It’s one of the oldest municipal markets in the world, and one that is a joy to stroll around. Located right in the heart of Cork city, you’ll find the English Market filled to the brim with stallholders selling the best local produce. If the weather is fine, pick up a picnic of rustic loaves, cured meats and farmhouse cheeses and enjoy it in the park. If not, cosy up in the Farmhouse Café, which was recently glowingly reviewed by AA Gill in the Sunday Times.
Details: Entry is free.
You just can’t beat Irish butter. Which is why one of the oddest sounding museums is one of the most popular for visitors to Cork. The Cork Butter Museum celebrates one of our finest creations, and explains how it’s made, its role historically and the role it’s played in our social and cultural backgrounds. Be warned: as soon as you leave you’ll be dying for a fresh hunk of bread, warm from the oven and slathered in rich, salty butter.
Details: Entrance costs €4 for adults, and is free for children under 12.
Visitors flock in their droves to kiss the infamous Blarney Stone and receive the gift of eloquence. But there’s so much more to Blarney Castle than the stone itself. There are over 60 acres of rambling parkland to explore, with gardens, arboretums and waterways all on site. The Poison Garden contains some of the world’s most dangerous plants, hidden behind cages. As the sign proclaims, enter at your own risk!
Details: Tickets cost €13 for adults, or €5 for children.
Fota Wildlife Park
Where else in Ireland can you watch a kangaroo hop along the green grass in front of you? Or see a herd of giraffes roam the land, or one of the world’s rare red pandas? Kids will go wild for the sight of these creatures, all found living happily and freely on Fota Island. All of the animals were chosen for their ability to adapt to the climate, and the park run conservation and breeding programmes.
Details: Tickets cost €15 for adults, or €9.50 for children.
It’s home to one of the prettiest beaches around, which has twice been nominated as the best beach in Ireland by Tripadvisor. But there’s more to Clonakilty than the soft, white sands of Inchydoney. There are amazing places to eat, serving up local sausages, cheeses and seafood. Be sure to check out the market on Fridays for more tasty treats. You’re never more than a few steps away from a trad session either, in one of the town’s many cosy pubs.
Titanic Experience Cobh
123 passengers boarded the Titanic in Cobh, as the ship made its final stop before the fateful sinking back in 1912. This exhibition traces the steps of those passengers, showing what life would have been like back then through interactive displays. The experience goes on to examine what went wrong with the ‘unsinkable’ ship on that cold April night.
Details: Tickets cost €9.50 for adults, or €5.50 for students.