Written by sararevell on 29 Sep, 2010
The city of Cork is only a half hour drive from the quaint fishing village of Kinsale but the difference is such that it feels worlds away from Ireland’s gritty second city. To be honest, we wished that we had stayed here instead of Cork.…Read More
The city of Cork is only a half hour drive from the quaint fishing village of Kinsale but the difference is such that it feels worlds away from Ireland’s gritty second city. To be honest, we wished that we had stayed here instead of Cork. I suspect that accommodation isn’t any cheaper but there are plenty of pubs and restaurants all within walking distance of one another and it is home to some sublime seafood restaurants, which is another big draw. It only takes about 20 minutes to walk around the centre of Kinsale but there are plenty of shops and galleries to keep visitors occupied for longer. We visited on a Sunday and places didn’t seem to open up until around 1pm and there were a handful of places that remained closed all day. There were a couple of souvenir shops selling the usual tat but there were others that sold beautiful knitwear, crystal and pottery. There is also a decent little bookshop on Newman’s Mall appropriately called ‘Bookstor’ where you can pick up cookery books penned by some of the locals. While we enjoyed poking our noses into the shops that were open, I would probably advise against visiting on a Sunday if you really want to take in all that Kinsale has to offer.A walk along the harbour is a relaxing way to walk off a meal or build up an appetite. It is possible to walk about as far as the city limits (it is appropriately twinned with Newport, Rhode Island amongst others) before the coastal road becomes a little too hairy for pedestrians. If the weather holds, picking up some fish and chips from Dinos and eating them harbourside is a nice way to do lunch. Just down the road from Dinos is the local tourist office where harbour and other tours can be booked. We also saw an advertisement for a ghost tour, which started at the Tap Tavern at 9pm. Unfortunately we weren’t in Kinsale long enough to partake but we did spend a wonderful day driving part of the County Cork Coastal Road. From Kinsale it’s a short drive to Timoleague, Clonakilty and further on, Skibbereen. Sadly we only made it as far as Glandore but the scenery is beautiful and is well worth the effort, whether you have half a day or half a week. Close
We hadn’t intended to walk around Cork too much on the night we arrived but as it happened, we ended up circling a bit trying to find the Mutton Lane Inn. We did eventually find it but we were so famished (they don’t serve food)…Read More
We hadn’t intended to walk around Cork too much on the night we arrived but as it happened, we ended up circling a bit trying to find the Mutton Lane Inn. We did eventually find it but we were so famished (they don’t serve food) that we didn’t manage to get a drink in. Our brief, independent walking tour began at the Redclyffe Guesthouse at the far end of Western Road. We soon passed by the entrance to University College Cork but the light was fading by this point, giving most places along Western Road a somewhat dodgy aspect.We turned at South Main Street to check out the pub An Spailpin Fanach. It now appears to be more of a music venue but is mentioned in guidebooks as it is located directly across the road from the now defunct Beamish and Crawford brewery. As with quite a few pubs in the city, the interior to An Spailpin Fanach is obscured by a dark, ugly entrance and at the time we passed by, was guarded by two equally ugly looking patrons. We probably should have popped our heads in at least but the looming brewery building and other equally depressed structures along South Main Street urged us to seek hospitality elsewhere.We turned down Tuckey Street, which eventually joins Oliver Plunkett Street. This and St. Patrick’s Street looked to be the main areas for shopping and dining. We made a mental note to return to the Market Lane restaurant but were on a quest to find the Mutton Lane Inn. Appropriately located on Mutton Lane, the narrow Inn is notoriously hard to find but we stopped someone who gave us fantastic directions: if you’re walking along St. Patrick’s Street pass Princes Street on your left and Mutton Lane is an easy to miss alley on the left hand side of the road just before Burger King. While we desperately wanted to stop at the Inn, they didn’t seem to serve food and for once we were more desperate for food than drink. We continued on, checking out Italian, Mexican and other places along French Church Street, Academy Street and Princes Street. While many restaurants seemed suitably popular, the jumbled cuisine on the menus was more off-putting than enticing and so we came to the fast conclusion that Market Lane was the place to eat. The real strangeness of our walk around Cork that night was that apart from a handful of restaurants, the centre seemed to be unusually quiet. For a city that touts itself as being a rival to Dublin, we didn’t witness much to back up the claim. Close
Written by laura ruiz on 30 Jul, 2004
This tour starts with a historical narrative about West Cork of the 1940s. You can have a fun and memorable day out in Clonakilty, located overlooking Clonakilty Bay on the coast road to the magnificent blue flag beach of Inchidoney.…Read More
This tour starts with a historical narrative about West Cork of the 1940s. You can have a fun and memorable day out in Clonakilty, located overlooking Clonakilty Bay on the coast road to the magnificent blue flag beach of Inchidoney. The unique West Cork model railway village on the bay is a delightful discovery for both young and old alike. Here, one can step back in time and follow the route of a miniaturised version of the former West Cork Railway and experience life as it was in the 1940s.
