Cork & Killarney

Cork, southern Ireland's biggest city, is an urban hot-spot with a formidable pub culture, a lively traditional-music scene and attractive art galleries. Killarney, on the other hand, is a nature lover's dream and is one of southern Ireland's most naturally beautiful destinations.

Cork’s first major growth spurt was during the 17th and 18th centuries with the expansion of its butter trade, and many attractive Georgian design buildings with wide bow-front windows were constructed during this time. As a result of the damming of the Lee River around 1800, the city features a number of bridges and quays which, although initially confusing, add greatly to the port’s unique character.

In 2005, the European Union named Cork city a ‘Capital of Culture’ – the smallest city to ever receive the title. In late summer and early autumn, the city hosts some of Ireland’s premier festivals, including the huge Cork Jazz Festival and Cork Film Festival.

Surrounded by impressive lakes, woodlands, mountains and moors, Killarney is a stunningly beautiful destination. A popular tourist town for hundreds of years, Killarney exudes charm and enthusiasm. Relax in the beautiful, peaceful surrounds or explore some of the town’s unique heritage.

Map of Ireland showing Cork and Killarney

Shop the English Market

This famous covered market is situated in the heart of Cork city and has been trading since 1788! The Market is one of the oldest municipal markets of its kind in the world. This is a bustling social hub of the city and is the heart and soul of Cork’s ever-growing foodie scene, offering a huge array of fresh local and international produce. Rick Stein, the famed English chef said "In my opinion this is the best covered market in the UK and Ireland".

The market is best known for its fresh fish and butchers. It is a source of local specialities such as drisheen, spiced beef and buttered eggs.

 
The English Market in Cork
Discovering Cork

Cork Vision Centre

This historical society provides an excellent introduction to the city's history and geography. See the detailed 1:500-scale model of the city, showing how it has canged over the ages.

Cork Vision Centre
Cork Vision Centre

Killarney National Park

Pack your walking shoes for a trip to Killarney, as this town and the national park is renowned for its walking trails, each with a history and story to tell. Located south-west of Killarney the park includes McGillycuddy's Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland, which rises to a height of over 1000m.

The park is 10,236 hectares and the distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty. Killarney National Park also includes Ross Castle and Innisfallen Island which was the site of a seventh century monastery, and there are still the remains of a 12th century Augustinian priory on the island.

Killarney river view
Pixabay

Blarney Castle & Blarney Stone

The Blarney Stone is one of the most famous attractions in Ireland. Supposed to bestow the gift of the gab (eloquence) on anyone who goes through the peculiar ritual of hanging over the lofty heights of the castle wall and pressing your lips to the stone while upside down ... there are now guardrails to assist the devotee, in the old days people were hung by the ankles by assistants at great risk to life and limb.

The castle itself was built by the great chieftan Cormac MacCarthy nearly 600 years ago. It is an impressive structure and has a number of attractions within the walls and grounds including Badgers Cave, The Court, The Witches Kitchen and more. The grounds also contain a garden of poisonous plants ...

Blarney Caslte
Pixabay

Muckross House and Gardens

With Killarney National Park as a backdrop, this Victorian mansion and its beautiful, sprawling gardens is a focal point along the shore of the magnificent Muckross Lake.

Muckross House

The Infinity Experience

Origins of Ford
The first factory that Ford Motor Company built outside of America was in Cork, where owner Henry Ford’s ancestors were from.