So. You’ve made it down to Ireland’s sunny south (look outside, is it raining yet?) and you want to explore everything that Cork has to offer.
Turns out it’s got heaps. The Rebel County is overflowing with beautiful villages, fine dining restaurants and innovative seafood shacks, beaches and walks and forest trails.
We’ve put together our ultimate Cork bucket list that will plan out an entire weekend for you – from free things to do in Cork city to a secluded spa hotel on a sandy stretch of beach that feels like it’s yours and yours only.
You won’t want to leave Corcaigh after all of this.
Where to go…
Start off in Cork city, wandering around the easily walkable city and stopping in one of the many coffee stores. Our faves? Alchemy (make sure you grab a Clonakilty black pudding sausage roll) and The Bookshelf for an oat flat white or iced latte.
Make your way west for the rest of the weekend, stopping off in Clonakilty for a ramble around the Farmer’s Market, Inchydoney for a beach walk and some seawater pampering and Kinsale for a taste of seafood.
Cobh also boasts pretty-as-a-picture pastel houses in front of a cathedral, while food lovers should stop off at Ballymaloe House in Middleton for the famed Darina Allen soda bread.
What to do…
What isn’t there to do? Here’s some handy guides we put together…
Stretch the legs by the River Lee, explore an old train track line and see ancient lighthouses from the cliffs of Cork.
Museums, a converted convent that’s been restored to a stylish chill out spot, star gazing from a castle and a sensory overload at The English Market.
Whether you’re heading to the beaut harbour town for a weekend of peace or debauchery (the craic in local pubs is 90), you can’t head down here without reading our to-do notes.
We’ve done some digging and questioned the hell out of all our Corcaigh mates in order to find some unique experiences that will make your trip unforgettable.
Where to stay…
Casual guesthouse or luxury seaside spa? Here’s our top three picks:
The Imperial Hotel is a 200-year-old building that’s had a recent refurb of its 45 bedrooms €300,000 was spent on doing up the bedrooms at the start of the year, and it’s ideally located smack bang in the middle of the city.
Located quite literally on the beach, this remote hotel on Inchydoney Beach is one of the most relaxing places in Ireland.
The attic room at the top of The Old Dispensary guesthouse is tastefully decorated in light blue and cream, with a huuuuuge bed the centre piece. Skylight windows provide an eagle view of both sides of Kinsale and lets in a serious amount of light.
What to eat… And drink!
Cork has enough culinary delights to rival any other European city. Indian street food, locally sourced ingredients from neighbouring farms and fine dining eateries.
You’ll be buzzing at the sheer excellence of places to eat and drink in Cork city – local flavours, Middle-Eastern colourful plates, fresh seafood and more than a couple amazing spots for veggies.
One county that’s getting it right on this heavenly brekkie-lunch hybrid is Cork. Local ingredients, heaps of colour on your plate and a healthy dose of great craic served with every bite.
Swing by these eight cocktail spots (maybe not in one night though, unless you have nerves of steel) and sample the finest tipples that Cork has to offer.
There’s no harbour view here and I doubt you’ll find it in any tourist guidebook, but let there be doubt that Bastion is one of the best spots in Kinsale.
You’ll be obsessed with Cork in no time, bai.
We know we are.