You can spend one day exploring the museums and churches of Cork City, another hiking in the stunning landscapes or alongside the dramatic coastline of the county, and another relaxing on the soft sands of a gorgeous beach or taking to the sea on a sailing trip – activities that only scratch the surface when it comes to the potential of holidays to Cork.
Cork City is the second-largest city in the whole of Ireland, and allocating ample time to explore the captivating destination during your holidays in Cork will see you greatly rewarded. Simply strolling around the old streets and soaking up the city’s charm and character will set you on your way to falling for Cork, especially when meandering beside the pretty River Lee with the towering St Finbarr’s Cathedral – a continuous sight for sore eyes. Explore the grounds of University College Cork for an insight into its history and grandeur, while the charming Shandon Church, historic Elizabeth Fort and Cork City Gaol will add even more colour and engagement to your time in the city.
Away from the city, the county’s splendour continues to thrive, with numerous other vibrant towns, coastal delights and scenic treasures awaiting your exploration. Blarney is one popular stop, home to the famous stone and castle of the same name, as well as boasting a truly remarkable setting. Clonakilty is a vibrant and infectious coastal market town, also home to great beaches, while Kinsale boasts gourmet food and a healthy sailing scene. Make sure you capitalise on the wonderful coastal areas of Cork, where you can do everything from sailing and swimming to relaxing and hiking, around various bays and beaches. If you find any reason to leave the county during your holidays, it will probably be to descend on Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. Once one of Europe’s most prosperous ports, today you can absorb a combination of cathedrals, museums and medieval towers, alongside countless impressive crystal showrooms – a great daytrip option.
Set in a landscape of unspoilt Irish countryside, Cork would make the perfect destination for any couple who enjoy walking. It’ll be a great chance to spend quality time enjoying one another’s company, as you explore the rolling green hills and dramatic coastal views of the area.
County Cork is one of the largest producers of dairy products in Britain, as well as offering an excellent range of fresh produce. The food in Cork tends to be of a very high standard, and there is a good range of venues available for a romantic meal… perhaps the most popular being the superb restaurant at Ballymaloe House.
From the magnificent Blarney Castle to the city’s two cathedrals, and a wide range of churches – anyone with an interest in architecture will certainly be spoilt for choice! Some of the other attractions on offer here include excellent hotels, theatres and live music venues – so you’ll have no problem finding ideas for a romantic evening out.
During the warmer months, you’ll be able to spend your time at the beaches of County Cork, sunbathing or swimming in the clean waters. Of course, even in the winter these beautiful stretches of rugged coastline offer a charming destination – and make the perfect spot for walking or picnicking.
There are some great cultural attractions to be found around Cork, not least of which is the magnificent Blarney Castle – home of the legendary Blarney Stone. On top of that, the city boasts some fascinating old churches, such as the Church of Saint Anne Shandon, as well as the Cathedrals of Saint Fin Barre and Saint Mary.
Art lovers will relish a trip to Cork, as the city boasts a wealth of local artists – as well as galleries charting the works of some of the Europe’s most distinguished names. The Triskel Arts Centre is a good place to enjoy national art, while the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery hosts a more international collection.
The Cork Butter Museum is one of the more unique attractions in this city, celebrating the region’s fame for dairy produce. Of course, the Cork Museum is the best place to learn about the history and culture of the region, but those with an interest in beer might fancy a tour around the Beamish and Crawford Brewery – which includes the chance to enjoy a free sample!
The city of Cork is a great destination for anyone who enjoys shopping for a bargain! Head to the central district and you’ll find a great range of modern shops – including some excellent fashion outlets, home ware stores, jewellery, music and bookshops. Alternatively you could visit the lively English Market, a traditional covered market in the centre where you can browse through a vast range of stalls.
There is plenty to see and do during a trip to Cork, with a wide range of attractions aimed specifically at family groups. From water parks to amusement rides, you’ll find no end of entertainment here. For a unique day out, you could even book yourself places on one of the many boats that offer dolphin watching tours!
Cork boasts a number of beaches in the surrounding area, which make a great destination to head out to with the family. During the warmer summer months you’ll be able to swim and sunbathe here, but even off-season you’ll find plenty to do – from playing in the sand dunes, to coastal walks and beach games.
The region around Cork is known for its fantastic fresh produce, and this quality can be seen in the local cuisine. Lamb, beef, pork and dairy products here are of the highest standard and there are some great restaurants on offer that will gladly cater for the entire family.
Some of the most exciting attractions you’ll find in Cork involve the bountiful flora and fauna. Pay a visit to the Fota Wildlife Park where you’ll be able to admire some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland. Alternatively, you could take the family on a safari at the nearby nature reserve!
The city of Cork is known for its lively nightlife, and those looking for a good evening out certainly won’t be disappointed! You could start your night off sipping a Guinness or two at one of the many traditional pubs, before moving onto the nightclubs in the centre of town – here you’ll find a wide selection of venues catering for everything from rock bands to dance music.
Many people come to Cork for the beaches, and these beautiful stretches of sand offer some great opportunities for outdoor activities. Surfing is a popular pastime here, in addition to windsurfing, sailing and even kite boarding! No matter what you end up doing, there’ll be something to appeal to everyone – even the most hardened of thrillseekers!
Just walk through the streets of Cork, and you’ll pretty soon find yourself inundated with live music, street performers and other vibrant delights. Comedy is a popular option here, and there are some great venues to catch a good stand-up act. Alternatively, you could always enjoy a trip to one of the city’s many fine theatres during your stay.
The restaurants of Cork cover a wide range of different cuisines and tastes, but they all have one thing in common – good, fresh ingredients! No matter whether you’re looking for traditional Irish fare, or perhaps you’d rather stick to what you know… you’ll find plenty of options for a decent meal out during your holiday to Cork.