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Cork

Culture & history

Our most recommended Cork Culture & History

Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

1. Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

Set on 15 acres of lovely grounds, the Jameson Experience is both an education and a cultural experience as soon as you step through its doors. You will discover the largest pot still in the world, the Angels Share, and of course, the finest of Irish whiskeys. Daytime tours operate 7 days all year round, except selected dates at Christmas. The journey begins with an audiovisual presentation, followed by a 1-hour guided tour through the original distillery. Your experience ends at the Jameson Bar with a glass of Jameson, a 3-part comparison whiskey tasting, and the chance to become a "Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster." After your tour, feel free to browse the Distillery gift shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts to take home, such as the Jameson Distillery Edition, a superb whiskey exclusively for sale at Midleton. Make it even more special by having your bottle personalized as a great gift or memento of your visit.

Dublin: Full-Day Tour to Cork, Cobh and Blarney Castle

2. Dublin: Full-Day Tour to Cork, Cobh and Blarney Castle

Escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin on a full-day tour south to the vibrant city of Cork. Kills the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle, admire Georgian buildings in the city center, and visit Cork Harbor to see a Victorian era train station and transatlantic terminal.   Depart by train from Heuston Station in the early morning for the InterCity service to Cork City. Upon arrival, head to Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone and acquire the gift of eternal eloquence. Relax with some free time to shop and enjoy lunch in Blarney village. Head to Cork for a short city tour of Ireland’s southern capital, famous for its arts, music and literature scenes.  Built on the site of a 6th-century monastic settlement, the city center is full of Georgian buildings, 17th-century alleys, and dynamic new architecture. Continue your journey along Cork Harbour to Cobh, location of the Queenstown Story Heritage Center.  Set in a beautifully-restored railway station of the Victorian age, it was also the transatlantic terminal that served as the point of departure to the New World for generations of Irish emigrants, from the time of famine up to recent years. Transfer back to Cork City center to catch your return InterCity train back to Dublin, with a scheduled arrival at Heuston Station at in the evening. 

From Cork: 9-Hour Guided Ring of Kerry and Killarney Tour

3. From Cork: 9-Hour Guided Ring of Kerry and Killarney Tour

Take a 9-hour guided bus tour of the enchanting county of Kerry and admire magnificent scenery from soaring hills to rolling landscapes scattered with traditional stone walls. Enjoy the unsurpassed, rugged coastline and the buzz of the traditional town of Killarney. Board your bus at the meeting point in Cork, then feel Irish rural life from days gone by coming alive at your first stop at the Kerry Bog Village in Glenbeigh. Wander through thatched cottages, visit a traditional farmhouse, and meet the resident Irish wolfhounds. You might even choose to treat yourself to a little something to drink at the Red Fox Inn. From Glenbeigh, travel around the Iveragh Peninsula, along the most beautiful stretch of coastline. The next stops are at Waterville and Coomakista, two of Kerry’s most scenic spots with panoramic views stretching from the mountains to the sea. Look toward the ocean and catch a glimpse of the iconic Skellig Islands, Celtic pyramids reaching out from the sea. These natural monuments were famously featured in the recent Star Wars movie. Make your next stop on the famous Ring of Kerry in Sneem, a picturesque Irish seaside village nestled in the sheltered waters of Kenmare Bay with wonderful choices for a traditional Irish lunch. Choose bacon and cabbage — an Irish staple — or, since you are beside the sea, freshly-caught fish served with chips. Lunch is at your own expense. After the lunch stop, prepare for a drive you will never forget. Verging deep into the MacGillycuddy's Reek mountains and the moody Black Valley, numerous scenic viewpoints can be found along the route: Moll’s Gap mountain pass, Ladies View lookout (a favorite spot of Queen Victoria), and even a Leprechaun crossing. Along the shores of Lough Leane, drive through the woodlands of Ireland’s last native oak trees. Then, arrive in Killarney, often voted the most beautiful town in Ireland. Killarney has so much to offer. Opt to spend your time seeing the surrounding area from a traditional horse and cart or walk the streets soaking up the atmosphere. Finally, hop back on the bus for the return journey to Cork where you will be dropped off at the starting point.

Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

4. Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

Take the ferry from Baltimore or Schull and cross the beautiful waters of Roaring Water Bay. Arrive in the wonderful north harbor on Cape Clear Island and go by shuttle bus to Cape Clear Heritage Centre. There, learn the history of the island and Fastnet Rock. Spend some time exploring the island and its walking trails, stop at the spectacular lookout points and spot the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the distance. Be sure to enjoy some fresh island produce during lunch at one of the island’s bars and restaurants. After lunch, re-board the ferry and sit back as the experienced captain takes you further into the real Wild Atlantic Way. You might even catch a glimpse of whales and dolphins in the water. As you circumnavigate the tallest and widest rock lighthouse in Ireland and the UK, learn its history and importance from the onboard audio system. Hear about the “Teardrop” of Ireland, the last glimpse of the country that the immigrant ships saw before they headed over the horizon to the New World - America. Once Fastnet Rock has been circled twice (so that all passengers can get the perfect photo), head for home and enjoy the spectacular scenery until reaching the final port.

Cork: Guided Historical Walking Tour

5. Cork: Guided Historical Walking Tour

Set out on a walking tour accompanied by a local guide. In a one-hour stroll through the city centre you will learn about Cork's history as a transatlantic and European trading hub. Walk along the curved main street, following the route of the river beneath it. Marvel at Cork Opera House and across the river, see the shape of Shandon church, with its distinctive red and white brick bell tower and clockfaces. Next, stroll down Carey's Lane to visit the Hugenot cemetery, before heading to the Coal Quay and Cornmarket Street. Along the widest street in Cork, Grand Parade, see Bishop Lucy Park, the Berwick fountain and the National memorial. Hear about Nano Nagle and her extensive humanitarian work in bringing education to the poorest classes while standing on a footbridge named in her honour. Then, explore St Finbar's Cathedral, the South Gate Bridge and Elizabeth Fort. See the boathouse entrances in the leading business quarter of the city known as South Mall. Finish the tour in Princes Street, at the main entrance to Cork's fascinating English Market.

Cork: City Cycle Tour

6. Cork: City Cycle Tour

Go beyond the glass and open your eyes to some of the best parts of Cork City. Discover the rich history of the city, some of its beautiful parks, and a few of Cork's hidden secrets. This tour is guided by experienced guides and takes advantage of the parks, riverside pathways, and cycle lanes to give you the most enjoyable experience. Enjoy a peaceful cycle through Cork's parks and green areas, and enjoy the beauty while hearing the history of the city. Visit some of the many churches and cathedrals of Cork city, including its Elizabethan-aged fort. Learn about Cork's long history and some of its most famous individuals. Hear how cork influenced Ireland and the wider world. Hear about cultural and sporting Cork, its most famous actors musicians, and artists.

Cork: Cape Clear Island Tour

7. Cork: Cape Clear Island Tour

Take the ferry from Baltimore or Schull Harbour and cross the beautiful waters of Roaring Water Bay. Feel the fresh sea air against your face on a spectacular journey through some of Carbery’s Hundred Isles, some of which are inhabited. Scan the spectacular scenery and look out for whales and dolphins. Cape Clear or Cléire is the largest of these Islands and lies 6 miles from the mainland along the Wild Atlantic Way. With a population of 130 people, Cape Clear is Ireland’s most southerly inhabited island and is one of the few Gaeltacht speaking (Irish speaking) islands in the country. Arrive in the wonderful north harbor on Cape Clear Island and take a shuttle bus to Cape Clear heritage center. There, explore the history of the island and the interactive display about Fastnet Rock. This wild and romantic Island offers visitors an insight into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of Ireland. Spend some free time exploring Cape Clear. Wander the walking trails, enjoy the spectacular lookout points and spot the 159-feet tall Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the distance. Enjoy some fresh island produce during lunch at one of the island’s bars and restaurants before heading back.

