Is Cork the best place in the world? Cork folk certainly think so. This breezy, cosmopolitan spot in Ireland’s southwest inspires a devotion in its locals that few other places can rival.
And it’s easy to see why. Sitting proudly on an island in the middle of the River Lee, Cork’s feelgood buzz surges through its hip coffee shops, vibrant art galleries, off-beat museums and seriously good pubs. Despite being a city, there’s a decidedly towny feel here – life is laidback, nothing is too much hassle.
Pleasantly compact, friendly and with a wry sense of humour, Cork does things its own way, which makes a break here feel totally unique. Enjoy a gig in a beautiful converted church, explore an eerie 19th century gaol and go on a whirlwind tour of traditional tastes at the food mecca of the English Market.
A Cork adventure
Get a taste of what Cork has to offer with nine great things to do in the city, from a tour of one of Europe’s top food markets to a magnificent castle-like 19th century gaol.
Head out of the city and you’ll find compelling Titanic tales, romantic castles and pretty seaside towns, all within easy reach. A good first choice is the charming and colourful port of Cobh, set in one of the world’s finest natural harbours – it was here that Titanic last set sail, an event commemorated in the Titanic Experience Cobh. You can also visit Spike Island, “Ireland’s Alcatraz” from Cobh – a short ferry ride across Cork Harbour.
A totally different side of Ireland’s history is contained within Blarney Castle, a medieval stronghold, with dungeons, gardens, caves and the famous Blarney Stone. And if you fancy delving into more of Cork’s famous food culture, then head to the gorgeous town of Kinsale, or check out the much lauded Midleton Farmers Market in the town of the same name, followed by lunch at the celebrated Sage Restaurant.