The models and figurines are handmade at the model village to a scale of 1.24.
The Drombeg Stone Circle, some two miles east of the village of Glandore in county Cork, has long been regarded as the exemplar of the recumbent stone circles of the south/west or Ireland.
The site dates back to the years 1124-794 BC. The site deservedly attracts many visitors each year and has been the most well known monument in the area since it was excavated in the 1950s by a Cork archeological team.
They discovered many interesting features, including the pleasant arrangement of hut sites and a Fulacht Fiadh (cooking place of the hunters) built around a natural spring to the west of the circle.
The stone circle consists of seventeen stones. The area enclosed averages 9.3 metres in diameter.
The stones of the circle are hewn from a locally found sandstone, though from where they originally came is not known. The smooth inner faces of most stones probably took a great deal of effort to achieve.
If you take a direct line from the entrance where the two portal stones are, you will find that the axis of the circle lies NE-SW.
The Recumbent Stone is the most fundamental stone of the circle, being the most laboriously worked of all and the one which appears to have the primary role in the largely unknown astronomical functions of the circle.
The top of the Recumbent Stone has been carved to achieve its almost entirely horizontal and inward sloping dimensions. On the surface can be seen the inscription of three cup and ring marks.
Written by elecis on 23 Jul, 2004
Nightlife in Cork, Ireland
If you try to picture Ireland in your mind, you might picture rolling hills, green grass and small cottages. On the other hand, you might think of small pubs where people are singing and drinking beer. Well, I am sure that Ireland…Read More
Nightlife in Cork, Ireland
If you try to picture Ireland in your mind, you might picture rolling hills, green grass and small cottages. On the other hand, you might think of small pubs where people are singing and drinking beer. Well, I am sure that Ireland has those beautiful hills, but all that I have seen are the inside of pubs. To put it plainly, the Irish like to drink, every night, till all hours. Whether it is a Monday night or a Friday night, the pubs are filled with lively people. Every single corner you turn there will be a pub. They say the pubs outnumber the people, and I think it might be true. There are so many different types of pubs and dance clubs that you could be here for weeks and never go to the same one twice.
If you are looking for a place to go dancing, a fun place (with no cover charge!) is the Cube, with a dance floor upstairs and down that is called Cocos. On the first floor you will hear regular top 40 dance hits and then upstairs you will hear the techno fast dance music.
If you are looking for a night of multiple activities you can go to The Mardyke. Inside this bar you will find a pub, pool tables and upstairs you will find a bowling alley. The atmosphere in the pub is really nice with leather furniture and good music.
Le Cheile is a bar where you will find a very different atmosphere. The seats there are oversized and what would be consider "modern," and if you want to drink something other than beer, they will probably have it.
For the person that is searching for a more "Irish Pub" feeling, the Franciscan Well would be my recommendation. The are known for brewing their own beer which you can see from their outside seating area because the brewery is in an glass enclosed area. Inside you get the cosy feel of a pub with occasional live music which is always fun to listen to.
Written by Finu on 10 May, 2003
We set off on Good Friday morning for the long drive to Cork. As a child, I was taken to Cork and Kerry on summer holidays quite often. While I always loved the holiday, the six-hour drive was the big obstacle to be…Read More
We set off on Good Friday morning for the long drive to Cork. As a child, I was taken to Cork and Kerry on summer holidays quite often. While I always loved the holiday, the six-hour drive was the big obstacle to be overcome first. Before settling off, I had begun trying to convince my boyfriend that the drive would be a long one, despite the fact that the distance is not so great. Being German, he has little tolerance of the Irish roads and, as I know also from those childhood holidays, rows about the state of roads, directions, speed of driving and so on can quickly ruin the holiday atmosphere.
The first leg of the journey, from Clondalkin to Portlaois was not as slow as I’d anticipated. We reckoned that leaving the house before 10 a.m. had been a good bet. However, the fact that we hadn’t had a real breakfast in our haste to get on the road meant that we were dying to stop for a brunch break before we were long out of the capital.
Our picnic of coffee, hot cross buns, fruit and yogurt (no meat allowed) was spoiled by the fact that we couldn’t find a decent spot to get out of the car to eat. We had to settle for sitting in the car, doors open, in a country-style lane just off the main road.
