Top Attractions in Cork , Ireland Quick Links

Bantry House and Gardens

Beara Peninsula

Blackwater Valley Drive & River Blackwater

Blarney Castle

Cape Clear Island

Charles Fort

Drombeg Stone Circle

Garnish Island

Mizen Head

Old Midleton Distillery

Bantry House and Gardens

Bantry House - County Cork Ireland

Bantry House – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

Bantry House and Gardens in County Cork Ireland are a privately owned stately manor and garden estate built in the early 18th century for the Earl of Bantry. One of the top attractions in cork every year,   the house, with its beautiful gardens and spectacular views over Bantry Bay, is one of the most delightful places to visit in Ireland.  Bantry house also exhibits an exquisite collection of art and furnishings including the unique Rose Room with rose coloured tapestries made originally for Marie Antoinette.

Beara Peninsula

Beara Peninsula - County Cork Ireland

Beara Peninsula – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

Breath-taking scenery, archaeological sites and charming fishing villages make visiting the Beara Peninsula in County Cork Ireland a truly worthwhile experience. There are routes mapped out for walkers and cyclists, and for those who wish to drive a circular route known as the Ring of Beara is recommended. The main town on the peninsula is Castletownbere, the biggest white fishing port in Ireland with fresh fish options on many a menu. There are also three islands holidaymakers can visit while touring the Peninsula – Dursey Island, Garnish Island and Bere Island.

Blackwater Valley Drive & River Blackwater

The River Blackwater  in County Cork Ireland is hugely popular for its fishing and The Blackwater Valley Drive is the best way to take in the history and view the fine scenery along the river. The drive stretches from the town of Youghal to the town of town of Mallow.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle- County Cork Ireland

Blarney Castle – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland – Photograph by Urban Hafner

Blarney Castle and the legendary Blarney Stone, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world, are among the most popular places to visit in Ireland. There are charming walks on the grounds of the castle ruins and a fascinating history to discover. Kissing the Blarney Stone is a long established custom and is said to give partakers the gift of the gab. Blarney village in County Cork Ireland is a short walk from the castle and fine handcrafted goods are on offer in the village.

Cape Clear Island

The most southerly Island of Ireland, Cape Clear Island as a result of its location has a climate milder than the mainland. Cape Clear is a Gaeltacht area of County Cork Irland, meaning the first language spoken there is Irish (most inhabitants will speak both Irish and English). Popular with bird watchers the unspoilt island is 5km (3 miles) long, boat trips are available to the island from Baltimore or Schull and the trip takes approx 45 minutes.

Charles Fort

Charles Fort Kinsale -County Cork Ireland

Charles Fort Kinsale -County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

Built during the years 1677 and 1682 Charles Fort in Summercove, Kinsale,  is a particularly fine example of a military fort. The star shaped fort it is one of the largest military forts in Ireland and as such is associated with many events in Irish history. Guided tours of the Fort in Kinsale, County Cork Ireland are available and there is also an exhibition centre onsite.

Drombeg Stone Circle

Drombeg Stone Circle -County Cork Ireland

Drombeg Stone Circle -County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

There are a large number of stone circles and standing stones in County Cork Ireland but Drombeg Stone Circle is one of the finest examples and most well preserved of them all. The ancient 17 stone circle is located on a site that also offers amazing views of the surrounding country side enfolding towards the sea.

Garnish Island

Garnish Island was turned into a vibrant and exotic garden in 1910 by English architect Harold Peto. Wonderfully kept and impacted by splendid views of Bantry Bay the gardens are exceptionally pretty and calming. Boat trips to the Island are available from Glengariff County Cork Ireland.

