Located on the south and south-west coasts of Ireland, Cork is the largest of all the Irish counties and in many ways the most varied. Rich farmlands and river valleys contrast with the wild sandstone hills of the west, and above all there is the magnificent coastline scooped and fretted by the Atlantic into great bays and secret coves, strewn with rocky headlands and long soft golden sands. Cork has everything that makes Ireland so attractive. The city is engagingly small, but it bustles with visitors and students all year round. The northern part of the county is renowned for fishing, while the main tourist trail leads down to Kinsale, Ireland’s gourmet capital and west through the historic towns of Clonakilty and Skibbereen to the peninsulas jutting into the Atlantic. These unpopulated extremities are rich in history and nature and offer wonderful scenery. The county’s best-known attraction is the Blarney Stone, located on the ramparts of Blarney Castle.
Facts about Cork
Because we hope you have been looking around our site for awhile, we have been saving some of the most critical life changing information for here with which you will be able to astound your friends!
- Cork has the second largest natural harbour in the world after Sydney Harbour
- Cork is home to the oldest yacht club in the world – founded in 1720 and now also has a class of racing yacht called a ‘1720’ to commemorate that event.
- Cobh in the lower harbour was the Titanic’s last port of call on its ill fated journey.
- The world’s first motor boat race took place in Cork Harbour.
- The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic in 1836, The Sirius, left from Cork captained by a local.
- The Cork coast is the top place in Europe for whale & dolphin watching.
- In the 18th century Cork had the largest butter market in the world.
- The first Ford motor factory in the world outside the USA was in Cork. Henry Ford’s father came from west Cork.
- The first steeplechase in the world took place in North Cork between Doneraile & Buttevant in 1752.
- The only cable car in Europe that operates over water connects Dursey Island to the mainland in West Cork.
- The Jameson Distillery in Middleton has the biggest Pot Still in the World.- 31,618 gallons. Now that’s a party!
- The carillon of bells in St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh is the biggest in Ireland & The UK with 49 bells.
- All Corks main streets are built over covered in river channels. St Patrick Street, the city’s’ main thoroughfare was formerly known as Long Quay.
Getting to Cork
Cork city boasts the deepest natural harbour in Ireland with direct ferry crossings to UK and mainland Europe. Cork International Airport has direct flights to the UK and parts of Europe and connecting flights to other European and American destinations.
Cork International Airport is the country’s second busiest airport after Dublin and serves more than 50 destinations. The airport is located just 10 minutes from Cork City centre on the highest point of the southside.
For more information about the airport and airlines operating from and to Cork airport, please have a look at http://www.corkairport.com
The hugely popular Brittany Ferries vessel the Pont Avon runs between Cork and Roscoff in north-western France.
Rosslare port and Dublin port have ferry connections to and from the UK and are both less than a 3 hour drive from Cork city.
Cork city’s railway hub and access point to the national rail network is Kent Station on the Lower Glanmire Road, a ten minute walk east of the city centre. As well as major cities and towns around the country, from here you can also access Cork towns such as Cobh, Mallow and Charleville by rail.
In recent years prices for seats on private and public buses running the Cork-Dublin and Cork-Limerick-Galway route have become very competitive – good news for visitors to Cork! A three hour journey to Dublin or Galway can cost as little as 11 euro if booked in advance or slightly more if you just turn up. Buses run from 6am until midnight in both directions.
How to get from the airport to the city centre
Cork Airport is accessible by Buses and Coaches daily. From Cork Airport you can reach Cork City Centre, Parnell Place Bus Station and Kent Railway Station by travelling on Bus Éireann’s direct Air Coach service (route 226A). Bus and Coach Connections are available at Parnell Place Bus Station to various towns and cities all across Ireland.
Route 226A Cork Airport / Cork City Centre / Cork Kent Railway Station
Route 226 Cork City Centre / Cork Airport / Kinsale
Things to do in Cork
Cork City Gaol
Stepping inside visitors are taken back in time to the 19th century. Wandering through the wings of the Gaol, the atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre-famine times to the foundation of the State. The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures; original graffiti on cell walls tell the innermost feelings of some inmates while a very spectacular audio visual tells the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork and why some people turned to crime, and some ended up in Australia. This exhibition fascinates visitors of all ages and nationalities and the tour is available in up to 13 languages.
The Old Midleton Distillery
Whiskey has been distilled in the town of Middleton since the early 9th Century. The Old Midleton Distillery, founded by the Murphy Brothers in 1825, still produces in excess of 24 million bottle of whiskey each year. It also houses the largest Alembic in the world. A haven for all Whiskey connoisseurs, it is also the ideal place, for amateurs to learn the secrets of good Irish whiskey. The 45 minute guided tour of the distillery commences with a short audio-visual, after which visitors are taken on a tour of the old distillery by local guides. The tour ends in the Distillery pub, where all are invited to enjoy a glass of Irish whiskey before leaving the Distillery.
The Cobh Heritage Centre
Cobh Heritage Centre is located 12km from Cork city, in a restored Victorian railway station. Between 1848 and 1950 over 6 million people emigrated from Ireland, over 3 million from Cobh. It was the last port of call for Titanic. 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.
It is a dramatic exhibition of the origins, history and legacy of Cobh (originally called Queenstown), a unique port town. The entire exhibition is an experience for the senses, from the sound of the rocking waves to the dimmed lights, lots of information to read and collection of artefacts to see featuring realistically illustrated conditions and the reconstruction of the interior of an old ship. The new part of the exhibition includes the building of the Titanic, the White Star Line Collection and Female Convict Transportation. History is brought alive when you see “An American Wake,” a bittersweet party held on the last night at home, before an emigrant left to America. See the horrifying conditions on board the early “Coffin Ships.” Watch old film reels of travel by sea at the small replica cinema (seating for 12). Visitors can view original possessions of famine emigrants and trace the history of vessels that left from Queenstown, from early steamers to luxury ocean liners. They can learn about the history of the Titanic whose last port of call was Queenstown before she sank on her maiden. There is also a section on the Lusitania and visitors can learn about the ship’s tragic fate as it was torpedoed by the Germans off Cork Harbour.
The centre is an ideal venue for Irish nights or an ‘American Wake’, concerts and corporate events catered for/ in-house catering and historic atmosphere.