Whilst visiting Ireland, one must take the opportunity to explore the many delights of Cork, both its city and its magnificent surrounding countryside. The ancient city of Cork is rich with maritime history, being the place of departure for many immigrants seeking their fortunes elsewhere and also for those more unfortunate souls banished to penal colonies in far-flung lands. Cork was also a trading port and has a strong Scandinavian and Viking influence that can make for some very interesting outings to historic sites and museums.
With that said, we’re about to uncover some of the best tourist attractions in Cork! If you decide to sign up to our private tours of Ireland you will get to experience attractions such as Blarney Castle and the English Market:
County Cork is home to Blarney Castle, first built in 1200 AD, subsequently destroyed by fire and rebuilt in its current form around 1446. Having existed for many centuries, the castle is steeped in history and provides a fascinating insight into times long past. Home of the famous Blarney Stone, travelers come from near and far to hang over a dangerous precipice and kiss the stone in the hopes of gaining the gift of eloquence. Whether true or false, it certainly provides an interesting story to recount in the future!
St Fin Barre’s Cathedral
St Fin Barre’s cathedral is one of the most magnificent examples of French Gothic architecture to be experienced in all of Ireland. The site upon which it is built has been holy ground since the 7th century and the cathedral is truly spectacular to behold. Particularly beautiful features are the stained glass windows, red cork marble interior and a six-foot golden gilded Resurrection Angel that was a gift from the architect of the cathedral, William Burges.
The English Market
Considered one of the finest covered markets in all of Europe, the English Market in Cork is a hub of activity that was established in 1788 and draws tourists from all over the globe to explore its many offerings. Fresh fish, meat, cheese, baked goods and produce are purchased by some of Corks top restaurants and these high quality goods are available at very reasonable prices to all who enter. The sights, smells and sounds create a sensory medley that once experienced is never quite forgotten.
Cork Butter Museum
For those interested in more obscure and arcane historical tales, the Cork Butter Museum offers a surprisingly in-depth educational experience on the importance of the butter industry to the financial well-being of Ireland during the 19th Century. Displays include antique equipment used commercially and also in the home, as well as some 1,000 year-old bog butter. A visit to the Butter Museum provides great details about a subject many people would never have considered to have such a strong bearing on the welfare of an entire nation.
Beyond the bustle of its cities and towns, the countryside of County Cork offers relaxing nature walks, coastal views, quaint stone cottage villages and the kind of rural experience that travelers yearn to experience when soaking up the joys of a rich and ancient culture. Cork locals are renowned for their love of their home county and just a short time spent in Cork leaves one with a deeper appreciation of exactly why the county and its people deserves such high praise.