Are you going home for Christmas? Here are a few suggestions of things to do before you leave Cork!
- Fota Wildlife Park & Fota House and Gardens
Unleash your wild side at Fota Wildlife park; take a stroll alongside the several species of animals roaming freely around the park, grab a coffee in the park café or hop on the train around the park if you are feeling lazy. Don’t forget to take a walk around Fota House and Gardens, lose yourself in the grandeur of this beautiful regency style house and gardens, and it’s Free!!
- Kinsale and Charles Fort
If you love food then this is the place to be! Kinsale is often hailed as the ‘foodie’ capital of Ireland, boasting numerous eateries that offer all types of food at every price point. As it’s on the coast, Kinsale is especially famous for seafood so try a seafood chowder, a plate of oysters or a traditional Fish ‘n Chips. If you fancy some fresh air head over to Charles Fort, just 3km from Kinsale village. As one of the largest military installations in the country, Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. It is also a great place for taking photos of the spectacular views over the bay or even a picnic if the weather is good!
- The Comedy Club
This is the place to be if you fancy a fun evening out! Put your level of English to the ultimate test- take a trip to Cork’s famous Comedy Club on Coburg Street and see how many of the jokes you can understand! This small venue has been called the ‘best comedy club in Ireland’ by famous comedian Tommy Tiernan and is the perfect place to forget your troubles and ‘have a laugh’ as the Irish say!
- Weekend Farmers Markets
A weekend tradition for many, the Irish farmers markets have become even more popular in recent years. Soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the music, taste local produce and practise your English all at the one time! Douglas Farmers Market is on every Saturday from 10am -2pm and Blackrock Farmers Market in on Sundays 10am- 2pm.
- Inchydoney Beach and Hotel
Blow away the cobwebs on Inchydoney beach, just a few minutes drive from the beautiful town of Clonakility in West Cork. After a bracing walk on the beach, pop in to the hotel bar and warm up with a pot of Irish tea or some of the delicious food on the menu. Even the views from the bar are breathtaking!
- Curraheen Greyhound Track
If you fancy a night with a difference, check out Curraheen Greyhound Track and try your luck. You can place a bet and cheer on you dog, you might even win some money! Or simply soak up the atmosphere in this wonderful venue and get a taster of the old Irish tradition of dog racing!
- UCC and the Glucksman Museum
Open to the public and free of charge, UCC is home to one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Cork. The beautiful stone-faced quadrangle ‘The Quad’ was built in the 1840’s. The style of this building has been referred to as Perpendicular Gothic, Tudor Gothic and Victorian Gothic. But make sure you don’t walk through the centre of The Quad lawn, it’s bad luck unless you have just graduated!
While you are there, make sure you take a trip into the Glucksman Gallery, a beautiful example of modern architecture which is in direct contrast to the traditional style of The Quad. Exhibitions change all the time so its always dropping by to see what’s new.
- Cork on Ice
In the run up to Christmastime, Cork on Ice (next to Mahon Point) is a must for many Corkonians. Get your skates on and show off those skills (or hold on to the sides and drag yourself along like a lot of people!). Either way, give it a go and get into the Christmas spirit!
- The Big Ferris Wheel
As part of the Christmas celebrations, the Grand Parade is the temporary home of the Big Ferris Wheel. What better way to see the city than from the top?! But make sure you wrap up, it’s chilly at the top!
- The Pub
After all that activity, what better way to warm up than in one of the city’s traditional pubs? If you want to see a ‘real’ Irish pub, we recommend The Oval Bar on South Main Street, The Mutton Lane Inn just off Patrick’s Street or The Hi-B across from the Post Office on Oliver Plunkett Street. Just make sure you don’t use your mobile phone in The Hi-B, they’re banned so that people actually have to TALK to each other. Lots of practising your English there then!!!