Cork leaves a big south-Ireland-shaped-hole in your heart when you leave it, because, frankly, there’s a lot to miss.
These are the things we pine for when we’re apart from the Rebel County…
1. The English Market
One of the gems of Cork city, the English Market is a treasure trove for food and fashions lovers alike.
Many a unique Debs dress having been purchased in Miss Daisy Blue, the vintage haven of the market. As a young music obsessive growing up, The Rave Cave had you covered for band tees. Lunch in the Farmgate Restaurant upstairs with family was a must (if you could get a seat, that is).
The smell of the butchers and fishmongers used to give you the gawk as a child, but you’d be willing to hold your breath to walk through the market once again.
2. The Echo Man
Michael O’Reagan has been selling copies of the Evening Echo newspaper and the Irish Examiner on the streets of Cork since the year dot, and has very much earned the affectionate title of the Echo Man.
His distinctive voice can be heard throughout the city, echoing through the streets (pardon the pun).
Walking around a different city isn’t the same without him.
3. The churches
Might seem like an odd one, but this will ring true for anyone living somewhere like Cobh.
Cobh’s St. Colman’s Cathedral is seriously majestic, taking 47 YEARS to complete, but it was worth every single one of them.
The Shandon Steeple is also now a landmark of the city, and you’ll often hear church bells ringing through the city.
4. The coastline
In the event that you end moving somewhere land-locked, it can prove to be a bit of a culture shock.
West Cork boasts some of the nicest beaches in the country, with Bantry being a favourite holiday spot.
The walk to Crosshaven along the old railway line also makes us feel a lot of things.
5. The accent
Love it or loathe, there’s nothing quite like the warm familiarity of your native lilt.
You end up bee-lining to people with even the slightest twang of an accent at new events, and the casual use of the words ‘boi’, ‘feen’, or ‘story???’ send your heart into a tailspin.
6. The Franciscan Well
The Franciscan Well Brewery (Fran Well to the locals) produces some of the most delicious IPAs in the country.
The brewery which produces them is built on the site of an old Franciscan monastery – legend has it that water from the well had miraculous and curative properties, and people would come from afar to drink from it.
It would explain why we get such a hankering for it in the pub!
7. The compactness
There is NO getting lost in Cork city! (Well, not really).
It’s a city that prides itself on its accessibility and it’s much harder to get lost in Cork than it is in Dublin – take it from someone who knows.
8. The Jazz Festival
The Cork Jazz weekend has established itself as a pretty legendary event, taking place usually over the October Bank Holiday weekend. This year, Booka Brass Band headline the event at the Cork Opera House.
Even if you’re not into the music, you usually make an excuse to head down.
DeBarras folk club in Clonakilty is a bit of an institution at this stage, having previously hosted musicians such as George Ezra, Bastille and Christy Moore.
The latter compared the venue to Carnegie Hall and The Royal Albert Hall! It celebrated 30 years in business in 2013, and with any luck we’ll be back many times over the next 30.
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