Gateway to Ireland’s premier tourist region and nestled in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Cork is the country’s third largest city. Dating back to the sixth century when the monks of St. Finbarr first settled there, the city began life as an island. It took until the early tenth century to begin to develop significantly when Viking Settlers founded a trading port. Today Cork City spans both sides of the River Lee and is a thriving business centre as well as a popular holiday destination.
The city’s nautical roots have left an indelible mark and the stunning natural harbour remains one of Ireland’s most important seaports. It also attracts thousands of visitors from the yachting and boating fraternity drawn by the choice of both river and sea exploration. Moorings are plentiful, marine services extensive and when you feel like some time on dry land you have the fascinating city itself.
The hilly town centre with its steep winding streets and friendly vibrant atmosphere simply oozes cultural magic. Cork seems to be permanently celebrating something. And with a calendar of festivals that include, Jazz, Arts, Choral and Film it’s not that far from the truth. The hub of the city is Patrick Street, where you’ll find a wonderful choice of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs.
Heritage sites abound and you’d be hard pushed to see them all in one visit. They include, Crawford Art Gallery, Butter Museum, Firkin Crane Centre, Triskel Arts Centre, the Cork Public Museum, Cork City Gaol, the Cork Vision Centre, Blackrock Castle Heritage Park and the Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills. There is always an awe inspiring piece of historic architecture just around the corner, from the lovely Shannon Church to the magnificent City Hall, the incredible St. Finbarr’s Cathedral to the University college with it eautiful tree line quadrangle.
Cork is in many ways the heart and soul of Ireland and despite it’ size it has somehow retained much of its humble roots. The people are amongst the friendliest you could wish to meet anywhere in the world and there is literally just too much to do whatever your tastes. If you really want to discover what makes Ireland what it is today, go visit Cork. I guarantee you will be back for more.