It’s no secret that the culinary offerings in Ireland have changed over the years.
This news item and page contain affiliate links and I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
Top of the list is County Tipperary, which was highlighted in Conde Nast Traveller Magazine in 2021 that placed it in the “Best Foodies” category of vacation destinations in the world for that year.
Ireland’s “Premier County” was among over 20 destinations listed in Condé Nast Traveller, and it is still known for its food excellence.
CN Traveller journalist Lizzie Pook said that County Tipperary “has long held an appeal for history buffs due to the atmospheric Rock of Cashel” and that there is “much more to enjoy in this cozy, characterful county, from local artisans and family-run woolen mills to craft distilleries and ancient cave formations.”
Since then, Tipperary Food Producers have launched a series of virtual food tours highlighting the county’s culinary offerings.
They include visits to a honey farm showcasing the importance of protecting the growing breed of Irish black bees, a strain of the European dark honeybee and indigenous to Ireland’s climate, as well as discovering traditional cheesemaking at Cashel Blue on a special tasting tour.
Discover Tipperary's Tourist Attractions
The Rock of Cashel
The traditional seat of the kings of Munster for hundreds of years prior to the Norman invasion of 1169, this hugely popular heritage site is a picturesque complex that is perhaps one of the most impressive collections of medieval architecture in the world.
We can only imagine the first building on this rocky outcrop, which presumably was a stone ring fort known as a “Cashel.”
Those early structures are no longer there, but what you will see now are buildings dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, a clue to what life must have been like here among the power brokers of the day, both religious leaders and royalty
The oldest of the buildings at the Rock of Cashel is the round tower, dating from around 1100.
Other buildings in the complex include Cormac’s Chapel and the chapel of King Cormac Mac Carthaigh (McCarthy), with its vaulted ceilings and wide arches.
Two carpenters from Germany were asked to take on the complicated structure, most notably, the twin towers on either side of nave and chancel, which are understandably Germanic in style.
The cathedral is another one of the important buildings on the site.
Like other religious sites across Ireland, this, too, was attacked by British troops and many priests were slaughtered.
In 1749, the main cathedral roof was removed on the orders of the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel.
That move was heavily criticized at the time since the church was considered the jewel among Irish church buildings.
While you’re at the Rock of Cashel, be sure to visit the Cashel Folk Village, only 350 meters away.
The award-winning museum contains a vast collection of original Irish history memorabilia, including artifacts related to the 1916 Easter Rising and Irish War of Independence as well as the Great Famine.
It is also the repository of the original Tinkers Caravan, which was once home to 14 children and their parents, among other great displays.
This is one of the country’s largest and best-preserved castles, which was constructed by the O’Brien clan in the 13th century.
The castle was granted to the powerful Butler family in the late 14th century and was later enlarged and remodeled between the 15th and 17th centuries.
During the Irish Confederate Wars (between 1641 and 1653), it was besieged twice even though at the time, the castle was considered one of the most heavily fortified.
It fell into ruin in the late 18th century and was partially restored in the 1840s, at which time the castle’s Great Hall was partially rebuilt.
In 1981, it was used as a location for a battle scene in the movie, “Excalibur.”
It was also used as a location for the TV series, “The Tudors.”
The Swiss Cottage
Located on the outskirts of Cahir, The Swiss Cottage is another heritage site worth visiting in County Tipperary.
The ornamental cottage was built around 1810, originally part of the estate of Lord and Lady Cahir, who used it for entertaining guests.
It was designed by the world-famous Regency architect, John Nash.
After years of neglect, the cottage was restored in 1985 and turned into a historic house museum in 1989.
Admission is also €5 for adults, €4 for seniors and €3 for children. A family ticket costs €13.
This popular underground attraction was first opened in 1972 and is known as Ireland’s first show cave.
It is also the largest and most complex cave system in the country.
The caves were accidentally discovered by a local farmer in 1833 and then mapped in 1834.
The subterranean world of the Mitchelstown Caves never fails to impress given their sheer scale and depth.
They are best known for having Europe’s finest underground columns called the “Tower of Babel,” which is 9 meters (29 feet) high.
On a guided tour, you’ll see massive caverns surrounded by stalactites, stalagmites, and other huge calcite pillars.
The largest cavern within the Mitchelstown Caves is called “Tir na nÓg” and is used to host musical events.
Admission for adults is €10 and €5 for children up to 14 years of age. Tickets for a family of 4 is €24 (with children being 14 and under at this price).
This Elizabethan manor house was built in the 1560s by Thomas Butler, the 3rd Earl of Ormond.
Ormond had a love of Elizabethan-style architecture, having lived in England for years beforehand.
When he returned, he added a Tudor manor house to the property, which at the time was the first of its kind in the country.
Admission is also €5 for adults, €4 for seniors and €3 for children. Family rates are €13 per ticket.