Destination: County Cork

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Famous Irish city steeped in history and with its unique rich Irish culture.

County Cork

County Cork Tours with Great British Trips

Introducing County Cork


Steeped in history, Ireland's third city Cork is becoming one of Europe's hippest cities. We can trace back the history of the city some 1400 years ago when a monastery was founded. The city became an important seaport and gradually climbed up the steep banks on both sides of the River Lee. The city is pretty unique because it has been built upon water, and the city centre is on an island in the River Lee so that you find yourself constantly crossing bridges. The best way to see Cork and is to walk: there is a very helpful and free signpost Walking Tour. You can get the booklet with lots of information about the different places of Cork from the tourist office and set off to explore the hilly streets and meet the people! Though Cork used to be in the shadow of its rival Dublin, it's now getting a cultural reputation to rival the capitals. Since 2005 when Cork was nominated European Capital of Culture, the transformation of the city continues apace with plenty of new buildings, bars and arts centres. The best of the city is still happily traditional though – snug pubs with live music sessions most of the week, excellent local produce in an ever-expanding list of restaurants and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals.

County Cork

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Region: Ireland

Time to spend here: 3 hours - 1 day

More Information: Tourist Information website

What's nearby? Kinsale, Killarney

What transport do you recommend? Much of Cork city can be navigated on foot and of course local transport is available in both standard and traditional forms!

Did you know? Cork invented steeplechasing!

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What can I see in and around County Cork?


St Annes Church

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The city of Cork is dominated by St Anne's Church, also called the 'Four-Faced Liar' because each of the tower's four clocks used to tell a different time. The church was built in 1722 with two different types of stones: red sandstone and the limestone. You can even ring the bells on the 1st floor of the tower and continue the up to the top for 360-degree views of the city overlooking the River Lee.
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

Cork city Gaol

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Cork City Gaol is a visit not to be missed. Though this former prison can seem a little grim, it gives you a glimpse of how hard and difficult life was for prisoners a century ago. The wax figures and other displays in the museum bring you back into the day-to-day prison life of the 19th century and show you the hardness of the penal system at that time.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

St Patricks Street

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St. Patrick's Street, in the heart of Cork is probably the best shopping street in Ireland. It's a paradise for the shopping enthusiasts who will find an abundance of shops to suits every tastes.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

English Markets

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Another great shopping destination in Cork is the English Market. This large building boasts a wide range of local and worldwide products from fresh fruits and vegetables, gourmet chocolates to tasteful bakery and meats.
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

The Holy Trinity Chruch

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The Holy Trinity Church was built in 1834 and is located in the heart of the city, next to the south channel of the River Lee. This stunning Georgian-Gothic building features very interesting stone carvings of the exterior.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

The Cork Butter Museum

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The Cork Butter Museum tells you the story the butter trade in Ireland. Discover the fascinating history of the internationally important Butter Exchange in 19th century Cork, the traditional craft of home butter making and the modern success of the Kerrygold brand.
Time to spend here: 2 hours   More information

Cit Blackrock Castle Observatory

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CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory – the Space for Science is fun and exciting place to learn about the Universe. This science centre is housed in Blackrock Castle, a 400-year-old fortification built at the River Lee and has been part of Cork's history ever since. The award-winning exhibition Cosmos at the Castle is an interactive way to learn about astronomy and recent scientific discoveries.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Ballycotton

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Ballycotton is a pleasant and picturesque angling village steeped in a long maritime history. It was off the village that the first passenger steam ship to cross the Atlantic, the Sirius was lost in 1837.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Cobh

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Half an hour away from Cork is Cobh (formerly Queenstown). Cobh was the departure point for 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. This is a lovely waterside town, boasting brightly coloured houses where its streets climb the steep slope of a hill, the top of which is crowned by the massive Cobh Catherdral, St. Coleman's Cathedral with its carillon of 47 bells. The harbour in Cobh is very impressive: it is so large it can take the largest vessels afloat.
Time to spend here: half day   More information

Mizen Head Signal Station

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Mizen Head Signal Station is a dramatic place to visit. The path to the signal station goes down the cliffs and the 99 steps to the bridge at the end of the peninsula where you can enjoy spectacular views and out to the point and the former Keepers Quarters with its interpretive displays. Along the way there are several paths up to wonderful views north along the coast to the Sheep's Head and the Beara Peninsulas and south to the Sea Arch. This is a world renowned whale and dolphin watch location and often there are seals under the bridge.
Time to spend here: 1 hour   More information

Blarney Castle

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You should pay a visit to one of Ireland's most picturesque village: Blarney. This village, steeped in history and full of magical charm is also known as "the biggest little village in Ireland". Blarney offers the visitor a host of wonderful things to do and places to discover. Blarney Castle is not to be missed; it was built some six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy. It has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland's greatest treasures. There you will see the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of our Tower. Kiss it and you'll never again be lost for words.
Time to spend here: 3 hours   More information

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