Many of us make a real effort to travel far and wide to see well known tourist attractions, historical buildings and great views. Yet many of us have places close to home that would fall into these categories that we may not have visited at all. Sometimes it’s good to be a tourist in your own county. I became that tourist recently when I visited Cashel in my home county of Tipperary.
We booked in to the Cashel Palace Hotel for a night. The Cashel Palace is a beautifully old atmospheric hotel whose main building dates back to the early eighteenth century. As well as the main house, they have also refurbished some Courtyard houses into additional bedrooms. We really enjoyed our stay in a Courtyard room, which was very spacious, modern and clean. We had a drink in the bar and breakfast in the restaurant and both spaces are full of character and the breakfast was very good. There are lovely grounds to walk in and the Rock of Cashel can be reached from the hotel garden. www.cashel-palace.ie
In the evening, we went for dinner to Chez Hans restaurant. Chez Hans has been open in Cashel for over 40 years with the running of the restaurant remaining in the same family for all of this time. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful building which had been in use as a Public Lecture Hall and a Synod Hall in its pre-restaurant history. The restaurant had been recommended to me by friends and I was really looking forward to eating there. It did not disappoint. The setting, service, food and drink was all fantastic. It is a real treat. www.chezhans.net They also have, close by, a more casual cafe open in daytime hours serving light meals and coffees called Cafe Hans which is also very good.
A few drinks were had afterwards in Pat Fox’s Bar – Pat Fox is well known in Tipperary and Hurling circles – and this is a very welcoming spot.
The next morning we headed off to visit the Rock of Cashel. The “Rock” really is one of the most spectacular and iconic tourist attractions in Ireland. It is worth its modest entrance fee (c. €6 per Adult) which includes access to a guided tour. The site is a collection of buildings including a Round Tower, a Romanesque Chapel, a Cathedral and a Castle. The guided walk around the site is very interesting and the views over the Golden Vale are beautiful.
We really enjoyed our short holiday in Cashel and it is worth building in a stop here in your itinerary if touring around Ireland.