There are plenty of places to visit in Cork, ideal for a midweek hotel break. Cobh ascends from the sea and splendidly dominates Cork Harbor on the southern slope of Great Island, 24 kilometers east of Cork City. The harbor town, with its brightly painted buildings, is a stunning sight to behold. St. Coleman's Cathedral, a 19th century Gothic revival, overlooks the graceful Georgian buildings in the town. Cobh is the Irish old name of Cove (both pronounced 'Cove'). Following the visit of Queen Victoria in 1849, the town was renamed Queenstown. In 1921, the Town Council reverted to the old name of Cobh. Cobh's unique origins are dramatically recalled in the Queenstown Story, on the Titanic Trail and at the Cobh Museum. Today, Cobh boasts an international reputation as an exceptional recreational location. Numerous cruise liners visit this colorful harbor town each year. Its proximity to Cork Airport and its rail links to Cork City, as well as the host of visitor amenities in the area, have all helped to rebuild this quaint seaport into a 'have got to do' venue for your visit to East Cork
Cobh's landmark Cathedral clings miraculously to the town's steep slopes as they sweep down to the sea of Cork Harbor. That was also the last bit of Irish soil millions of Irish had under their feet before emigrating from here across the oceans in the last century. This tragic part of the nation's history as well as Cobh's historic and maritime story is brought alive in the splendid Interpretative Centre. From 1848 - 1950 over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland - over 2.5 million departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. This exodus from Ireland was largely as a result of poverty, crop failures, the land system and a lack of opportunity. Irish emigration reached unprecedented proportions during the famine as people fled from hunger and disease. Located outside the Cobh Heritage Centre is the statue of Annie Moore and her two brothers. Annie Moore became the first ever emigrant to be processed in Ellis Island when it officially opened on 1st January 1892. Annie and her brothers sailed from Queenstown on the SS Nevada on the 20th December and arrived after 12 days of traveling in steerage. The statue outside Cobh Heritage Centre was unveiled by President Mary Robinson on the 9th February 1993. A similar statue of Annie can be found in Ellis Island, New York which represents not only the honour of her being the first emigrant to pass through Ellis Island but also stands as a symbol of the many Irish who have embarked on that very same journey.
Cobh, The Queenstown Story Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland.
TEL: 021 4 813591
FAX: 021 4 813595
Directions: From Fitzgearlds Vienna Woods Hotel turn l right at the entrance. Bear left onto the R639. Entering Cork Bear left At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the N8 (signposted Dublin, Rosslare) Continue forward onto East Cork Parkway - N25 Branch left (signposted Carrigtohill, Cobh R624), then at roundabout take the 4th exit onto Tullagreen (signposted Cobh) At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the R624 (signposted Cobh)Continue forward onto the R624. Arrive at Cobh
Distance from Fitzgearlds Vienna Woods Hotel: 12.8 miles Time 0 hr 26 min
Cobh in Co. Cork is a captivating town nestled in the second largest natural harbour in the world and at the start of Ireland’s Ancient East.
The waterside town is steeped in history, awash with culture, full of great restaurants and bars and has lots of attractions and exhibitions within a short distance of each other. There’s oodles of fun things to do for everyone, from families to the adventurous and those seeking culture and heritage.
Throw into that a mix of accommodation to suit every budget, from hotels to B&Bs and camper van facilities and a direct train line from Cork City and you have an offering that is hard to beat.
Here’s a list of our top attractions in the area from VisitCobh.com …
Trace your ancestors at Cobh Heritage Centre:
Cobh, or Queenstown as it was once called, was once said to be the saddest town in Ireland due to its connection with Irish immigration. Almost 3 million people from every corner of Ireland emigrated from this port and scattered throughout the globe. Their story is told in wonderful detail in the amazing Cobh Heritage Centre. Here you can explore the conditions on board the early emigrant vessels, including the dreaded "coffin ships”; experience life on board a convict ship leaving for Australia in 1801; witness the tragic story of the Lusitania, which sank off Cork Harbour and learn about Annie Moore, the first immigrant ever to be processed in Ellis Island. The Centre has a specific exhibition dedicated to the ill-fated Titanic, including a message in a bottle that survived from the ship, and it also offers a Genealogy Record Finder Service so you can trace your ancestors.
