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The Rock of Cashel, Cashel Castle

My Irish road trip was ready to go. And the Cashel Castle (or the Rock of Cashel) was beckoning us. After a crazy couple of days in Dublin, (check out the best way to spend one day in Dublin here), I picked up my BunkCamper camper-van from just outside the airport and we headed off.


Irish Road-trip Day 1: Dublin to the Rock of Cashel/Cashel Castle to Cork

The beauty of road trips in Ireland is the mileage isn’t so heavy, if you plan your days well you should only have 3 hours or so driving each day, broken up by amazing things to see and do throughout, so it’s not the kinda of road-trip that leaves you feeling like you lived in your campervan/car. So off we went, Dublin to the Rock of Cashel, and then onto Cork – 270km or so, about 3 hours drive.


Our first stop was the amazing Cashel Castle. To be honest, despite being Irish, I had never even heard of the Rock of Cashel before I began planning this trip! I knew however that a 3 hour driving can get boring so I began looking at places where we could break up the journey, and roughly in the middle of the Dublin to Cork route was a castle, Cashel Castle, so I whacked it on the itinerary and on we went. By this stage, 2 of our former volunteers from our GiveBackGiveAway Senegal charity trip
had come and joined the party. Stina from Sweden had flown in, and Sinead from Ireland had jumped onboard, so the 4 of us headed to the Rock of Cashel  with low expectations…

cashel castle
Cashel castle

As you drive up from Dublin, suddenly you turn a corner and BOOM you’re hit with some spectacular views. The castle looked stunning, like something from Game of Thrones.  We drove on up, got our €8 tickets (€4 for students) and moved on in.

They have guided tours every hour so feel free to jump on one of those, the girls and I skipped it and ran around taking fun photos instead. Cashel is a great first stop in Ireland proper, after leaving Dublin, rolling green hills and great view points all around. Finally you feel like you’re seeing the Ireland you dreamt about.

Cashel Castle
Cashel Castle
Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel


After an hour or so, we were all castled-out so we packed up the camper, had a spot of lunch and headed to the South of Ireland, to Ireland’s second city, Cork. Cork is one of the view places in Ireland I had actually visited prior to the roadtrip, and it’s a gorgeous little city, split by the River Lee.

The city centre is jam-packed full of bars and pubs so make sure you get yourself a hotel with a good location. We stayed at the Jury’s Inn, Cork which was perfect, sitting right on the River Lee and walking distance to Oliver Plunkett St (where all the good bars are!).

Cork, Ireland
Cork, Ireland – the view from our hotel room

The main tourist attraction ‘in’ Cork is actually 15 minutes outside Cork! That is of course the Blarney Stone, we saved that for the following day so you can check that blog post on another page. Within the city, it’s more about the Irish atmosphere than sight-seeing, but if you find yourself with an afternoon, check out St. Fin Barre’s cathedral, Elizabeth Fort, and even better would be to catch a Gaelic Football match or Rugby Match so check out the info for those here and here). There are also some pub crawls which are always great to meet people, but to be frank if you wander down Oliver Plunkett you’ll meet as many people as you need anyway!

pubs in Cork
Another former GiveBack GiveAway volunteer came to join us, making 5!

For us, it was soon bedtime. The next day would be Day 2 of our Irish Road-trip, starting with kissing the Blarney stone….


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2 thoughts on “The Rock of Cashel, Cashel Castle; Irish Road Trip Day 1

  1. One of the things you learn on the tour you skipped is that the Rock of Cashel is not a castle, it is a monastery :-). So, you may want to update the post…

    Is the restored chapel open yet? It had been under restoration for something like a decade but was supposed to be finishing soon…

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