Ahead of the May Bank Holiday Weekend, we have put together some exploring inspiration for Cork City & County!
COBH & SPIKE ISLAND
Cobh is a pretty town built on a steep hill on the Great Island in Cork Harbor. It is only 20 minutes from Cork city and there are hourly train and bus connections to and from the city. The architecture and urban landscape of the city are distinctly Victorian. St. Colman’s Cathedral dominates the city along with its gardens.
On April 11, 1912, Cobh was the RMS Titanic’s last port of call when she crossed the Atlantic on her ill-fated maiden voyage. The survivors were brought to this city, and more than a hundred victims lie buried in the Old Church cemetery a mile north of the city.
And, as if that were not enough, very close is Spike Island. The island is dominated by the 200-year-old Fort Mitchel, the star-shaped Fortress that was turned into a prison with more than 2,300 prisoners. It was the largest prison in the world at the time and never and since then has there been a larger prison in Ireland or Great Britain.
Can you resist? We certainly can’t!
KINSALE & CHARLES FORT
Kinsale is just 25km from Cork City and is the gateway to picturesque ‘West Cork’ and the start / end point of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, the 2,500-mile coastal journey km from Kinsale, Co Cork to Inishowen, Co Donegal.
It is one of the oldest and most picturesque towns in Ireland and is internationally recognized for the number and quality of its famous restaurants. It has been hailed as ‘The Gourmet Capital of Ireland’, with no shortage of cafes, pubs, and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.
Visitors to Kinsale are captivated by its spectacular waterfront location and medieval influences. The impressive fortifications of Charles Fort and James Fort protect the narrow inlet from the sea, hinting at its rich history. The harbour, adorned with yachts that sway gently with the tides and changing conditions. And what about the brightly coloured buildings?
3 kilometres from Kinsale, you will find Charles Fort, a huge star-shaped structure from the late 17th century, well preserved despite its history. One of the largest military installations in the country. Its dimensions are impressive: some of the outer defences are 16 meters high.
BLARNEY CASTLE & GARDENS
Built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, Blarney has attracted attention ever since. Over hundreds of years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a global landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. Currently, you cannot visit the castle, but it’s beautiful gardens are open and certainly worth visiting!
An area of wild and beautiful landscapes, this magnificent Forest Park covers more than 137 splendid hectares (339 acres). It is tucked away in a lush valley on the edge of the Sheehy Mountains, the ideal place to hike, get in touch with nature, have a picnic, and breathe in the fresh air.
It is in these hills that the majestic River Lee is born, which flows into the port of Cork, some 89 km away. There is a small island on the edge of the lake at the entrance of the Forest Park where Saint Finbarr, the patron saint of Cork was said to have prayed.
And, finally, we will show you the well-known Fitzgerald Park in the heart of Cork City. Fitzgerald Park, home to the Cork Public Museum, is a short walk along the Mardyke from the city centre. It offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle where visitors and locals can enjoy a riverside picnic on the banks of the River Lee.
A perfect park to enjoy with friends, family or by yourself with the ducks!
We are clear about the places we are going to visit this weekend, are you?