Places to Visit in Tipperary
An inland county is a rare thing in Ireland, and County Tipperary is truly a rare and beautiful place. What it lacks in dramatic seascape, it makes up for in the lovely valleys, riverbanks and hills of the region known as the Golden Vale. Located in Munster Province, County Tipperary’s name is derived from ‘Tio braid Arann’, which means ‘well of Era’, in reference to the River Ara.
Horse breeding and agricultural pursuits sustain the residents of County Tipperary, along with the growing tourist industry. Some of the most visited attractions in all of Ireland are located here in the golden valleys of southern Ireland.
A visit to Holy Cross Abbey reveals a completely self-sufficient religious complex that has survived from the medieval period. It is an active house of worship, with attractive grounds dedicated to Padre Pio. Various services, including the Stations of the Cross, are held here regularly.
One of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, also part of the County Tipperary landscape, is the Rock of Cashel. This huge limestone outcropping also has a long history, as evidenced by a number of ruins that tell stories of events dating back to the fourth century.
For those who enjoy exploring the traditional castles of Ireland, Cahir Castle, from the 13th century, is one of Ireland’s most well preserved, and offers informative and entertaining guided tours. More rustic and mysterious is Ballytarsna Castle, of which only the old tower house survives.
For a unique look at Tipperary history and culture, visit the Carrick on Suir Heritage Centre.
The beauty of nature is an important part of the County Tipperary experience, and it can certainly be fully enjoyed at Dundrum Plantarum, which houses a collection of both rare and common native plants, surrounded by local birds and wildlife. An outdoor excursion to mysterious Mauherslieve is also great for exploring the landscape on foot, as it offers a wide assortment of ancient tombs, monuments and cairns.
Mitchelstown Cave is an underground natural attraction that is easily accessible to the public and features ancient fossils and extraordinary limestone formations spread across its multi-cavern layout.
The towns of County Tipperary are charming, quaint and most welcoming. Clonmel is the county town, and offers excellent shopping opportunities, as well as interesting old buildings for history and architecture buffs to explore. Dromineer, situated on the massive Shannon waterway, is a centre for inland water sports and relaxing boat cruises.
The assortment of medieval buildings and an enchanting heritage walk attract a large number of visitors to Roscrea Town each year. Walking is also a preferred activity in Tipperary Town on the rim of the Golden Vale. This is the starting point for nature trails and tours that encompass a variety of nearby restored heritage sites.
The historical centre of County Tipperary can be found at the Rock of Cashel, which has been home to royalty since ancient times when the Eoghnact chiefs occupied the region. Over the centuries, various buildings were added and the Kings of Munster ruled from what is known as the Tribute Rock.
St. Patrick also played a role in Cashel history by baptizing a king here, and Brian Boru celebrated his coronation at Cashel before proceeding to build up the surrounding fortifications in 990 A.D.
For administrative purposes, County Tipperary, which was originally founded during the 13th century, was divided in to the North and South Riding in 1838. Gaelic sports such as football and hurling also originated here and remain extremely popular among today’s residents.
Common surnames in County Tipperary include: Butler, Kennedy, Lynch, Purcell and Ryan.