- Old friends are best. John Selden
Travel to Cork
Cork is the third-largest city in Ireland and has miles upon miles of beautiful coastline looking out onto the Atlantic. Breathtaking all year round, Cork is a great place to visit — whether it’s to relax or to explore, there are plenty of activities to be found. It’s one of the more popular cities in the country with a lot of good food and pubs. Most visitors come here so they can go kiss the Blarney stone (it’s nearby) but there’s so much more to this former industrial city than that. Spend some added time here away from the hordes and enjoy the area!
Top Things to See and Do in Cork
Visit Baltimore fishing village — Take the ferry to explore the islands of Cape Clear, Sherkin, and Heir before going sailing, angling, diving, or whale watching.
Hike around Gougane Barra — For a taste of the great outdoors, make a trip to Gougane Barra in inland Cork. Walk around the mountains that surround the lake and view the famous site of St. Finbarr’s island. This area is recognized as a forest park and is full of natural vegetation and animals.
Kiss the Blarney Stone — Built nearly six hundred years ago, the castle itself is now a partial ruin, however at the top of the castle lies the Stone of Eloquence, or more famously known as the Blarney Stone where visitors can hang upside down to kiss the famous stone. The gardens around the castle are the real prize here. Admission is 13 EUR and it’s open daily from 9am to at least 5pm.
Butter Up — While in Cork, visit the Cork Butter Museum. Here you can learn the process that goes into butter making, a story that begins with the Irish practice of preserving butter in bogs. This is certainly a unique and quirky museum if you’re looking to do something different! Admission is 4 EUR and it’s open daily from 10am-5pm except in the winter when it’s only open on the weekends from 11am-3pm.
Tour Bantry House — Dating back to 1740, the house is known for its art collection and display of tapestries. There is also the possibility of a guided tour. Probably one of its most redeeming features, however, is the fantastic view over Bantry Bay. It’s open daily (except Mondays) from 10am-5pm. In the summer, it’s open 7 days a week.
The Church of Saint Anne Shandon — Shandon, meaning “Old Fort” in Gaelic, was formed as one of the original settlements in medieval Ireland. Here you can play the famous Bells of Shandon, watch the infamous clock, and view Cork from above. It costs 5 EUR and is open 11:30am-3pm with some hour variations depending on the season.
Drink whiskey — For whiskey lovers or just the plain curious, a tour of the Old Midleton Distillery will address the making of Irish whiskey and offers the opportunity to view the world’s largest pot. You even get to sample some whiskey afterward! For FREE!!!
Escape to Doneraile National Park — This park has 400 acres of deciduous trees, herds of deer, and numerous pathways from which to get away from the crowds of the city. Pockets of land have been fashioned into canals and ponds and can be enjoyed on an enchanting walk.
Attend a festival — Once dubbed the European Capital of Culture, it’s no surprise that there is a range of music, theater, and film festivals held here annually. From June to July is the Midsummer Festival (an homage to the arts), while the Elizabeth Fort Market Festival is held every Sunday, and offers entertainment all day, local handicrafts, and yummy gourmet foods.