Sight Seeing in Cork
Cork has an array of historic and beautiful attractions to visit including churches, castles and stately homes. St. Anne's Church was built in the 18th century and the steeple can be seen across the centre of Cork, for a small fee you can climb to the top of the tower and even try your hand at ringing the famous bells.
Blarney Castle is among Ireland's oldest castles and famous for its Stone of Eloquence, believed to bestow the gift of eloquence upon anyone who kisses it, you can also spend the day relaxing in the gardens and Rock Close.
Charles Fort is an impressive traditional star shaped fort constructed in the 17th century and was mainly used for the defence of the harbour. Desmond Castle is another of the many historic fortresses in Cork. It has a colourful history playing a part in the Spanish occupation, being used as a prison in the 18th century and as a workhouse during the Great Famine and guided tours are provided at both Charles Fort and Desmond Castle.
To visit somewhere with a very grim yet fascinating past head to Cork City Gaol. As well as being a building demonstrating fantastic Georgian Gothic architecture it provides a fascinating insight into the Gaol's grisly past with guided tours, a souvenir shop and picnic area. You can also visit the Radio Museum in the Gaol as it was used as a broadcasting station after the Gaol was closed in 1923.
For a relaxing afternoon you can pay a visit to Bantry House and Gardens, a vast stately home overlooking the beautiful Bantry Bay. You can take house tours, relax in the landscaped gardens and even stay in the B&B there. Ilnacullin is a 15 hectare island garden of rare beauty and the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon taking in the splendor of the scenery.
For more natural beauty visit the Mitchelstown Caves which feature three massive caverns, fantastic drip rock formations and of course stalagmites and stalactites. You can take a guided tour deep into the caves believed to be among the finest limestone caves in Europe.
There are also many museums and art galleries in Cork that are well worth a visit. One of them is Crawford Municipal Art Gallery which lies at the heart of Cork City and contains 2000 art works from 18th century Irish and European paintings to sculpture and contemporary art. The gallery is even home to Greek and Roman sculptures brought to Ireland from the Vatican.
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Romantic Breaks in Cork
County Cork provides the most beautiful and relaxing backdrop to a romantic break with its green and lush mountains, beautiful beaches and pretty bays. You can choose where to stay, whether it be in a cosy cottage set in the countryside where you can spend an intimate break together, or even a large, luxurious stately home hotel.
The Mayborough Hotel and Spa is just one of many fine hotels in Cork; set in vast landscaped gardens, it is the perfect place to fall in love. You can even take advantage of the spa on site and the excellent Zings Restaurant serving both Irish and European cuisine.
Of course there are many things to do outside of your hotel too. You can take a horseback ride together along a secluded beach, dine in one of Cork's many restaurants and stroll hand in hand through your choice of quaint and romantic fishing villages.
Fun Seekers in Cork
Fun seekers visiting Cork will not be disappointed. The beautiful and varied landscape means that you can try your hand at an array of activities. You can spend a day fishing off the Cork coast, go cycling along west Cork's rugged coastal routes, go horse riding along miles of sandy beaches and have a go at several different water sports including diving, kayaking and sailing.
Charleville Golf Club at the foot of the Ballyhoura Mountains provides a dramatic backdrop as you attempt a hole in one. Bantry Bay Golf Club is also in a beautiful location towering above Bantry Bay and overlooking the ocean.
If you're looking to splash the cash then head to MahonPoint Shopping Centre where you will find many popular high street brands, restaurants and a cinema. Alternatively Cork City Centre is lined with shops of every variety, from high street stores, to small boutiques, craft shops and cafes.
For all those foodies out there, book a cheap flight to Cork with Jet2.com, as it is arguably the food capital of Ireland with restaurants of every variety to choose from. Of course a trip to Cork wouldn't be complete without sampling some of the local seafood; the best place to do this is in one of the small fishing villages along the Cork coast where all produce is freshly caught and of the best quality.
The nightlife in Cork is mainly focused around the city centre with a vast choice of bars, pubs and clubs to choose from. Bodega is reputed to be Cork's best bar whereas the Long Valley Bar is great if you're looking for a classic Irish pub. You can visit Sin É for traditional Irish music or the Rhino Rooms for an ultra trendy hang out. If you're looking for a laugh then head to City Limits: a comedy club which also houses a nightclub for all night fun.
Family Fun in Cork
There are many options for family fun in County Cork; the amazingly diverse landscape makes for great opportunities to try out activities such as mountain biking, horse riding and windsurfing. There are also many gardens and parks to visit where you can spend a lazy afternoon with a picnic.
The coastal regions of County Cork are home to many Blue-Flag awarded beaches where you can enjoy a fantastic day out with all the family. You can even jump on a boat tour of the harbour or go whale watching. The coast of Ireland is home to many whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals all year round and a trip is bound to fascinate both children and adults.
Dingle Oceanworld is a state of the art aquarium featuring hundreds of species of turtles, fish and sharks. There is an underwater tunnel to travel through, a touch pool and also contains an exhibit of artifacts washed up on Irish shores from the Spanish Armada.
Visit Fota Wildlife Park for some animal fun, the park has over 90 different species of animals from lions to seals to giraffes and also includes free playgrounds, a tour train, picnic areas, gift shop and restaurant.
For something more out of this world head to Schull Planetarium to learn about astronomy in the massive sphere sky projector and feel like you're floating amongst the stars. The village of Schull is also worth visiting as it is a beautiful example of an Irish fishing village and where you can grab some great seafood after an afternoon of stargazing.
Events in Cork
For the latest events in Cork, visit our Cork Destination Guide
Activities in Cork
Top Tours in Cork:
The Cork Experience
Take an open-bus excursion around Cork City and kiss the Blarney Stone...
Historical and Walking Grand Tour of Cork
Walk through history, via medieval city streets, Viking settlements and modern day Southern Ireland...
Cork's Monk, Vikings and Normans Walking Tour
Stroll through seventh century history to Vikings, Norman invasions and medieval rebellions...
View all tours and activities here »
Top Tips for Cork
The coveted English Market is worth visiting as it has an array of cheap, local products on sale including meat, fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, Italian and French cheese and bread stalls and many more.
Further a field the picturesque town of Cóbh on Great Island in Cork harbour is well worth visiting and lies at the end of one of Ireland's loveliest stretches of railway. It was also the last port of call for the Titanic.
Cost of a pint of beer:
Hotels & Apartments in Cork
Gresham Metropole - star rating 3
Located in the heart of Cork city centre the Gresham Metropole Hotel Cork is a traditionally styled hotel with good facilities and is close to many restaurants, bars, shops and galleries.
Jurys - star rating 4
Located on the banks of the River Lee, just a few minutes walk from the major sights of the city as well as the many local pubs and restaurants.
Maryborough Hotel & Spa - star rating 4+
The Maryborough Hotel & Spa is housed in an 18th Century Georgian mansion with a contemporary extension housing the main bedrooms. It is just a short walk from the village of Douglas and approximately 5 kms from Cork City Centre and Cork Airport.
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