That was our only stop on the way down to Kinsale. The traffic was so good that we decided not to risk having a break and then getting stuck in the afternoon crowds.
We arrived in Kinsale about 4 p.m., a little tired but eager to settle into our accommodation. This was the first time I’d booked accommodation in Ireland on-line and I was curious to see if the cosy-looking B&B I’d seen on my PC would be recognizable in reality. Thankfully it was. We had booked into The Gallery Guesthouse in The Glen, Kinsale for three nights. The guesthouse was smaller than I’d anticipated and had no common area. However, the bedroom was pretty in décor and adequate in size considering we were only staying a long weekend. There was a deep set window opening onto the street side of the house and located above the dining room. The bed was pine and made up with embroidered white cotton covers and scatter cushions. To one side of the bed was a locker topped with a lamp, kettle, mugs, tea, coffee and milk. Just the thing to revive us after our journey.
Our tea drunk, we set off to explore the harbour town. We took a walk along the waterfront, passing the all important tourist office, as far as the Trident Hotel. It being Good Friday, we wanted to find a place that would be open for dinner. In Catholic Ireland with its traditional restrictions on serving meat and alcohol on Good Friday, we feared we were in for a challenge. However, we were in luck. Not only was the main restaurant of the Trident Hotel, award-winning Savannah Restaurant, open for reservations, their Fisherman’s Wharf Bar was serving food and drink to non-residents. With happy hearts, we continued on our walking tour to work up an appetite.
Back at the guesthouse, we snoozed, showered and changed for dinner. By 8:15 p.m. we’d had an aperitif and ordered our meal in Fisherman’s Wharf Bar. We both began with seafood chowder – Marie-Rose coloured and full of flavour from the generous chunks of potato, mussels, salmon, prawns and white fish. Before ordering, we’d enquired from our waiter whether the chowder was good. He confessed to having never tried it. We were so impressed with it that we felt compelled to recommend it to him as he cleared our empty bowls away.
As a main course, Ulli chose plaice in a light batter, potatoes (champ & boiled baby new potatoes) and vegetables (sauted courgette and braised red cabbage). It was all excellent.
I opted for breaded scampi with chips and tartare sauce. The chips were only lukewarm but the portions of chowder and scampi were so generous that I no need for the chips in the end.
The bill, including a ¼ bottle of Chardonnay and a pint of Smithwicks, came to Eur 41.40. We were so full that we couldn’t even entertain the thought of coffee or dessert. However, I caught a glimpse of the white chocolate & strawberry roulade as it sailed by on a waiter’s arm and it was as mouth-watering as the description on the menu had led me to believe. For pub grub, the meal and service were of excellent quality.
On Easter Saturday morning, we woke refreshed and looking forward to the gourmet breakfast promised by The Gallery’s website. Sadly, there was nothing gourmet about it to my mind. While there was nothing wrong with what we were served, it couldn’t be classed as gourmet. On offer was a choice of 2 breakfast cereals, a fruit bowl, Yoplait yogurt, orange juice, scrambled egg with smoked salmon and a fry. All in all, the usual B&B breakfast fare. Regardless, we filled up and strolled down the town to take a look in the shops which had mostly been closed the previous day. There are plenty of craft and antique shops in the town, my favourite being the Stone Mad Gallery. Run by Jill Brennan, an American who has settled in Kinsale, the tiny corner shop is crammed with trinkets and quirky gifts. Included in these are her own handmade scented candles, produced with delicate scents imported from Seattle, her handmade earrings, lip-shaped cushions, masquerade ball masks and jewellery.
Opposite Jill’s is a café and sandwich bar with outdoor seating and gas heating, so necessary in Ireland in spring. Each time we passed by, which was fairly often as it was on the route to our lodgings, the place was reasonably busy and wonderful smells wafted from the doors.
About 1 p.m. we set out for Clonakilty, 22 miles away along a mostly costal route via Timoleague. In Clonakilty I had hoped to have a peek inside Fionnuala’s Little Italian Restaurant, for two reasons. The restaurant shares my name and is recommended by Georgina Campbell’s guide to the best food and accommodation in Ireland. No joy on this occasion as Fionnuala only open’s her doors at 6 p.m. Instead we ate at another of Georgina Campbell’s suggestions, An Sugan. The place was warm and busy and seemed like just what we were looking for as the wind and rain had begun outside. By the bar and by the fire were cosy but the rest of the pub-cum-restaurant was lacking in atmosphere. Here again we chose the seafood chowder and brown bread. This time the chowder was tasty but without any solid fish pieces bar a mussel or two per serving. The brown bread, which was obviously homemade, was so fresh it crumbled at the touch of the butterknife.
