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
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.
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
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
Cork Visitor Attractions
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 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.