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Pocket Guide: Tipperary

County Tipperary, part of the province of Munster, is an inland county — the largest in the Republic of Ireland. It takes its name from the town of Tipperary, though Nenagh is the county's principal town, with Roscrea, Thurles and Templeton close behind.

The county has long been associated with a popular song from the First World War, It's a Long Way To Tipperary, written in 1912 by Jack Judge, whose grandparents came from the region.

County Tipperary is known for its lush grassland, making it prime dairy farming countryside, most of all in an area known as the Golden Vale. Tipperary's horse-breeding industry is second to none, with Coolmore Stud being the largest thoroughbred racehorse set up in the world.

The county is not completely flat, with some stunning mountain ranges — the Silvermine, Galtee, Knockmealdown and Arra Hills — providing variety in the landscape. Lough Derg, a tranquil freshwater lake, adds another element to the natural beauty of Tipperary.

Apart from agriculture, tourism is County Tipperary's main industry, people drawn here by its rich heritage and magnificent scenery.

Things to Do in County Tipperary

Outdoor activities thrive in County Tipperary, particularly walking and cycling, with many trails laid for the purpose. For example, the Lough Derg cycleway circles the whole lake for 83 miles. The Slieve Felim way is 22 miles of forest tracks, quiet mountain roads and paths across fields, past a Benedictine monastery called Glenstall Abbey.

You could have a day at the races, go to a hurling or Gaelic football match, play golf on one of the many challenging courses or skydive over Nenagh. The river Shannon provides opportunities for angling and watersports, as does Lough Derg, with kayaking, water-skiing, sailing and powerboat racing. At Ballina and Killaloe, there are river cruises or you could charter a luxury yacht.

If you are interested in history, then County Tipperary has much to offer. The Rock of Cashel is a spectacular fortified religious complex dating back to the 12th century, or you could wander around the ruins of Athassel Priory or Kilcooly Abbey, or be amazed by the 13th century Cahir Castle, one of the largest in Ireland.

Staying in County Tipperary

Whatever your accommodation requirements, you are sure to find it somewhere in County Tipperary, from a hotel with its own leisure centre on the banks of the river Shannon to an 18th century townhouse with a reputation for great service. Guesthouses and B&Bs range from newly built bungalows to a historic 400-year-old farmhouse. There is ample self-catering accommodation on offer, as well and camping and caravan sites.

Eating out could be a sumptuous meal of seafood cassoulet in a top restaurant housed in what was once a church, a takeaway burger beside the river or practically anything in between.

Getting to County Tipperary

Reach County Tipperary via Shannon or Cork Airports. By road, Dublin is about two and a half hours distant as is Rosslare ferry port. Cork is around 90 minutes away.