Why visit Cork? Why are you telling me in all caps that I MUST visit? Well, I may be biased as Cork, Ireland is where I grew up. But, I’m of the opinion that 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 must visit Cork. You will be adding Cork to your Ireland itinerary in no time.
“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 9 reasons why you must visit Cork ASAP!
What to do in Cork? Well here’s 9 activities I highly recommend.
#1 Cork has 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. The beaches in West Cork are the best in my opinion. My 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 please don’t arrive expecting a Mediterranean climate or anything.
You’re reading this blog because you love Ireland, then, why not read my detailed guide on how to move to Ireland
#2 The sunsets in Cork ain’t bad
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. This photo speaks for itself really. Be sure to head down to West Cork for the best sunsets in my opinion – particularly at Mizen Head or the Beara Peninsula!
#3 Charming colourful Cork 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 some of the most charming and most colourful towns in all of Ireland. Just check out this photos of the coastal town of Kinsale. 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.
Read all about our trip to rural and green Ballyhoura in Cork County!
#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 husband agrees
#5 Way too many excellent restaurants
Way too many to mention in just one article, but personal favourites of mine include – the Bulman 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 Cork’s coffee would impress even the harshest critic
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 Visit one of Cork 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. The park also, hosts lots of cool free events during the summer.
While you’re here, why not book your Ireland airbnb –
I’ve done days of research and come up with a detailed list of the most insane places to stay in Ireland! Here are the absolute best airbnb’s in Ireland!!!!!
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.
P.S if you’re planning a move to Cork I’ve written a detailed blog post about renting in Cork that you may find helpful!
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