The big harbour

Cork Harbour is the second biggest in the world, and it’s well worth exploring. There are picturesque towns dotted along the shore, while the harbour itself is great for fishing and dolphin spotting.

Haunting old gaol

The Cork Gaol, which was used from 1823 to 1923 is a vivid reminder of Ireland’s difficult past. The cells and cell blocks do a great job recreating the hellish living conditions. Despite this, things were so bad during the potato famine of 1846-49 that people committed crimes so they could be sent to jail so they’d at least get food and shelter.

A good craic

In Cork, Murphy’s and Beamish are the favourite local beers and Cork has loads of great bars in which to try the local drops. There’s a mix of places, from trendy to grungy, and lots in between.

The Blarney Stone

Just 8km up the road from Cork is Blarney Castle, The 500-year-old castle and its grounds are undoubtedly impressive and would be worth visiting on their own. But the reason everyone is here is to kiss the Blarney Stone. You don’t give it a smooch for good luck, but rather to obtain the gift of eloquence, and it’s kinda cool to snog the famous rock.


The town of Cobh (pronounced Cove) has a proud yet tragic maritime history, being the embarkation point for millions of Irish emigrants and the last stop for the Titanic. It’s a pretty town, only half an hour by train from the centre of Cork.