If you are planning a trip to Ireland in 2020 and to the city of Cork, which is Ireland’s second largest city, there are many destinations which you can choose from to broaden your horizons on the Irish landscape. Easily enjoyed on a self drive tour of Ireland, the south of Ireland and Cork offers a range of attractions with something for everyone.
The Old Head of Kinsale
A popular destination for Ireland honeymoons, Kinsale is located in County Cork. The Old of Kinsale is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Ireland. It provides luxury accommodation, a golf course and picturesque landscape views. The golf course is one of the most sought after golf courses in Ireland. Golf enthusiasts from all parts of that world flock to the golf courses annually.
The Suites and Spa of the Old Head of Kinsale give the most scenic views Kinsale has to offer. Once you head outside to the loungers, the view of the lighthouse will be astonishing. The state-of-the-art steam room and sauna are perfect for rejuvenation after a long week. The heat of the sauna helps to relax and repair muscles. You can also indulge yourself in a massage which is provided directly by the hotel.
Once you have explored the golf links, you can grab a bite to eat in the De Courcey restaurant. The De Courcey is home to the finest eats in Kinsale who specialise in oysters, fish, finest meats and a luxurious wine menu. The restaurant is known for its appetizing dishes.
If you are visiting Kinsale with a larger group of people, the Hibernian Suite will cater to your needs. Overlooking the elegant views of the ocean, the dining area will cater to your group. This suite is subject to a minimum spend and booking, so advanced booking is definitely advised.
Overall, Kinsale has some spectacular views on offer and the Old Head should be up at the top of your bucket list.
The English Market
A popular stop off on many escorted tours of Ireland, The English Market is located in Cork City Centre. The indoor food market has been trading since 1788 and is visited by hundreds of thousands each year. As spotted in The Young Offenders, the market is home of K O’Connell’s fish which is extremely popular around Cork City. The English Market is located on St. Patricks Street and opens 7 days a week from 8 am-6 pm daily.
Various different categories of shops can be found in the English Market. These include fruit and veg stalls, fish markets, meat markets, oils and sauces, confectionery and more. There are also various souvenir shops to enjoy. When you are visiting Cork, a visit to the English Market should be on your bucket list.
A full list of retailers and information can be found on www.englishmarket.ie
Blarney Castle & Gardens:
Located in the south of Cork City, Blarney Castle & Gardens dates back nearly 600 years and has been an attraction for tourists each year. Blarney Castle is easily accessible through the bus network and car transport. The Blarney Castle is famous for its various gardens in which it offers such as the Fern Garden & Ice House and the Herbaceous Border. The beauty of the gardens vary from season to season but the gardens will definitely take your breath away.
Blarney Castle recommends at least 3 hours to explore the gardens fully and make the most out of your visit. In those three hours, it is highly recommended to kiss the Blarney stone. During this tour, you will be met by a tour guide which will hold onto you while you kiss the Blarney stone. This experience will be unique to each person.
The tranquil gardens of the Blarney Castle cost €18 per person or €16 when purchased online on their website. Children are priced at €8 per child or €7 when purchased online. If you are embarking on the trip with a family (2 adults & 2 children), this ticket price will be €45 or €40 when purchased online. You will definitely be getting value for money by visiting the Blarney Castle.
It is important to note that Blarney Castle’s opening hours differ from season to season. You can find all the opening hours and admission times on their website.
The West Cork Islands, County Cork
The West Cork Island is part of the stunning Wild Atlantic Way. To begin, Whiddy Island is a remote island located in the heart of West Cork. It is hidden away in the stunning Bantry Bay. Whiddy Island provides the opportunity for visitors to soak up the ancient and historic landscape. Whiddy Island provides a pier in which boats and ferries can hook up to. Whiddy Island is accessible through a ferry which boards from Bantry Bay. There is sailing daily which takes between 10-15 minutes to reach the island.
There is no shop on the Island, however, you can enjoy the finest food and drink which has a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all visitors. The island has a population of just 29 people so there’s no doubt that you’ll meet the locals in the pub! If you like a nice quiet atmosphere, Whiddy Island provides self-catering cottage for overnight stays. Swimmers tend to get their thrill by jumping off the pier into the bitter sea and driving their boats around the sea.
Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park first opened its doors to the public in 1983. Since then, it’s been a popular hotspot for families. Fota Wildlife is home to 30 mammal and 50 bird species. Fota Wildlife Park has an annual attendance of 440,000. The park is a not-for-profit, independently funded organization. Animals are the epi-centre of the Wildlife Park but there are many more activities which can be enjoyed before or after the visit. There are shops and restaurants which cater to their audience.
Fota Wildlife Park opens its door to the general public at 10 am daily and the last entry is at 3 pm. It is important to note that the gates close at 4.30 pm daily. Entry is priced at €16.50 per adult and €11.50 per child.
If you would like to find out more information about the Wildlife Park, you can visit their website.