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Cork, Ireland


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( In case there's another Cork smuggled away somewhere ) 

Off there in April for a few days, having never been to Ireland before. We might do Dublin another time, but decided Cork is probably a bit cheaper and slightly less crowded ( might be totally wrong ). 

Anyone been, any locals got any tips? It's mostly a case of popping some different, having a wander, go for the odd walk and see the odd castle or so, but any particular recommendations? 

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Cork is my second home, specifically West Cork. Are you going to the city or further afield.

West Cork is genuinely an amazing, beautiful place, especially the coastal parts.

 

Visit Schull or Baltimore. You can get a boat from there out to one of the islands, Cape Clear especially is great. Or if you've got more time, take a boat ride around the Fastnet (the big lighthouse out past cape clear). Last year I took a boat trip out to cape clear, We got a couple of hours on the island then the boat came back and took us round the fastnet and back to schull. We saw dolphins on the way too.

If you really want to go for a drive then take a trip from Cork to Kenmare. It's over the border into Kerry, but it's a beautiful place, and if you do go make sure you go via "the Healy Pass". It's a small winding road up over a mountain. The view from the top over Glenmore lake is awesome.

 

If you're after a castle, there's a place called Three Castle Head. It's only a small ruin of a castle and it's trek to get there, you have to park in a car park about a mile away and walk to it over the hills.  But you can't see it until you're right on top of it so It's a pretty cool find and it's got great views.

 

 

If you can't tell I'm pretty enthusiastic about the place. I've been to Cork about 70 times I reckon, and I love it every time I go.

Edited by Stevo985
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Cheers! It looks nice! We have no idea what we're going to do. We're not planning on driving at the moment.

Is stuff like the boat trip fairly accessible? I'm assuming our hostel is going to be fairly central to the town anyway.  If it comes to it we can always rent a car, but at the moment, trying to see how we can budget it carefully!, but that castle area does look invitingly beautiful

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If you don't have a car then West Cork is going to be a no no I'm afraid. Public transport is pretty crap. You could get a bus from Cork city into somewhere like schull or Skibereen but it's about an hour and a half journey, and you'll have no real way to travel from town to town.

 

Look into a car. As long as it's not the summer then they can be very cheap.

I'm over for a long weekend in march and the car is costing me, for Friday to Tuesday, around £19 from "Budget"

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Steveo covered most of the West Cork bases, knows more about the scenic spots than I do tbh. I'd echo the get a car comments if you're heading southwest out of the city. Bus services between the the towns and villages in West Cork are sporadic to non existent outside of the big towns (sadly the West Cork Railway died a death decades ago), car is really your only option if you want to visit the rural beauty spots.

The city is great, small enough that you'll do it all in a weekend.The usual thing of museums, good food, reasonable night life. Cork City Gaol probably the highlight museum wise. There's Elizabeth fort as well which is in the city limits. 

Then you have the big tourist draws like the Blarney stone which sounds a bit shit tbh and its outside the city,The English Market if you're a foody and the usual mix of pubs and restaurants for all tastes. One of the big tourist draw is apparently the Butter Museum, rather random, never been myself. 

There's a Titanic/immigration museum down in Cobh which is cool, Fota Wildlife park/nature reserve thingy as well which you can wander around (Cobh train goes to both). Random scenic walking routes in the city include out down the harbour to the Blackrock observatory (which has astronomy stuff if you're into that kind of thing and also a bar). You can go west from the city centre out to UCC (Glucksmann Art Gallery), the Mardyke, Fitzgerald park (cool small museum there) and onto the Lee Fields. If you feel adventerous you can trek up to the northside by Sundays Well where you'll get great views of the City and harbour.  

If you're basing yourself in the city then the likes of Kinsale, Crosshaven and Clonakilty are all close enough to the city to visit from, are pretty/scenic and have stuff of interest, and have decent bus connections to/from Cork.

If you're a history buff then let me recommend two sites in particular; Spike island is a former Navy base and prison, its situated in Cork Harbour and has a cool imperial history going back centuries, great views as well from it, Likewise Charles Fort in Kinsale which has some great history and views (Kinsale town has Desmond castle as well). You can get to Spike via ferry from Cobh, Kinsale harbour is beautiful and the town itself is a great food and night spot.

