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Any room? Vicarstown Inn

The sleeker stops on the trail are the Crane Lane Theatre and the Bodega. The former’s colourful history includes a stint as a gentlemen’s club, but now the live music venue – dotted with candelabras and black-and-white photos of movie stars and musicians – is a popular late-night alternative to sweaty nightclubs crowded by college students.

The same can be said of the Bodega, where I end the day. This began its life as the St Peter’s food market – built as part of a project in the 1840s to rejuvenate the city’s neglected market scene – before serving as a munitions factory during World War I and later a garage. Today it’s a glamorous restaurant, bar and nightclub lent a vintage vibe by the original pillars that support the high ceiling.

Sleek: The Bodega

Seven pubs down, I take the unusual step here of ordering a (virgin) coffee, forced to wait out the rain. But while I could have walked into any of the bars in Cork to stay dry, the stories and character of those on the Heritage Pub Trail have turned a typically boozy visit to Ireland into something more. The old pubs still standing and the new venues evolved from factories and chemists are proof of Cork, ‘the rebel city’s, resilience and future. Long live the rebellion.

Info about the Cork Heritage Pub Trail can be found at

Getting there: A return flight from London Stansted to Cork costs from £40 with Ryanair.  


Photos: Thinkstock; Facebook; Megan Hogarth


Corking culture: Cork’s Heritage Pub Trail blends booze and history to create the perfect cultural holiday
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