Encounter cunning convicts and Titanic tales in Cork

Route:

Cork


Features:

Cobh Heritage Centre, Titanic Experience

Journey Overview:

Plunge into Cork and witness this county's transformation over a lifetime flooded with a constant current of visitors, emigrants and adventurers. From forts to family history, prisoners and passenger ships, a tour of this maritime gateway brings you on a voyage through history, culture, romance, intrigue – and some of the best food on the island. Just be prepared: you'll leave with a bit of the sea in your soul.

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Day

Day 1
The imposing interior at Cork Gaol

Day 1

  • 0 hrs
  • 43 mins
  • 29 km
  • 18 miles

Route:

Cork


Points Of Interest:

Camden Fort Meagher, Cork City Gaol, Radio Museum, English Market

Journey Overview:

Honeycombed by an intricate network of underground tunnels, it took 500 men 40 years to build the moat at Camden Fort Meagher. Over 400 years later, this strategic defence fort still stands proudly on the craggy Crosshaven coast, atop a panoramic view of one of the world's largest natural harbours: Cork. Read more

A quick drive in to the city brings you past Café Paradiso (voted TripAdvisor's best restaurant in Ireland) and on to the castle-like exterior of Cork City Gaol. Before its closure, prisoners here ranged from Countess Markievicz to Mary Tucker – a woman arrested simply for the use of "obscene language". The gaol contains some fascinating stories, including that of 40 intrepid men who escaped by climbing down their bedsheets in the dead of night... At the gaol, you'll also find the Radio Museum, complete with the microphone used by John F Kennedy on his 1963 visit to Ireland. Next, is the highlight of many a trip to Cork: the English Market. A myriad of smells envelops you as you enter what Rick Stein calls the "best covered market in the UK and Ireland". Fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, artisanal cheeses, chocolate, meat and even vintage clothing make this an eclectic dream – not to mention the array of fish, of course, freshly caught from the sea.
 

If you have more time:

Stroll down Cornmarket Street, known locally as the Coal Quay. Once one of the River Lee's winding channels, it's now covered over and today remains home to a number of street traders. A highlight is the lovely Bodega Bar and Restaurant, converted from St Peter's traditional covered market.

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Day 2
Statue of Annie Moore and her brothers at Cobh Harbour

Day 2

  • 0 hrs
  • 29 mins
  • 23 km
  • 14 miles

Route:

Cork


Points Of Interest:

Cobh Heritage Centre (Cobh, The Queenstown Story), Spike Island, Titanic Experience

Engage With The Stories:

Michael Martin

Michael Martin

Head off on an epic Titanic Trail around Cobh, where historian Michael Martin will tell you about the legendary liner’s maiden voyage, Spike Island and the sad history of the Lusitania.

Journey Overview:

Perhaps best known as Titanic's last port of call, Cobh is a patchwork of pastel buildings. This pretty harbour town has been the first face of Ireland for many a visitor – as well as the final glimpse of home for millions of emigrants. One such traveller was Annie Moore, who waved goodbye to Cork in 1891 and 12 days later became the very first immigrant to enter America through Ellis Island.

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Outside Cobh Heritage Centre on the pier today, a statue of Annie and her brothers points across the water, where it's a short boat ride towards Spike Island, Ireland’s Alcatraz. By 1850, it's thought many of the convicts shared stories similar to John Walsh's: desperate to feed himself and his young brother, Walsh was jailed for stealing grain during the aftermath of the Great Famine and eventually exiled to Australia. Back on the mainland is Titanic Experience Cobh, where visitors are greeted with a boarding card bearing the details of a real passenger from that fateful voyage in 1912. After exploring the exhibition, housed in the old White Star Line ticket office, the fate of the passenger is revealed – a stark reminder of the reality of the disaster and the destiny of the Ship of Dreams.
 

If you have more time 

Pop in to St Colman's Cathedral, one of the tallest buildings in Ireland since its completion in 1910. The quiet stillness is permeated every hour by the bells tinkling in one of the only church carillons on the island.

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Day 3
The Ballycotton Lighthouse and harbour

Day 3

  • 1 hr
  • 23 mins
  • 73 km
  • 45 miles

Route:

Cork


Points Of Interest:

Jameson Experience, Ballycotton Lighthouse, Youghal Heritage Centre

Engage With The Stories:

Ballycotton Lighthouse Tour

Ballycotton Lighthouse Tour

After an open-topped, sea-sprayed boat ride out to Ballycotton Lighthouse, climb to the summit of the island and enjoy the stunning views of the Celtic Sea from the lighthouse lantern balcony.


Journey Overview:

With the smell of malted barley in the air and the carts piled high with sacks of grain, you’ll feel transported through time at the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Midleton. Discover the largest pot still in the world here, as well as what some say is the finest whiskey in Ireland. And who knows, if you book ahead you might just catch the scent of the intriguingly named “Angels' Share” at the end of the tour.

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Wake yourself up with a gust of sea air and beautiful scenery at Ballycotton, where you can book a short boat trip to Ballycotton Lighthouse. First manned in 1851, this lighthouse on its grassy mound boasts stunning views of Cork’s coastline and the wild Atlantic waters. Maritime history truly comes alive in Youghal: one of the best examples of a Norman walled port in Ireland today, as well as a famous seaside resort. Call into the Youghal Heritage Centre and eavesdrop on the ghosts of Sir Walter Raleigh, poet Edmund Spenser and Sir Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, on the guided walking tour. After you’ve taken in the charming Victorian shopfronts and the 18th century clock tower, treat yourself to a delicious platter of fresh seafood at Aherne’s Seafood Bar and Restaurant.
 

If you have more time

Sage Restaurant in Midleton operates on its own unique “12 Mile” ethos, sourcing the majority of its delicious food – and its staff! – from farmers and producers within 12 miles of the restaurant door.

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