Escape from a virtual prison at Escapade Cobh:
Fancy exercising your brain? Then Escapade Cobh is for you. This amazing new fun attraction challenges small groups to pit their wits against a series of challenges to escape from a virtual Spike Island prison, rob a bank or assist Sherlock Holmes in solving a dastardly crime. Geniuses only? Not really! Team work and thinking outside the box will go a lot further than brain power. This attraction is ideal for a group of friends or crafty, clever, cunning, smart and quick witted kids who can help their parents out when they get stuck!
T-off on a Championship golf course at Fota Island:
Enough brain teasing? Well how about some real exercise? Reduce your handicap at Fota Island’s Championship golf course, home to the 2014 Irish Open or try Cobh’s own 18 hole, par 72, links course at Marino Point. Or test your sailing skills in a fair South westerly in some of the finest cruising waters in Europe with SailCork which offers water based activities for families and ‘hearties’ of all ages - Aarrr!
Visit one of Europe’s best wildlife parks, Fota Wildlife Park:
Fota also boasts one of the best Wildlife Parks in Europe. Many of the animals here roam free, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing creatures. The Park’s Tropical House is home to Butterflies, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Tropical Fish and their Asian Sanctuary houses Sumatran Tigers, Warty Pigs, and Lion-Tailed Macaques. Lions are the new arrivals for 2016. Make sure your phone battery is charged - there will be lots of snaps taken!
Take the ferry to Ireland’s Alcatraz, Spike Island:
Off limits to civilians for some 200 years, Spike Island is now open to visitors and a recently completed €5 investment is phase one of a massive tourism project. The island has a fascinating history, from Monastic settlement to Military Fortress, a convict depot, prison and Army and Naval facilities. Take the ferry from Cobh and explore the extensive star shaped Fort, see the jail cells, walk the ramparts, marvel at the 360 degree views of Cork Harbour, see the huge gun that protected the harbour from attack, hear about the high-society artist Willam Burke Kirwan, convicted of the violent murder of his young wife, or John Power, a Waterford orphan who was so brutalised by the system that he ended up murdering a prison warder and the Young Irelander, John Mitchel after whom Fort Mitchel is now named.
Get your adrenaline going at Spike Island Adventure:
While you’re on Spike, make sure you visit Spike Island Adventure - a self-declared fun factory for families where you can learn all sorts of useful skills. They will take care of your kids or, better still, join in and make it a family adventure. And for those of you who just love the water they offer family kayaking tours around the island, which has a history dating back to medieval times.
Trace the footsteps of Titanic passengers at the Titanic Experience:
Cobh was of course, the last port of call for the Titanic. The Titanic Experience offers visitors an opportunity to travel in the footsteps of an actual passenger on that famous ship’s tragic maiden voyage. Only at the end will you discover if you were one of those who survived or were lost! The Experience is housed in the original White Star Line Ticket Office which was the embarkation point for the final 123 passengers to board Titanic on April 11th 1912.
Hop on board Cobh’s Road Train:
Combining breathtaking panoramic views of the town with brilliant history and local stories told by the driver Martin, this is an attraction surely not to be missed for anyone visiting Cobh. Cobh Road Train takes you around the town stopping at two fantastic locations; the viewpoint known locally as the Black railings and the famous St. Colman’s Cathedral. Kids especially will love a ride through Cobh on the train on this hour long informative and fun trip.
Visit the famous St. Colman’s Cathedral
Perched on the hillside, St Colman’s Cathedral is one of the most popular attractions in the region. Impressive and imposing from the outside, the stained glass and carvings inside are exquisite. Its 49-bell Carillon is the only such instrument in this country and is the largest in Ireland and Britain.
Cork Harbour Boat Hire:
Explore Cork Harbour and see Cobh from the sea on a fantastic boating adventure with Cork Harbour Boat Hire. These easy to drive boats are led on a one hour tour of the harbour by a safety boat. It is great fun for people of all ages, no previous boating experience is needed and all equipment is provided.
Family fun at Cuskinny:
Cuskinny Court is a 200 year old, family owned estate, just a 10 minute drive from the centre of Cobh. Specialising as a group activity centre, they provide a wide range of eco adventure, educational and outdoor experiences. At Halloween, the house is transformed into Lord Ghoulsley’s Manor – an interactive and theatrical tour that is eerie and spooky, yet fun for all the family. A quick set change after Halloween and the house hosts the Cork North Pole Outpost Experience, one of the highest rated Christmas experiences in Munster.
Greet Cruise Ships from around the World:
Cobh is the port of call for cruise ships from around the world throughout the year, and this becomes an event in itself as locals put on free music and entertainment for passengers and visitors welcoming them in. Over fifty cruise ships tie up right in the centre of Cobh each year. The biggest, carry over 4000 passengers and at 13 decks high become the dominant feature in the town!
