After spending 3 nights in Dublin, the next stop on our road trip through Ireland was Cork. We planned to spend two nights there in order to visit some places in the area. Check out the 5 things you should do while in County Cork!
Cork city is at the heart of County Cork. It’s where we called home base for 2 nights while we explored everything the surrounding area had to offer. We really only spent our evenings in Cork but managed to see a bit of the city. Our journey lead us to St. Patrick’s Street, the main shopping area in Cork, and St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral. We also had some of the best food at Amicus in the city center for dinner one night. They offer a two course or three course menu for a reasonable price, or you can go al la carte. They also have some fun cocktails so I would recommend if you’re looking for a nice evening out. I suggest making reservations online in order to get a table.
Blarney Castle is only 15 minutes driving from Cork city center. It’s the perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon while in the area. Separate from touring the castle and kissing the Blarney stone, you can also explore the vast gardens and grounds surrounding the area. For more information on visiting Blarney, check out our previous post here: Blarney Castle.
Trad Music & Nightlife
While in County Cork, it’s fun to immerse yourself in the local culture and nightlife. We were able to visit a few pubs and catch some wonderful live music. We first stopped at Crane Lane Theater but weren’t a huge fan of the band playing that evening, so left after a little while. The atmosphere of the bar was really nice though, so I would recommend it for a drink. From there, we stopped in Oliver Plunkett’s (about 5 minutes away) but it felt too crowded for us at the time. Finally, we back tracked to Counihans Bar (across from Crane Lane Theater) and spent the remainder of our night there. The musicians were so incredibly talented! We saw Arundó play and it was exactly the trad experience we were hoping for.
Kinsale is a quaint fishing town in County Cork. After our day in Cobh, we were able to head here for the evening. It’s about 30 minutes from Cork, and 1 hour from Cobh. Our first stop while there was visiting the Kinsale Meadery. I had read reviews online about the unique experience and thought it would be fun to check out. Mead is fermented honey, so it’s a slightly sweeter alcohol. You can sign up for tours online, and the last one of the day is at 5:00pm (which we were able to catch after our day in Cobh). It costs 12 euros per person and included a honey tasting, tour of the meadery and mead tasting. This was everyone’s first time trying mead and the couple who owned the place were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. We enjoyed our time there so much we all came home with a little mead to share with family and friends. For more information about tours and times, check out the link here: Kinsale Meadery.
After sipping on some mead, we headed back to downtown Kinsale for some dinner. En route to find a restaurant, we caught some live music in one of the plaza’s. It was evident that Kinsale is a small community, as I watched locals and tourists alike dance to the music while the sun set. After listening to a few songs, we finally settled on Dino’s, a seafood restaurant right along the water. Kinsale’s proximity to the Ocean made it a wonderful place to get fish & chips.
Last but not least, one of the more charming towns in County Cork is called Cobh (pronounced Cove). I highly recommend spending at least a day here while in the area. You can visit the Heritage Museum, learn about the Titanic and take in views of the Deck of Cards houses. For more information on how to spend the perfect day in Cobh, check out our previous post here: A day in Cobh.
Cork offers a curious traveler space to research their family heritage, tour a magnificent castle and explore a unique metropolitan city. Stay tuned for more about our time in Ireland!