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One Day in Cork: Ireland’s Second Capital

cork ireland

Cork is considered by many locals to be the actual capital of Ireland. As such, it deserves plenty of time and attention, as there is so much to see and experience. However, as expected, not everyone has so much time. 

In case you only have a limited amount of time to spend in the county of Cork, and want to make the most out of it, this article is for you. We will be looking at what a one day Cork itinerary looks like, as well as offer some useful tips to consider when visiting the area.

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When Is The Best Time To Visit Cork?

Ireland is certainly a charming country, no matter what time of the year you visit. However, it is imperative that you know what part of the country you’re visiting before you make your visit. 

I personally prefer to travel Ireland in mid-late autumn. It’s shoulder season, so things are cheaper, the country is more colorful, and there are also smaller crowds. There are cons to this, however, such as less daylight, fewer visiting hours, and colder weather. I personally don’t mind the weather, so you should decide for yourself if it’s an important factor.

In case you go in the summer, you will appreciate the fact that the sun does not set until 10pm, which means you have plenty of time to visit all the places you want. Most tourist spots in Cork also have extended visiting hours in the summer. On the flip side, summer is peak season, which means a lot more people and everything is more expensive.

Another sweet spot can be Spring, which is almost as colorful as autumn, happens to be off-season, so fewer crowds, and still has enough daylight hours for you to do most of what you would like to. Though you are gambling with the weather as it may still be closer to winter temperatures at this time.

Related: 11 Places You Can’t Miss When Visiting Ireland

A Few Facts About Cork

In terms of land area, Cork is by far the largest county in Ireland. It is surrounded by undulating land, with long sandstone ridges interrupting the flow here and there, and river valleys beautifully punctuating those interruptions.

To the west of Cork  City, the sandstone ridges are especially large. So large, in fact, that they form massive peaks along the border with Kerry. The coastline, meanwhile, stabs the Atlantic Ocean, with deep bays enclosed inside full of petite islands.

According to Best Custom Essay blog, one of the most popular reputations of Cork is that it is home to the most talkative people in Ireland. Perhaps this is true, but I suspect it has more to do with the sing-song nature of their tone. In a way, it matches the rising and falling of the sandstone ridges.

Corkonians are also famous for being rather obstinate and independent, especially during troublesome times, refusing to simply bow down to whichever unstoppable force has taken it upon itself to move all objects. As a result, Cork has gained the colloquial reputation of ‘Rebel County’.

Top Things To Do In Cork

Ballycotton & Shanagary – The Ballycotton Cliff Walk is an excellent place to hike. You will want to park near the trailhead, in the small lot, then take note of all the beautiful sights. One is the Mary Stanford Lifeboat, a landmark for all the shipwrecks that have occurred on the southern shores of Ireland. Another is the Ballycotton Lighthouse, where you can enjoy stunning views of the cliffs. I would advise that you be careful not to walk too close to the edge. Once you’re done with your hike, head to Shanagary, where you’ll find the Ballymaloe Farm and Gardens. It’s full of wondrous crops and animals, a Celtic hedge maze, and the Shell House, which is decorated entirely with real shells.

Cobh – Cobh is a popular harbor town with much to experience, including the St. Colman’s Cathedral. Completed in 1915, the grand cathedral boasts one of the largest bell carillons in all of Europe. You will also see a memorial for victims of the sinking of the Lusitania, a passenger ship sunk by the Germans in World War I. Then there’s the Titanic Experience, a memorial for the Titanic shipwreck that partly began in Ireland. 

Cork City – Next, you should explore the city of Cork to check out it’s diverse sights. Fitzgerald Park is a great place to start. It’s named for a city mayor who once managed to bring a world fair to Cork. The park sits on the banks of the River Lee, allowing you to appreciate a varied landscape as you take a stroll through. 

Next, you should check out Cork City Gaol, an old prison house from the 19th St. Anne’s Church isn’t too far, where you will learn its history, as well as that of its tower clock, known colloquially as the ‘four faced liar’ because it is often so wrong. 

You will also want to check out the English Market, the city’s central 18th covered market, and Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, a Gothic Revival three-spire cathedral that brings you back to the days of yore.

Get a Personal Travel Guide to Ireland

If you’re looking for everything you need to know while visiting Cork take advantage of Guidester’s personal travel guide; made just for you and your trip.

Where to Stay In Cork

To optimize on your sight-seeing, it’s best if you stay in city of Cork itself. That way, you will be in a central location that allows you to reach the many sights and sounds easily. Fernroyd House B&B and the River Lee Hotel are both great places.

If you want a place more quiet, you can stay outside of Cork City. Cobh is a good choice, along with Robin Hill House B&B. At Ballycotton, you can stay at the Bayview Hotel, which offers incredible views of the coast.

Other Tips and Fun Facts

The English Market in Cork City is especially popular for artisan food. You can find everything there, including organic fruits and vegetables, bread, and cheese.

Due to the fact that Cork City is located on the banks of the River Lee, you’ll do plenty of bridge crossing.

Cork has the oldest yacht club in the world. Started back in 1720 it’s a testament to just how popular sailing is in Cork, thanks to the great coastline.

Cork has great food. There are lots of artisan food producers in the region, and they join forces with the local restaurants to bring you the best. Be sure to try as much as you can.

If you like theater, you will appreciate the Cork Opera House, Triskel Arts Center, and Cork Arts Theater are great places. There are also lots of pubs playing traditional music if you’d prefer a more earthy evening.

The Cork Harbor is the second largest natural harbor in the world, with the first being Sidney Harbor. Summer is the best time to visit, as ribs leave from the city center throughout the day. If you have extra cash, you can arrange for a private charter, which will give you the opportunity to stop at all the little towns on your way to the harbor, including Kinsale, Cobh, and Crosshaven.

You should seriously consider visiting Sheep’s Head. It’s a beautiful peninsula with some of the best scenery in all of Ireland. It’s quite close to the gulf stream, so it also has the mildest climate in Ireland.

Author Bio

Lauren Adley is a blogger, a content writer, and one of the best assignment writers U.K. Lauren creates content for websites, blogs, articles, and social media platforms and is working also on “do my assignment” platform. She is dedicated to her family, work, and friends. She is keen on reading, playing the guitar, and traveling. She is interested in parenting, educational, marketing, and blogging issues.         

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