Back in Kinsale that evening, we had planned to eat at one of the Good Food Circle restaurants. Of those falling within our price-range, none had a table free. We settled for pub grub again, this time at the White House. My meal, salad with crispy, smokey bacon followed by sea-trout and new potatoes was very good by pub standards. Ulli’s chicken wings starter was nothing special, not even measuring up to the standard of the microwaveable version available in Spar. He had hoped that his safe bet of steak and chips would be just that. It all sounded and looked like it couldn’t go wrong, but it had no flavour at all. Not even the fried onions. His spirits were lifted by the live music that started about 9 p.m., just as we were starting our main course. The two person band sang a mix of Irish and international music including Thin Lizzy and Van Morrison.
Sunday was the best day of the weekend, food-wise. For breakfast we were offered Quiche Lorraine as an alternative to the bacon and eggs. I am generally cautious of eating quiche when I don’t know the cook as too often it is tasteless and rubbery. However, this was fresh from the oven and cooked to perfection. Continuing the good food idea, we drove out to Shanagarry, the far side of Cork City, to visit the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Here, Irish chef family, the Allens run a highly successful cookery school with courses ranging from one day to three months. They also have a shop selling cookery utensils, crockery and items such as Irish handmade clothing. At the rear of the shop is a café serving delicious light meals, afternoon tea and cakes made on the premises. The main house serves as accommodation for the residents of the school and as a restaurant for visitors to the house and gardens.
If you're into your food, Kinsale is a wonderful base from which to explore the natural beauty and gastronomic splendour of West Cork.
Written by Erin M on 30 Sep, 2005
The Easy Tour bus picked us up at the tourism center and headed for West Cork. I had no idea what to expect, really. We passed a lot of areas that had cows and sheep and a number of very popular fishing areas. Our first…Read More
The Easy Tour bus picked us up at the tourism center and headed for West Cork. I had no idea what to expect, really. We passed a lot of areas that had cows and sheep and a number of very popular fishing areas. Our first stop was to have a coffee and a sweet at a small coffee shop found in a hotel. We then drove up to Gougane Barra. This is where St. Finbarr founded a monastery in the 6th century. It was quaint and the church small, but it was a very peaceful location. It's unfortunate that it was raining so hard at the time of our stopping, as we didn’t really get to fully appreciate the surroundings. One rather amusing thing struck me there. You will see a very large tree with a sign that says, "I am a tree. Please do not put coins in me." Upon further examination, you will find that previous visitors have actually stuck coins in the trunk of the tree. You don’t see that very often.
Our next stop was at a local pub (Casey’s) to have some lunch. It was close to the docks where we were going to leave for our ferry to go across to Garnish Island. The weather didn’t cooperate, but it was a nice ride. We saw some seals in their habitat, and they seemed to not mind us being on their water. Finally, we arrived to the island and explored all the lavish gardens and went up to the top of Martello Tower. It would be a beautiful area to see in the summer, with all the different tropical plants. We seemed to have gotten there at not such a good time of year. Most of the blossoms were not showing.
All in all, it was a lovely outing. I would recommend going there a little earlier in the season, but it is a beautiful area, and the bus tour was very entertaining and educational. For 8 hours, we learned about this particular area of West Cork and enjoyed the local atmosphere.
Written by patyg on 20 Oct, 2003
On our second weekend, we decided to go to Paris. There are not enough words to describe how beautiful this city is. Someone here at the office suggested to take the red bus, so we did, and it is one of the best things we…Read More
On our second weekend, we decided to go to Paris. There are not enough words to describe how beautiful this city is. Someone here at the office suggested to take the red bus, so we did, and it is one of the best things we could have done it helped us to see almost everything in two days!! At first, it was a little bit hard to understand how the Metro worked, but once we figured it out, it was very useful.
The first day, we started at the Arc de Triumph and hopped in and out of the red bus. We did almost everything, including enjoying a delicious crepe out on the street sitting on a bench. At night, we decided to taste the gourmet food of France and had a wonderful dinner. After that, we decided to go for a couple of drinks to a club!
The next morning, we had breakfast in a cafe on Champs Elysees. We saw the Louvre and ended with some shopping and dinner.
Monday, we had to go back and just relaxed at the apartment the rest of the day. I don’t think I have ever walked as much as I did that weekend –- I was dead!
On Wednesday, Sarah Downey and I went to the movies and watched an Irish movie called "Intermission". It was a great laugh. After that, she took me to a Mexican restaurant and we had a delicious dinner!
