Day 1: Discover Cork City as described Full Day in Cork
Day 2: Head to Kinsale, Cobh or Blarney, all located near Cork City.
An ancient seaside town, Kinsale is one of the most picturesque and popular resorts in the South West of Ireland. With its yacht filled harbour, brightly painted cottages and lovely hanging baskets, Kinsale marks the beginning of scenic West Cork. In 1601, Kinsale was the scene of a famous battle which was a turning point in Irish history. It was here that English troops defeated a mixed Irish-Spanish force.
The best way to experience the charm of Kinsale is to stroll along the town’s winding waterfront streets and to sample the delights of Ireland’s culinary capital. Make sure to visit Charles Fort which played a prominent role in the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. The 40ft walls of Charles Fort date from 1677 and are a classical example of a star shaped fort.
Kinsale can be easily reached by car or bus.
Cobh is a picturesque town full of memories as it was the main departure point in the 19th and 20th century for Irish emigrants to America. From here hundreds of thousands of mostly hungry and penniless Irish men and women left Ireland to build a new life in the United States especially in the Famine years of 1844-48.
Visit the Queenstown Story Museum which gives an excellent insight into emigration from Cobh during the famine in 1845 up to the era of the great liners in the 1950’s. You will have the opportunity to learn about the fateful last journey of the Titanic and the Lusitania.
The best way to experience the charm of Cobh is to meander through its cobblestone streets admiring the impressive St Coleman’s Cathedral which towers over the town and has a carillon of 47 bells.
Unwind and relax and sample the culinary delights of the town that was the last port of call of the Titanic’s maiden voyage.
Cobh can be easily reached by car or train.
Attracting visitors from all over the world, Blarney Castle is situated 8km from Cork city. The magnificent keep with walls 85ft high and 12ft thick at the base was built in 1446 by Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster and withstood many sieges in the 16th and 17th century. Blarney Castle is the mecca of first time visitors to Ireland as it is home to the legendary Blarney Stone.
Tradition holds that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will be endowed with the gift of eloquence or “the gift of the gab” as locals call it. Enjoy the castle and stroll around its picturesque grounds which legend states are of Druid origin and were a centre of worship in Christian times.
No trip to Blarney is complete without a visit to the famous Blarney Woollen Mills, one of Ireland’s best-stocked Irish Handicrafts shop. The 30, 000 sq foot retail store which is housed in one of Ireland’s oldest and most authentic woollen mills contains an excellent range of Irish gifts such as Blarney Waterford Crystal, Belleek China, Aran Sweaters, Irish Crystal and Irish Jewellery. Following Blarney Woollen Mills enjoy a relaxing meal in Blarney before to returning to Cork city.
Blarney can be easily reached by car or bus.