Want to know why I’m such a proud Irish girl? Because, I’m from the beautiful county of Cork. Cork has it all, from the best beaches in all of Ireland, to quirky coffee shops that serve an excellent brew, to its colourful local characters who will welcome you with arms wide open. Read on to find out why you HAVE to add Cork to your Ireland itinerary.
“Maybe you had to leave in order to miss a place, maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was”
Despite, travelling the world for the better part of 6 years Cork still and always will be the place closest to my heart. The quote above is what encouraged me to write this post, even though I’ve been to some of the most beautiful destinations on the planet Cork remains the place I want to be my ‘forever home’. All together now ‘awww’, on that note here’s 10 reasons why you should visit Cork ASAP.
1. It’s got the best beaches in Ireland
Boasting the second largest coastline in the whole country, there’s certain to be a beach that tickles your fancy. West Cork has the best in my opinion, with personal favourites being Garrettstown for surfing and The Dock near Kinsale winning the ‘cute factor’, it’s teeny-tiny. With Cork also, being the most Southerly county, the weather is typically the warmest in the country. It’s still Ireland though, so don’t go expecting a Mediterranean climate or anything
2. The sunsets here ain’t bad either
I was blown away last month when I spent a couple of weeks back home, I saw three of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen and I’ve lived in the sunset capital of the world – Australia. The photo above speaks for itself really.
3. Charming colourful towns
Having lived abroad for the better part of 6 years, this is what tourists to Ireland always tell me was their favourite thing about Ireland. And Cork has the most charming and most colourful towns in all of Ireland. Fact. Just check out this photos of the coastal town of Kinsale (pictured above). Cobh too, in East Cork is especially colourful. FYI if I had a spare million I’d move home and buy a house in Kinsale.
4. Charming colourful local characters
Oh the Irish people. We’re the best aren’t we? Who doesn’t love us. I’ve travelled a lot, and still for me, the Irish people are the warmest and friendliest people in the whole wide world. I know I’m biased being an Irish gal myself. But even my very British boyfriend agrees
5. Way too many excellent restaurants
Way too many to mention in just one article, but personal favourites of mine include – the Bulman (pictured above), an award-winning gastro pub in Summercove, Kinsale; Liberty Grill on Washington Street in Cork City for the best breakfast of your life; Bunnyconellan’s in Myrtleville for yummy food and even yummier views.
6. The coffee would even impress a coffee snob
It really would. I love coffee. So much so, that I plan my whole day around how and when I can get a decent coffee. Luckily for me, this wasn’t a problem in Cork City. From the locals favourite of Cork Coffee Roasters to Farmgate above the English Market to Three Fools Coffee for good coffee with a side of ‘cool’, there’s certain to be something to quench your caffeine fix. Also, Starbucks only opened it’s first shop in the city over a year ago, so, that’s a testament to how much we Corkonians support our local coffee shops. Please don’t go to Starbucks, unless you really really need a Caramel Frapuccino, I totally get it.
7. It’s home to the famous Blarney Castle
You’ve heard of the famous Blarney Castle right? The legendary stone that gives anyone who kisses it ‘the gift of the gab’. American tourists LOVE it. Believe me, I grew up in Blarney and the hundreds even thousands of American tourists who descend on the castle every day is insanity. Especially in the summer. But, despite the crowds, the castle is well-worth a visit. The grounds are outstandingly lush and green, you could easily spend a full day getting lost here. Be sure to bring a camera, because there will be lots of instagram-worthy photo opportunities.
8. There’s good reason why Cork City is referred to as the ‘real capital’ of Ireland
Corkonians are notoriously patriotic, I don’t even know if that’s the right word, basically we think we’re better than everyone else. We have very unique phrases, that ‘outsiders’ struggle to understand. Even our neighbours in Kerry or Limerick don’t have a clue what we’re saying most of the time. You can even buy a Dictionary of Cork Slang in most bookshops in the city. There’s also, an online Peoples Republic of Cork store where you can buy all sorts of merchandise to express your love for this glorious county.
9. It’s a photographers dream here
10. Visit one of the cities’ amazing parks
Fitzgerald’s Park on the outskirts of the City is a favourite of mine, home to the ‘shaky bridge’, with a great little coffee shop, and lots of great photo opportunities like this one above. The park also, hosts lots of cool free events during the summer.
11. Because green is everyones favourite colour
And, that’s it folks. If you’ve visited Cork previously or are a legendary Corkonian like myself is there anything else you would include that I’ve missed? If so, please leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading ye langers,
Aimee & Paul x