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Situated in the province of Munster, County Tipperary is the sixth-largest county in Ireland by area and the twelfth-largest by population. As reported by the 2016 census, the county is home to 159,553 residents, with Clonmel, Nenagh, and Thurles being the more populated towns. Some of the industries that the county primarily benefits from are the horse breeding industry, agricultural production, and manufacturing facilities. The Golden Vale is a plain that is most commonly known for having fertile land that favors agricultural purposes. In addition to the Golden Vale, County Tipperary is also composed of several mountain ranges, including the Galtee, the Knockmealdown, and the Arra Hills, to name a few. Furthermore, visiting these landscape areas and engaging in outdoor recreational activities are fairly popular draws among tourists. The Glen of Aherlow is one such site that offers an abundance of opportunities for tourists to go horseback riding, cycling, fishing, or walking, provided that weather permits. The warm season in County Tipperary lasts from June to September, with an average high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit during July, the hottest month of the year.
County Tipperary occupies an expanse of 1,662 square miles in the southern region of Ireland. Located in the province of Munster, the county is home to a total population of 159,553 residents as of the 2016 census. Tipperary, the namesake of the destination, is a town located within the county, and was so named in 1328. Considering that the name's origins date back to the 13th century, County Tipperary was the earliest of the Irish counties to be established.
Clonmel, Thurles, and Nenagh are a few of County Tipperary’s most prominent and largest towns. A number of notable attractions can be found throughout these urban areas as well as in other parts of the county. In the heart of County Tipperary, Holycross Abbey, a medieval village, is one particular attraction that draws a fair amount of visitors annually. The River Suir runs through the center of this touristic site, characterizing the attraction correspondingly with the Parish Church, which still operates today. Holycross Abbey was and still is considered by many to be a sacred place, especially for monks. The cultural, political, and religious aspects of the site date back ten centuries. Relics of The True Cross of Christ, which partner with tales such as “Cell Uachtair Lamahnn” and “The Good Woman’s Son,” are showcased at Holycross Abbey. Guided tours of the church, as well as of the grounds, are currently available to visitors.
Glen of Aherlow, located in the western region of Tipperary, is an area where several people go for outdoor recreation. Horseback riding, cycling, and fishing are a few activities that a handful of visitors typically engage in. A considerable amount of tourists also recognize this site as one of County Tipperary’s most “scenic destinations.” Between the Galtee Mountains and the woodlands of Slievenamuck, the River Aherlow runs. However, the majority of Glen of Aherlow is comprised primarily of valley land. Some villages in rural parts of the attraction, such as Bansha and Galbally, additionally constitute a portion of Glen of Aherlow. In a historical sense, it is said that the Glen bears significance, as the area formerly served as a pass between Tipperary and Limerick.
Aside from the touristic sites, County Tipperary itself is notable for its horse breeding industry. As evidence of this, Coolmore Stud, the largest thoroughbred breeding operation in the world, resides in County Tipperary. In addition to the horse breeding industry, manufacturing facilities that are owned by Bulmers and Merck Co. have made the encompassing area around Clonmel an economic hub for the county. One of the richest agricultural districts in County Tipperary, which additionally aids the economy, is a region called the Golden Vale in the central parts of the county. This region is composed of what many agronomists and farmers presume to be “fertile land.”
By area, County Tipperary is the sixth-largest county in Ireland and the third-largest of Munster’s six counties. The following mountain ranges construct much of County Tipperary’s topography: The Galtee, the Arra Hills, the Knockmealdown, and the Silvermine Mountains. Very few major aquatic land features constitute the county; however, the River Suir is what most of County Tipperary is drained by.
Throughout the course of the year, temperatures vary in County Tipperary, typically ranging from 36 degrees Fahrenheit to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer temperatures are generally moderate, with the warm season lasting from June to September. July is presumably the warmest month of the year as temperatures reach 67 degrees Fahrenheit on average, while the lowest temperatures of this month are around 53 degrees Fahrenheit. With regard to the coldest season in County Tipperary, November to March receives the coolest temperatures. The average daily high during the cold season is below 50 degrees. January, the coldest month of the year, has an average high of 46 degrees and an average low of 36 degrees. The best time of year to visit County Tipperary, based solely on the tourism score, is from late June to late August, especially for those who are interested in warm-weather activities.
A considerable amount of wildlife can be spotted throughout the county. Nearly 112 species of birds inhabit the area, in addition to several mammal, amphibian, and reptile species. The common cuckoo, long-eared owl, barn owl, common kingfisher, Eurasian collared-dove, and rock pigeon are a few types of birds that reside in the county, among other species. Concerning mammals, the European rabbit, mountain hare, eastern gray squirrel, European fallow deer, brown big-eared bat, and red fox are some of the wildlife that may be spotted. Brown trout have also been reported to reside in the waters of County Tipperary.
Prior to the Norman invasion of the early 12th century, a division of the old north and south Munster kingdoms, Thomond and Desmond, took place in County Tipperary. Reigning over these kingdoms were the O’Briens and the McCarthys, both of which combated in several battles, using County Tipperary as the front line for these wars. Ultimately, the battles resulted in the banishment of the McCarthys, as they were removed from County Tipperary and placed into County Cork. Cashel, located in the southern areas of the county, served as the seat of the kings of Munster throughout the majority of this period. The kingdom of Munster was eventually claimed as a lordship following the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169.
In 1838 the county was divided a second time. Nowadays, the divisions are known as North Tipperary and South Tipperary; however, the names had previously been Tipperary North Riding and Tipperary South Riding. The county was split into these “ridings” as a result of an opposed petition to move the county town of Clonmel to a more central location. This petition derived from the disadvantage that several jurors had due to the inconvenience of the “poor” roads that led from the north to the southern limits, which is where the county town was located. Following the division of the county into ridings, the grand jury of the South Riding proceeded to gather in Clonmel, while those of the North Riding joined together in Nenagh. After the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 replaced the grand jury with established county councils, the two ridings became separate “administrative counties.” Thus, the names of the ridings were changed from Tipperary North/South Riding to North/South Tipperary.
One of County Tipperary’s most renowned historical sites is the Rock of Cashel. Many local legends are tied to this particular site, as one such legend explains that the Rock of Cashel originated from a mountain located 20 miles north of Cashel known as the Devil’s Bit. The legend further reports that St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, causing the rock’s landing in Cashel. As aforementioned, Cashel, or rather the Rock of Cashel, served as the traditional seat of the kings of Munster before the Norman Invasion took place. Since then, several buildings have been constructed on the site, with the oldest and tallest of the buildings being the round tower that dates back to 1100. The tower’s entrance ascends 12 feet above the ground, though the tower itself reaches 90 feet in length.
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