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The Rebel County

County Cork Ireland

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The County of Cork situated in the South West of Ireland is the largest of all the Irish counties and in many ways the most varied. Cork city is the main city in Cork built on the River Lee. Rich farmlands and river valleys contrast with the wild sandstone hills of the west, and above all there is the magnificent coastline scooped and fretted by the Atlantic into great bays and secret coves, strewn with rocky headlands and long soft golden sands.

Strange as it may seem, this is territory which is relatively undiscovered, and completely unspoilt. Its villages and resorts are mostly unsophisticated, but lively and friendly in their own special fashion, and very welcoming to strangers who come to join in the fun.

County Cork has many sights and attractions for the visitor Blarney Castle which you can climb up and kiss the famous Blarney Stone and obtain the 'gift of the gab' as most Corkonians have as you will discover when you visit Cork!  The lovely town of Kinsale, just a short drive from Cork City offers many fine restaurants and where you can also visit the 17th century star shaped Charles Fort. Timoleague is where you will find the wonderful 13th century Franciscan Abbey and travelling onto the great seaside village of Courtmacsherry. Clonakilty is a lively busy town where you will find out more information about Michael Collins and his statue. Drombeg Stone Circle is a short distance from Skibbereen and Glandore, thought to have been from the Bronze Age. From the seaside village of Baltimore catch the ferry across to explore both Sherkin Island and Cape Clear Island. Mizen Head the most westerly point in the area is where you can take a tour of the Mizen Vision Centre which includes Mizen Head Signal Station once you have crossed the footbridge across and its wonderful views. Take in some beautiful scenery driving from Bantry to Glengarriff. The area of Durrus, and Sheeps Head are known for their stunning scenery and rugged beauty. Castletownbere and the Beara Peninsula where you can take in some wonderful walks including the Beara Way. Cork County is also very popular for its many watersports, be it wind surfing, kite surfing, sailing or kayaking and  also has a number of Blue Flag Beaches in County Cork such as Barleycove Beach West Cork, Garretstown Beach, Inchydoney Beach, Claycastle and Redbarn in Youghal and the Warren Beach at Rosscarbery.

Cork City is steeped in history, where Cork City was once built on a marsh and consisted of many waterways with two main Gates the North Gate and South Gate protecting the old Cork City centre, a section of the old wall can be seen today in Bishop Lucey Park. Cork City said to have been founded by Saint Fin Barre in the 7th century. The Butter Museum in the Shandon area tells the history of Irelands most important food export and the largest recognised Butter Exchange in the world which existed in Cork and where the price of butter was set. Also in the Shandon area is home to Corks own Shandon Bells with its well known clock face and its distinctive weather vane in the form of a gold fish. Cork has a long history with the Huguenots, French Protestants, which travelled to Ireland due to prosecution in their own country and hence the area of French Church street and Carey's Lane is know as the Huguenot Quarter. The English Market one of the oldest markets which was established in the 18th century is wonderful to experience by taking a walk through and visit the many stalls with everything on sale from local cheeses, olives, locally smoked Salmon, French soaps, Champagne and Wine, to Corks own stall for Tripe and Drisheen, a local delicacy. St Fin Barre's Cathedral is very impressive on Cork skyline and where services are still held today, why not call in and take a tour of this beautiful cathedral, also very impressive is Corks Holy Trinity Church. Cork Jazz Festival held in October each year brings some renowned artists from all around the globe to Cork where there is a wide range of Jazz to be found from Blues, Dixieland and much more find accommodation in Cork City for the Cork Jazz Festival here. Cork is also renowned for it Cork Choral Festival and Cork Film Festival find out more here and maybe you can join us in Cork. Looking for Cork Airport


Cork County is made up of a large number of towns and villages. Here are just a sample of town and villages in West Cork  - Bantry and neighbouring Glengarriff, Durrus & Ahakista. Castletownbere including visits to neighbouring Allihies and Eyeries, Baltimore, Goleen, Schull and Crookhaven. Skibbereen, Union Hall, Glandore,  Rosscarbery and Clonakilty. Bandon, Dunmanway, Timoleague and Courtmacsherry. Kinsale, Ballinhassig and Carrigaline. East Cork towns and villages consist of Midleton, Castlemartyr, Rostellan, Whitegate, Youghal and Fota and Cobh, Shanagarry and Ballycotton.







Cork Festivals

Corks Guinness Jazz Festival is known throughout and over the years has played host to a number of big international Jazz artists and so continues. The Coral Festival in Cork is held at the end of April. Ballydehob Jazz Festival takes place each April. West Cork Chamber Music Festival is held in a number of venues in Bantry including Bantry House at the end of June. Cork Live at the Marquee has become a music venue in Cork each June for a number of musicians and performers. Cork Film Festival takes place annually in November.




Cork Visitor Attractions

Bantry House & Garden, Bantry, West Cork

Cork can not be visited without taking a trip to Blarney Castle to kiss the Stone. Bantry House in the West Cork region can be enjoyed for a stroll in the gardens with views over Bantry Bay and take a tour around this historic house. Cobh's Heritage Centre where you can learn of Cobh's origins, it's unique history and legacy are dramatically recalled at The Queenstown Story - a stunning multi media exhibition at Cobh's restored Victorian Railway Station. The Michael Collins Centre in Clonakilty have been interpreting the life of Michael Collins since 1997, when they organized the first Michael Collins Tours, taking visitors to the important sites in West Cork associated with this famous Irish patriot.

Cork What's On

Cork Opera House, Cork City, Ireland

Cork Opera House, Cork City, Ireland is a great venue to enjoy both music and theatre centrally located in Cork City. Enjoy a tour around Cork City on the hop on and hop off bus on the Cork City Tour, which travels to a number of historic and most visited Cork places. Cork also has a number of galleries and museums with lots of interest such as Crawford Gallery, Cork Museum, Cork Butter Museum, and Allihies Copper Mine Museum, West Cork.





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