Cork City is the capital of the county by the same name and while there is much to see and discover, why not take a day or two out of your stay to explore the wider region.
Along the way, you will discover quaint Irish villages and harbour towns, a wildlife park, castles and country houses. All of this is set in breathtaking scenery on the southern edge of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The first thing you will notice when you visit Blarney village are the Tudor buildings that decorate the main square, but it is something else that normally attracts people here. The magnificent Blarney Castle is world famous and people travel far and wide to for the chance to kiss the Blarney Stone, an object that is shrouded in myths and legends. The primary one being that those who kiss the stone will never be lost for words. Reaching the stone, however, is not as straight forward as you would think. Find out for yourself in Blarney.
Meet furry friends in Fota
Fota Island is situated to the east of Cork City. It is home to Fota Wildlife Park, one of Ireland’s favourite family attractions. Kids will be fascinated as they see their favourite animals roaming the park and maybe even some new and unusual animals they haven’t seen before. Once finished at the park, make Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens your next stop. This grand country house is set within beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens surrounded by mature trees, perfect for strolling around. To find out more, join one of the guided tours that run between April and September.
Cobh plays an important role in Ireland’s history. In the 18-1900s, over 2.5 million Irish people emigrated from here to America. It was also the last port of call for the RMS Titanic before her ill-fated journey across the Atlantic.
Check out the Titanic Experience and discover for yourself how life was on the world’s most famous ship. Today in Cobh, people would rather stay than leave. It is a bustling harbour town and popular port with the cruise ships. Dominating the skyline is the town’s cathedral, a neo-Gothic church that offers impressive views of the seafront.
A short ferry ride from Cobh will see you at Spike Island. The island has a rich history including a monastery, fort and a prison. You can choose to explore at your own pace following walkways or you can join one of the informative guided tours.
Situated on the Owenabue Estuary, near the mouth of Cork Harbour is the scenic village of Crosshaven. It is renowned for its sailing heritage and is home to the world’s oldest yacht club. If you don’t like to get your feet wet, you can simply admire the boats in the marina from one of the many cafes or bars, or as stroll along the rugged coastline.
Kinsale is a quintessential Irish fishing town. Shop fronts are painted in bright colours, the harbour is decorated with boats and history runs through the streets. However, this vibrant town wasn’t always so colourful. It is the site of one of Ireland’s most important battles, the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. Take a tour and learn of its rich history that shaped the town. You can visit the battle site, and the 17th century Charles Fort and James Fort.
On the southwest coast, Courtmacsherry is a village situated in a sheltered picturesque bay, ideal for activities such as sailing, kayaking, horse riding and fishing. Behind the tiny village is a rich woodland, perfect for walking. Along the coastline are wonderful coves and beaches, ideal for relaxing and taking in the stunning scenery. Take time to also explore the 6th century Timoleague Abbey.
Whether you are enjoying a holiday in County Cork or travelling the Wild Atlantic Way, you will be blown away by the generous nature of the locals and the region’s breathtaking beauty. From the Radisson Blu Hotel, Cork, exploring the county is easy and you can return to stylish accommodation at the end of you day of exploration.