Midleton is located on the main Cork Waterford road and its just 12 kilometres east of Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods hotel. Midleton is the vibrant centre of East Cork surrounded by quaint villages and renowned for food and lively pubs. Traditionally Midleton is the main market town of the area located in the heart of a rich agricultural hinder land. Visitors to the town have a variety of shops to choose from such as designer fashion to hand made linen. There are many antique shops as well as the culinary delights of the gastronomic market which is held every Saturday and numerous other food outlets. Midleton Farmers Market The Middleton market sells local seasonal produce.
The variety of produce is amazing and of course most abundant during the growing season. There is an extensive selection of fresh fruit and vegetables including fresh organic produce. There are freshly baked breads, scones, cakes, biscuits, jam and chutney. There is a very tempting array of Irish Farmhouse Cheeses, smoked fish, shellfish, fresh pasta and olives. One of Irelands most famous chefs Darina Allen makes a regular appearance at the farmers market and she sells delicious homemade jams, bread etc.
Opening Details: Open every Saturday from 10am – 1.30pm
Location: Hospital Road, Midleton To get there take the first exit from the roundabout and its located directly beside the Supervalue that will be facing you.
Old Midleton Distillery
Midleton is probably most famously known by the famous Old Midleton Distillery which is home to Jameson Whiskey. The Jameson tour commences with an audio visual presentation. Guests accompanied by a tour guide follow the OLD Distillery Trail through various historic and architecturally unique buildings. The visitor can encounter restored machinery and dramatic recreations of the steps of whiskey production. Each visit ends in the Jameson Bar with an Irish whiskey tasting session where you will have the opportunity of becoming a qualified Irish whiskey taster with a presentation diploma. Afterwards you can relax in the restaurant which specialises in country farmhouse fare or perhaps have a browse in the gift shop and craft shop.
Opening times: from March 1st-October 31st
Tours Daily (7 days), 10am to 6pm, Last tour at 5pm
Opening times: from November 1st to February 28th
Open Monday to Friday
Phone Number: 021-4613594
Prices: Admission €8 adults Seniors, Students & Students €6.25 Families €20
Distance Fitzgearlds Vienna Woods Hotel: 20 kilometers Time 0 hr 14 min
Blarney village known as "the biggest little village in Ireland" is one of Ireland's most picturesque villages. Blarney is set in a beautiful wooded countryside just 12 kilometers from Cork City. Blarney is steeped in history and magical charm, Blarney offers the visitor a host of wonderful things to do and places to discover. Blarney is a real tourist attraction with its numerous stores of authentic Celtic souvenvenirs, Aran sweaters and official Guinness merchandise. Two of the major attractions of Blarney are Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone which are definitely worth a trip to see them. Blarney Castle stands on the extensive lands of Blarney Castle Estate which consists of 1,130 acres which have been planted for forestry purposes and there are 400 acres of avenues and parklands.
Blarney Castle was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidir McCarthy as a defensive fortress however the site of the castle was demolished in 1446 and took many years to rebuild. When visiting the castle do allow sufficient time for a leisurely visit to the Castle. He Rock close part of the Castle Grounds is open to the public and well worth visiting. It is surrounded by old trees. According to legend the gardens are of Druid origin and were a centre of worship in pre-Christian times. Within the Rock Close area there survives a Dolmen or ancient burial place. If you wish to have a picnic there are picnic areas provided in the Rock Close on the banks of the River Martin. For many visitors to Blarney their main Priority is to kiss the Blarney Stone. Head to the high walled medieval castle with its famous Blarney Stone which visitors kiss by lying on their backs and stretching out over the battlements.
One of the stories says an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who saved her from drowning. Kissing the Blarney stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to talk sweetly. He was able to talk anyone into doing things. From this Tradition anyone that kiss the famous Blarney Stone will be endowed with "the gift of the gab" as the Irish call it.
Transport: Get the bus from the bus station. There are scheduled bus services to and from Blarney. Alternatively take the lazy way out! Enjoy Cork from the pleasant Open Top Bus Tour of Cork. A most enjoyable experience. Contact Cork Tourist Office at Tel +353 021-273251
Opening Times: Open 9.30 to 6pm (10am to 6pm on Saturdays) 7 days a week
Directions: Distance from Fitzgearlds Vienna Woods :8.5 miles Time 0 hr 17 min