Mizen Head

Mizen Head in County Cork Ireland is the most south westerly point in the country. Mizen Head Signal Station sits atop the sheer cliffs and was constructed to save lives in this rugged and dangerous patch of coastline which had previously seen the sinking of American liner the Stephen Whitney in 1847. The visitors centre has several rooms with fascinating maritime history on display and in the first room you will encounter the fascinating story of Fastnet Rock and the lighthouse built there also “The Teardrop of Ireland” as it was the last view of Ireland seen by emigrants sailing to America.

Old Midleton Distillery

Old Midleton Distillery - County Cork Ireland

Old Midleton Distillery – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

While Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim is the oldest in country, Old Midleton in County Cork Ireland is the largest and a tour of the distillery will bring visitors on journey through the entertaining history of Irish whiskey.  Midleton has been distilling whiskey since 1825 and the most famous of the productions here is Jameson.   Old Midleton is one of the main places to visit in Ireland for whiskey aficionados and a complimentary glass of the famous Jameson Irish Whiskey is on offer at the end of the tour.

Towns & Cities in County Cork Ireland Quick Links

Baltimore

Bandon

Bantry

Clonakilty

Cobh

Cork City

Kinsale

Youghal

Baltimore

Baltimore - County Cork Ireland

Baltimore – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

An historic village in the west of County Cork Ireland, Baltimore is a particularly popular destination for sailing and fishing. It is also the main port for ferries going to Cape Clare Island and Sherkin Island. A most unusual point in Baltimore’s history was a raid on the town in 1631 by Algerian pirates who captured more than 100 Irish locals and shipped them off as slaves to North Africa, very few of those taken captive ever saw Ireland again.

Bandon

The town of Bandon, County Cork Ireland, gets its name from the Irish “Droichead na Banndan” meaning the bridge of the Bandon River. Also known as the gateway to West Cork, Bandon, just 20 miles (32km) from Cork City, is a market town and is among the popular places to visit in Ireland by Anglers.

Bantry

Bantry - County Cork Ireland

Bantry – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

With a splendid location overlooking the beautiful Bantry Bay, Bantry town, in County Cork Ireland is a market town and one of the larger towns in West Cork. It is home to the magnificent Bantry House and Gardens and activities available include fishing, horse riding and water sports of all kind.

Clonakilty

Clonakilty in County Cork Ireland is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Ireland.  Largely a market town, Clonakilty is known for its traditional pubs, hand-painted Irish signs on business premises and the Clonakilty tasty black pudding which is sold all over Ireland. A causeway links Clonakilty to the peaceful and pretty Inchdoney beach.

Cobh

Cobh - County Cork Ireland

Built on a steep hill, Cobh (pronounced “cove”), is a pleasant seaside town approx 20 minutes drive from Cork City. This town in County Cork Ireland was the starting point of the journey to North America for approx 2.5 million emigrants between 1848 and 1950 and the harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Cobh (know as Queenstown from 1849 – 1922) is also well known as the final port of call for RMS Titanic in 1912

Cork City

Cork City - County Cork Ireland

Cork City – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

Cork City, Ireland’s second largest city, is a hub of activity and entertainment in a laid back environment and it is home to some of the best restaurants in County Cork Ireland. Cork City hosts many festivals throughout the year and usually approx 20 – 30 festivals take place annually. City attractions include the National Monument, Parliament Bridge, St Annes Shandon, Crawford Art Gallery, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, the English Market on the Grande Parade and the annual October Jazz Festival..

Kinsale

Kinsale Town- County Cork Ireland

Kinsale – County Cork Ireland
Places to visit in Ireland

Located 18 miles (29km) from Cork and once a medieval fishing port, Kinsale town today is undoubtedly one of the prettiest and charming places to visit in Ireland. With many fine restaurants, cafes and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets the town in County Cork Ireland is considered by many to be Ireland’s Gourmet Capital.

Youghal

Youghal meaning Yew Tree (pronounced yawl) is a historic walled port town and seaside resort located in the south east of County Cork Ireland. Attractions include the Clock Gate Tower, Tynte’s Castle and 2 nearby blue flag beaches.