The second weekend has been just breathtaking!! We did "The Ring of Kerry". First, we drove to Killarney, had breakfast, walked around, and took off to Dingle. When we arrived there, we took a little boat for sightseeing and saw Fungie, a bottle-nosed dolphin that lives in the bay -- they say that he has been there for 20 years or even more!! After that, we took the road to Cahersiveen we looked for a B&B, and then went for dinner and a couple of drinks.
In the morning, we took the car and headed to start the journey. The views were amazing. I took lots of pictures and I had goose bumps for the whole trip. We did all of the Ring of Kerry and ended up in Kinsale again. The roads are very nice, but very narrow, so it was a challenge. But we made it safely back home and I can't wait to see what this week will be like!!
Written by EDGAR EB8 on 30 Jul, 2004
Baltimore, located on the west of Ireland about two and a half hours from Cork, is a very touristy place. A lot of Irish people have a holiday house there. Restaurants, pubs and souvenir shops are very common. At the pier you will find a…Read More
Baltimore, located on the west of Ireland about two and a half hours from Cork, is a very touristy place. A lot of Irish people have a holiday house there. Restaurants, pubs and souvenir shops are very common. At the pier you will find a little souvenir shop with a lot of touristy things as well as the schedule for the boats that departure to Sherkin Island or any other destination.
Blarney Castle is located on Blarney and the major attraction here is the stone at the castle, which is supposed to give you the power of the word if you kiss it. There is a story behind it which says that the owner of the castle used to be able to convince any person to go his way just by talking to them. Around this castle are beautiful gardens and stones that you can't miss. To get to this town you might want to get a guided tour; most of them depart from Cork and are at an affordable price.
Cottonvally is a small town in the east coast of Ireland. If you are a bird watcher, this is a place to be - there is a trail that you follow and you are able to see different kinds of birds along the way; also, a lot of local people use this place to get away and read a book next to the water. Also, they have great views at their cliffs, so make sure you bring a camera to take pictures.
Kinsale is a fishing village on the west of Ireland located about an hour and a half from Cork. They have activities such as fishing tours, rowing, mountain climbing, and clay pigeon shooting, among others. It’s also a great place to sit down and have a beer in one of their pubs, there are restaurants located around the pier with a lot of different seafood dishes.
Written by laura ruiz on 27 Jul, 2004
The first week in Cork
We went to the Cork office. It seems to be as big as the Mexico office.
We met other guides from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, England, Malta, Italy and many other nationalities. They are really nice guys. Then we went…Read More
The first week in Cork
We went to the Cork office. It seems to be as big as the Mexico office.
We met other guides from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, England, Malta, Italy and many other nationalities. They are really nice guys. Then we went to Luigi Malone’s Restaurant and we really enjoyed delicious Italian food and drinks.
We went to visit some pubs where I drank Guinness and Murphy beers. We went to the GQ Disco, which played good music and has a big dance floor and it was really crowded.
On Monday we went to Blarney Castle and Rock, "home of the Blarney Stone."
You can enjoy this place if you take the Cork city tour on a double-decker bus.
Cork has unpredictable weather because the next day it rained and we came soaking wet to the office.
But it is different kind of experience to enjoy in the rain.
Written by Blue Angel on 22 Aug, 2003
Cork City centre is not very big and you can do it by foot. The MUSTs are: the English market (covered mall with lots of little shops), St Finbarr’s Cathedral, and the Cork City jail. If you are thirsty, you can visit the Beamish brewery…Read More
Cork City centre is not very big and you can do it by foot. The MUSTs are: the English market (covered mall with lots of little shops), St Finbarr’s Cathedral, and the Cork City jail. If you are thirsty, you can visit the Beamish brewery and the Heineken brewery. About 20km away from Cork, you also have the Jameson’s distillery (in Middleton) -- it is worth the trip. And of course, there are pubs to welcome you and little chapels and churches at every corner. The main streets are Patrick’s Street and Grand Parade. It is very pleasant to wander around the town and the people are very friendly. It is very hard to get lost in Cork and if you manage to do it, just ask for directions from the locals.
The best times to go out are on Thursday nights during the school year and the last weekend of the month (pay day!). The city is crowded with people from 16- to 80-years-old going out to have a pint. The pubs close around 11:30pm and the disco closes around 2:30am, but if you start drinking at 5pm, you have plenty of time to get drunk! Then, the best thing to do is to go to a fish and ships and have something solid to fill out your stomach and take a taxi home. The good remedy for an Irish hangover is an Irish breakfast, hmmm . . .