From Cork: Guided Full-Day West Cork to Mizen Head Tour

8. From Cork: Guided Full-Day West Cork to Mizen Head Tour

Immerse yourself in Irish culture on this day trip filled with fantastic photo opportunities. Starting in the historic city of Cork, travel by coach to Ireland’s most southwesterly point and view the dramatic cliff scenery of Mizen Head. As you drive through picturesque villages and towns, expect to see some awe-inspiring scenery as Ireland shows off its spectacular landscape. From the meeting point in Cork, travel first to Gougane Barra, home to Ireland's oldest National Forest Park and famous for St. Finbarr's Oratory, its stunning 19th-century church. Enjoy panoramic views of where the River Lee rises. Then, wander through Bantry, one of West Cork's most vibrant market towns, and do some shopping or sit down to a traditional cup of Irish tea and perhaps a scone. The next part of the journey takes you to Mizen Head, Ireland’s most southwesterly point — the edge of Europe and a signature key discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Admire the cliffs of Mizen Head that rise high above the Atlantic Ocean, where the currents meet and the waves from the Atlantic crash into land. Before returning to Cork city, discover Clonakilty, an iconic Irish town. Visit a museum, an Irish pub for a pint of Murphy's, or simply wander the colorful streets. You'll return to the city of Cork in the evening, where you'll be dropped off at the original meeting point.

Cork: Fab Food Tasting Trail

9. Cork: Fab Food Tasting Trail

Meet your engaging and experienced guide within a stone's throw of the city center of Cork. Embark on an informative and relaxed food-focused walking tour as you discover local cuisine and experience the great pride Cork citizens take in their cuisine and produce.  Visit lively places that are off the usual food route. Highlights may include meeting artisan producers or visiting farmers' markets, Irish Pubs, and superhero retailers. Stop in at least 6 venues with generous samples and tastings included in each. Along the way, discover a little about the local culture and architecture from your knowledgeable guide.

Rail Tour from Dublin: 6 Days All of Ireland

10. Rail Tour from Dublin: 6 Days All of Ireland

Day 1 Check in Dublin Heuston Station (Customer Service Desk) for 7:00 departure of InterCity train to Cork (breakfast available). We visit Blarney Castle, the Queenstown Story at Cobh, then train to Killarney for two nights B & B with en-suite facilities. Day 2 10.00 depart Killarney on Ring of Kerry tour. We have a wonderful day viewing some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, including Dingle Bay. We also see the Macgillicuddy Reeks, Ireland's highest mountain Carrantuohill, Moll's Gap, Ladies View and the world famous Lakes of Killarney. Overnight in Killarney. Day 3 07.30 transfer from Killarney to Limerick, to join the Cliffs of Moher Tour, visit Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher, O'Connors Pub at Doolin, Galway Bay, overnight Galway City in 3 star Hotel (2 nights). Day 4 10.30am transfer to Connemara Airport for flight and tour of Inishmór, largest of the Aran Islands Day 5 10.00 depart Galway for tour of Connemara, including Kylemore Abbey after which we depart Galway by train, arriving Dublin Heuston 20.45 transfer by tram to three star hotel for two nights (room only). Day 6 Check in Dublin Connolly Station at 07.10 departure for the Giants Causeway tour. At Belfast we join our tour and head to the famous Antrim Coast Road crossing the lovely Glens of Antrim en route to Ballycastle and the Carrick-a-rede* rope bridge (Mid March - October only. Glimpse the Scottish coast on a clear day. We continue to the stunning Giant's Causeway next, seeing Dunluce Castle (photo stop only). We return to Belfast and our train to Dublin arriving at Connolly station at 22:20 for second night in three star hotel. Depart Monday/Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday (March to October only) * Price is per person sharing Single Room Supplement applies

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What people are saying about Cork

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 431 reviews

We did the 75 minute experience and we really enjoyed it. Our guide Brian was informative, funny and looked after everyone very well, the tasting was good although I'm not usually a whiskey drinker I enjoyed it. There was a drink in the bar at the end and we had the whiskey cocktail with ginger and lime over ice and it was delicious. There was a bit of walking and one of my group can find that hard going, but it wasn't too much and she managed it fine. Overall would highly recommend it.

The history both national and specific involving the three distilleries was very interesting. Even more fun was the tasting. I think the camaraderie built with the other people on the tour as a result of the tasting was fantastic. We went to the VIP tasting and really enjoyed the experience. My wife is not a whiskey drinker and the tour guides allowed her to sit and watch the proceedings. This added to our enjoyment as a couple.

Great driver-guide Vincent, with fun sense of humour Flexible itinerary with lots of extras Itinerary ran in reverse because combined with 4 day tour Range of accommodation from comfortable BnBs to clean basic private hostel room Highlights were Cliffs of Moher and Dingle Peninsula and Kilkenny castle n town... Overall great value tour

The Distillery Tour was excellent thoroughly enjoyed it and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend this tour.

Perfect way of seeing the city for myself and my 15 year old son James was a very helpful and informative guide