Loads of natural beauty like the ones Steveo referenced, most well away from the city though - Garnish island, Bantry Bay, Mizen Head, the Beara Peninsula, Allihies etc. Stick in and around the N71 road if you are driving and that'll take you near the scenic spots. 

Most importantly, If you want a football fix then the League of Ireland will be in full flow in April. Local behemoth Cork City FC play on Friday nights and the atmosphere is class, especially when Dub scum teams come to town.

 

Edited by Corcaigh
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9 hours ago, Corcaigh said:

 

Loads of natural beauty like the ones Steveo referenced, most well away from the city though - Garnish island, Bantry Bay, Mizen Head, the Beara Peninsula, Allihies etc. Stick in and around the N71 road if you are driving and that'll take you near the scenic spots. 

 

All great shouts.

And the N71, I often joke, is the only road in Cork :D You could take in half the scenic spots just by driving down that one road. It takes you through Clonakilty, Bandon (home of Conor Hourihane ;) ), Skibereen, Ballydehob, Bantry Glengariff all the way into Kerry and to Kenmare (If you didn't take the detour over the Healy Pass like I mentioned. But seriously, if you go that far then use the Healy Pass, it's fantastic).

So even if you wanted to just do a day trip, you could plan a long day out just centred around that road and the places it takes you!

 

Speaking of Ballydehob, Corcaigh mentioned that the West Cork railway is long gone, but the remnants of it are still there. The odd station etc if that's your sort of thing. but even if it isn't, the 12 arch bridge (old railway bridge) in Ballydehob is worth a look. It's just off the N71 and you can walk along it and take a few photos. You could take it in in 15 minutes on your way past. 

 

Aerial-Gallery-12-Arch-Bridge-Ballydehob

 

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lovely city as used live there myself for a year or so, Beamish and Murphys are a better and cheaper alternative to Guinness. good bit to do in the city but its a place you could see everything in 2 days maximum. the bar in Franciscan Well Brewery is nice as well though bit steep in my view

Weather in April might be mixed as well so that video and photo might look a bit different ;)

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Just now, Zatman said:

Beamish and Murphys are a better and cheaper alternative to Guinness

Wowwwwww there horsey :)  Cheaper maybe.  Better?  My arrrrrrrse :D

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 26/01/2017 at 23:24, Rodders said:

Cheers mate. Sounds like car rental is definitely worth doing then. Fine by me, we're doing a thursday to tuesday jaunt so shouldn't be too bad at all then. 

Just to confirm, I've booked my hire car from cork airport. 5 days £19. And that's an "intermediate" car (Toyota Auris). If you were happy to settle for a small car, KA or something, it was £13

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9 minutes ago, Stevo985 said:

Just to confirm, I've booked my hire car from cork airport. 5 days £19. And that's an "intermediate" car (Toyota Auris). If you were happy to settle for a small car, KA or something, it was £13

We have hired a car, and yeah it's not too bad, though adding the GPS and the extra insurance bit) for 6 days is still decent value.  Really looking forward to it now! Just hope the April weather is lucky

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  • 1 month later...

  • 2 weeks later...

so far, so smashing, though half a day was lost to food poisoning. 

a quick note - some of your  drivers are fecking nuts. We drove down Mizen Head, and did that, Bantry, Three Castles - all lovely of course - and many thanks for the recommendations, but some of those roads - "100km/hr" limit. Er, **** off. I'm more than happy at 60-80! Perhaps it was the Nissan Micra's limited capabilities on those roads, but nutters overtaking you on blind corners, I'd just pull over and think crack on mate. 

Definitely coming back again, Spike island is really interesting - the after dark tour was a good bit of fun, and the Observatory was ok - tour guide firing off words at 100km/hr was interesting though. The Butter museum - cannot quite see the huge draw of that, although I did go when I was still in the early stages of recovery from aforementioned poisoning, images of milk churning was all things considered a poor choice. 

Thus far, barely drunk a drop :( However tonight I'm back on food mode and then onto taste tester mode - Guiness v Murphys v some red ale, a rebel red I believe. With Whiskey to follow. I've been recommended Crested Ten. :thumb: 

 

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