Best Things To Do in Tipperary
The Munster-based landlocked county of Tipperary is a place many people will have heard about from the traditional Irish song by Harry Williams ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’. With the M8 motorway now in place, however, this image of the ‘Stone Throwers County’ (as the local Gaelic football team is known) is a little unfair.
As the 6th largest county in Ireland, a visit to Tipperary itself is a vast and expansive insight into life in the Irish midlands. It’s a place where both castles and contemporary life manage to co-exist side by side. Many natural attractions include mountains, rivers, lakes, as well as the countless outdoor adventure and exploration opportunities!
We love spending time getting to the heart of a country, and Tipperary definitely serves to meet this purpose!
Here are some of the best things to do in Tipperary.
Visit the Rock of Cashel
One of the most well-known castles and most-visited sites in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel consist of a stunning array of medieval buildings and preserved dwellings. It sits on top of a mound called ‘St. Patrick’s Rock’ just 500 metres away from the central Tipperary town of Cashel.
The limestone foundation hosts a 12th Century round-tower, 15th-Century castle, a High Cross and Romanesque Chapel and a 13th-Century gothic era cathedral, and spectacular buildings for visitors to explore, and there are also options of interactive audio-visual tours as well as private tours and exhibitions.
The Rock of Cashel has become symbolic of Ireland’s ancient roots and deeply embedded architectural history, and is located just 500 metres off the Dublin Road from the centre of Cashel town. Visiting the Rock of Cashel is usually high on everyone’s bucket list for Ireland, putting this right at the top of the things to do in Tipperary list.
Unfortunately, you can’t stay in the Rock of Cashel, but you can stay in Lisheen Castle in Tipperary. You’ll need to book with a group as it costs a whopping $1300 per night!
River Shannon/ Lough Derg
The River Shannon is Ireland’s longest river (224 miles in total), running through eleven counties from where it drains the Shannon River Basin at Lough Derg. Lough Derg has banks in three separate counties (Tipperary, Clare and Galway), and is the third largest inland lake in the country.
The Shannon forms a natural boundary between the Western, Eastern and Southern sides of the country, and there are numerous locations along these banks which provide beautiful scenery, views, and stop-off points. One popular activity in these areas is to rent a cruise boat and take it up and down the waters.
Killaloe River Cruises run exciting tours around the lake, with emphasis placed on the discovery of the local towns and villages along the banks of the Shannon and lake district. They also have a bar on board, which never goes amiss!
Visit Carrick on Suir
This famous market-town in the South-East of Tipperary is packed with cultural and historical attractions to explore. This includes the weekly Carrick on Suir Farmer’s Market (which takes place on Fridays between 10 am and 2 pm).
There’s also Ormonde Castle, Tinhalla Golf Course (which offers great Ireland golfing), and numerous hikes and nature walks of the surrounding areas. The East Munster Way is a 75km hike which traverses riverside paths and waterways, woodland, and mountainous terrain, and is a brilliant way to experience this unique and nature-dense part of the country.
The Powerstown area of Clonmel in Tipperary is home to the famous Clonmel Racecourse. This venue has been a popular venue for horse racing for over 150 years. 1.25 miles of a right-handed track provide the backdrop for professional racing along a ‘National Hunt’ course. Up to 120 horses can sometimes be found on this course at any one time.
You’ll find National and Flat race competitions here on a regular basis. Whether you’re a racing fanatic or simply fancy a day at the races, the Clonmel Racecourse is a quality day out.
The racecourse has events all year round, so regardless of when you visit, make sure to pencil in a day here! Who knows, if you have a flutter on a few horses, you might just come home with a much bigger wallet!
Tipperary is home to the highest and most extensive inland mountain range in Ireland, which stretches from Mitchelstown to Caher (Cahir) over 20 kilometres. The routes are well-mapped out and there are amazing paths that are suitable for a variety of levels. There are also loads of great parking spots and resting places along the way.
As the weather in Ireland is unpredictable, a trip to the Galtees (or indeed any of Ireland’s mountainous regions) is a good time to invest in water and weatherproof gear – and don’t forget the flasks of tea!
There’s even a point on Galtymore (the highest peak) where you can stand on the highest point of two counties at once (Tipperary and Limerick).
If you’re interested in hiking, we have a whole article about the best hikes in Ireland.
Emerald Star Boat Rental
If it’s a family holiday, romantic break, or even a stag party – an Emerald Star Boat cruise is an amazing way to really get the most out of your time in Tipperary and the Midlands of Ireland.
The boats range in size and price from budget to top dollar. The starting point is at Connaught Harbour in Portumna, Co. Galway, and you can go one of two ways; the River Shannon or the River Erne.
The nature of this kind of holiday means that you get complete freedom over where you stop along the river. Some mooring spots will grant you access to rural areas which you’d never gain access to by land or road! This is a truly unique way to travel and experience Tipperary, which will give you innumerable unique stories.
Fethard Town Walls
These 14th Century defensive walls in the village of Fethard are some of the most impressive in the country. The megalithic structures date all the way back to 1292. They enclose other ancient structures like the Holy Trinity Church, Augustinian Abbey and the Fethard Thosel (Town Hall).
A historic trail runs for 2km through the most impressive of the ruins and ancient structures. This includes the last remaining of five gates which granted entry to the town once upon a time. There are plans to unveil a tourist centre in 2019, which we will keep you updated.
Fethard has some great bars, restaurants and pubs to rest your tired feet in too! One pub you definitely should check out is McCarthy’s Pub Restaurant and Undertaker.
Yes, you read that correctly, Undertaker. Their slogan is “We’ll wine you, dine you, and bury you”. This type of all-in-one pub used to be common all over Ireland, but they’re a dying breed. Make sure to take some time out and test out the first two of their offerings!
What have we missed? Like we said Tipperary is one of the biggest counties in Ireland, so we’re sure we’ve missed something!
Let us know a few more of the best things to do in Tipperary in the comments. Especially if you’re local and you want to let us know that we’ve missed something incredibly unique!
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