Top 10 Things to Do in Cork
Cork is one of Europe’s hidden gems, showing all that’s best of traditional
and modern Ireland. Here are the 10 reasons that prove just that!
Cork city, the capital of Ireland’s South-West region, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
County Cork is one of Europe’s most beautiful regions, with popular tourist destinations such as Blarney and Kinsale. Cork is set alongside 680 miles of coastline, with scenic routes such as the magnificent Wild Atlantic Way and The Ancient East, as well as world-class golf courses, excellent hotels and restaurants, hiking and cycling routes, beautiful beaches, famous traditional music, dancing, and the warmest of welcomes.
1. The English Market
Trading since 1788 and recently visited by the Queen of England, this is the largest covered market in Europe, filled with local produce and gifts. This gem really is a feast for the eyes, the nose and the palate. ‘’Never mind Paris or Brussels – if you want a gastronomic experience to remember forever, hop over to Cork and head for the English Market. If you like food, it’s like dying and going to heaven’’. - Food Guru, India Knight
2. The Jameson Experience
Journey back to 1795 and to where all Irish whiskey is now made. At the Old Distillery in Middleton visitors can view the Courtyard, Giant Waterwheel, the Brewhouse and the world’s largest Pot Still. Visitors can take part in the Irish Whiskey Tasting Session and browse in the gift shop. Guided tours are also available.
3. Titanic Experience Cobh
Visitors can take a tour of the White Star Line Ticket Office in the heart of Cobh town and travel in the footsteps of an actual Titanic passenger. The tour includes information on events leading up to the sinking of the Titanic and a look at the Titanic ship wreck. Only at the end will you discover if your passenger lived or perished!
4. Cork City Gaol
A fascinating tour of the city’s once-brutal prison. The Exhibition is housed in the former City Gaol (pronounced ‘jail’). There are guided tours, school and educational tours, a souvenir shop, picnic area and an open-top hop-on hop-off tour bus stop here on a scheduled basis. The Gaol is reputedly haunted, original prisoner writing can be seen on the cell walls, there was a tunnel out of the gaol and famous prisoners include Countess Markievicz, the Irish nationalist, who spent four months there.
5. Lewis Glucksman & University College
Architecturally stunning gallery in the grounds of University College Cork, the gallery promotes the research and creation of visual arts. The building includes display spaces, lecture facilities, a riverside restaurant and gallery shop. While there take the opportunity to stroll the beautiful University grounds and view the incredible stone gallery.
6. FOTA Wildlife Park
40 acres of grassland with 70 species of exotic animals many of whom can roam freely. Cheetahs, eagles, lemurs, flamingos, giraffes, monkeys and more make this a superb day out. It is one of Ireland’s Top Ten visitor attractions and is one of the most popular destinations in Cork.
7. Old Head Golf Club
The course is built on a 220 acre diamond of land, jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The links and practice area occupy 180 acres and the remaining 40 acres of unspoilt cliff frame the course. A truly unique golfing experience.
8. Blarney Castle
This ancient seat of power is a real must see for anyone visiting Cork. The Castle was built almost six hundred years ago by the Chieftain Cormac MacCarthy. It is also home to the famous Blarney Stone, which is said to bestow the gift of eloquence on anyone who kisses it – or maybe that’s just ‘Blarney’!! There’s only one way to find out…
9. Elizabeth Fort
Originally built in 1601 during the reign of Elizabeth I, Elizabeth Fort is a fine example of a 17th century star-shaped fort, which overlooks the city. It played a significant role in the siege of Cork in 1690, became a British military barracks in 1719, was used as a holding prison for prisoners being transported to the Australian colonies during the 19th century and housed the infamous ‘Black and Tans’ during Ireland’s War of Independence. The Fort is open to the public and admission is free.
10. Rumleys Open Farm
A great day out! Visit a fully working 20 acre Irish farm with domestic and exotic animals, as well as great play areas, cafés and a souvenir shop. The farm is fully wheelchair accessible.