Rock of Cashel
The much-loved Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most treasured locations – what better way to kick off your short break in Tipperary than with its most iconic attractions. Explore the 12th century round tower, the ruins of a Romanesque chapel and High Cross. Also known as St. Patrick’s Rock, it is the 13th century Gothic Cathedral which captivates people the most.
The cathedral is a large cruciform church without aisles and was built between 1230 and 1270. A 15th century castle and Hall of the Vicars are the entry points to this ecclesiastical enclosure and the site includes an audiovisual show and exhibitions to bring the story to life.
Brú Ború Cultural Centre
Right at the foot of the Rock of Cashel you’ll find Brú Ború Cultural Centre an affiliate of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. This impressive theatre plays host to summer shows of traditional music, and trad classes in winter. If you’re looking for something a bit different, the centre’s subterranean chambers, seven metres underground, echoes Ireland’s past with their ‘Sounds of History’ exhibition. Visit the craft shop on-site before you leave for locally made treats.
Less than a five-minute drive down the road is another fascinating religious site, Hore Abbey. This former Benedictine monastery was built in the 13th century and in 1272, the archbishop of Cashel expelled the monks from its walls and the Cistercians moved in. At the height of its power, it laid claim to almost 400 acres across Tipperary including a cruciform Gothic church, tower, square cloister and living quarters. Today, you can discover the ruins of the church in the rolling fields of Tipperary – it’s the perfect spot to stop for a photo or a quiet walk.
Mikey Ryan’s Bar and Kitchen
While you’re in Cashel grab a bite to keep you going at Mikey Ryan’s on Cashel’s Main Street. Enjoy wholesome, seasonal food made at this Irish gastropub using the best local ingredients. Eat like a local with their Tipp the Plate, a beautiful charcuterie plate of all things made in Tipperary, including a glass of locally brewed White Gypsy Ale. In Mikey’s, fires are lit in the winter and in the warmer months diners flock to their large garden dining area with a wood fire pizza station.
Leave Cashel for the picturesque village of Fethard, 20 minutes away, to find the curious Fethard Horse Country Experience. Learn about the relationship between the Irish people, the land and horses, and how they’re all inextricably linked, at this state-of-the-art interactive experience.
Spread across two floors of a 17th century Tholsel building, that was formerly an almshouse, theatre space, marketplace, fire station and library. The first country market in Ireland took place here in 1957 and continues today every Friday morning.
Tipperary County Museum
Deepen your Tipperary knowledge a little further a 15 minute spin away at the Tipperary County Museum, which features two galleries to amble around. With a keen focus on history from prehistoric to modern times, its collection covers everything from military to religious, social history to political, archaeology, geology, townscapes and more.
Clonmel Food Market
Plan your visit strategically if you can, so you can head along to the Clonmel Food Market. The farmers’ market, which is held from 10am-2pm each Saturday, is full of locally grown and produced delights, from fresh, organic fruit and veg, to artisan cheeses and plenty of sweet nibbles. The smell of the freshly baked bread is enough to lure you in.
The Apple Farm
Halfway between Clonmel and Cahir, you’ll find the Apple Farm. Grown naturally and harvested when perfectly ripe, if you love apples, this is your heaven. Pick your own fruit to snack on during the harvest months from August until November – with over 50 different varieties to choose from, you won’t be short on choice. Watch the farm produce its award-winning apple juices in the off-season months and don’t leave without nabbing one of their freshly baked apple tarts to enjoy at home.
You will be in total awe of Cahir Castle, which seems to grow out from the rock on which it stands. This imposing structure was designed to be a prime defensive castle and has been the scene of sieges and bombardments for centuries.
In 1961, the last Lord of Cahir died and the castle was handed over to the State. Today, you can still explore its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure.
Just south of Cahir is Swiss Cottage, a delightful ornamental cottage that was built in the early 1800s by Richard Butler, first Earl of Glengall. This enchanting cottage with a distinctive thatched roof was inspired by nature and its external woodwork resembles branched trees.
Take a guided tour up the stone steps and see inside this charming structure which has a graceful spiral staircase, a parquet floor and elegantly decorated rooms with Parisian wallpapers.
If you have the time in Tipperary…
Explore The Suir
Feel the wind in your hair as you cycle along the riverbanks, head out on the Tipperary’s flowing waters or enjoy a sedate stroll through bustling medieval towns as you explore the Suir Blueway. The trails span 53km of water from Cahir to Carrick-on-Suir and a 21km walking and cycling trail from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir. See old castles and churches and discover the rich culture and scenery of this beautiful place.
After a short break in Tipperary you’ll leave feeling refreshed, relaxed, and well fed after time spent exploring the beautiful scenery and rich history. Check out our Tipperary destination page for even more inspiration for a holiday to the Premier County.