Tipperary’s landscape is wonderfully varied.  The Suir is the county’s lifeblood and the river and its tributaries are protected as a Special Area of Conservation.  The highest place is Galtymore, over 900 metres and part of the  Galtee mountains, the highest inland range in Ireland.  Hidden among the folds of the range are four lakes, the largest of which is Muskry.  South of Tipperary town is a tree clad range of hills called Slievenamuck.  Between Slievenamuck and the Galtee mountains is the famed Glen of Aherlow, watered by the Aherlow river, yet another tributary of the Suir.  Other upland areas, each with its distinctive identity, are the Silvermines in North Tipperary,  Slieveardagh Hills and the Slievefelim Mountains, between which is the fertile limestone plain with towns such as Tipperary, Cahir, Thurles and Templemore.  This limestone base to the soil has led to Tipperary being a hugely important centre of the bloodstock industry.  Coolmore Stud which is near Fethard has achieved international fame and Ballydoyle near Cashel was long associated with Vincent O’Brien.

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