derg Scenic Drive is a great way to spend a day exploring the stunning scenery of the surrounding area. The idyllic towns of Nenagh, Ballina and Portroe are all worth stopping off in as you explore Lough Derg, although you will discover many stunning viewpoints should you decide to drive the 125km loop. If it’s scenic walks that you’re after then look no further than the vast Galtee Mountains, part of the wonderful Golden Vale.
As well as the stunning landscape and historic lands, Tipperary is a great location to enjoy sport, with Semple Stadium a real cauldron of emotion come championship season. A proud hurling county, if you’re planning a trip to ‘Tipp’ during Championship season, whether it’s round ball or sliotar, do your best to get in and sample the amazing Semple atmosphere come match day. Semple Stadium is located in Thurles, another popular destination. If you’re planning a short trip to Thurles, or indeed Tipperary, be sure to pencil in some time to visit Lár na Páirce Museum, Ireland’s first, and oldest museum dedicated to GAA.
Finish your trip to Tipperary by embarking on the Butler Trail, a trail of some of the county’s most historic towns, and the land that was shaped by the famous Butler dynasty of Tipperary. This trail will take you through towns like Cahir, Carrick-on-Sur and Clonmel (home of Bulmers Irish Cider), where the 800-year old Butler story is told.