CORK CITY GUIDE
With its pretty bridges and location along the two channels of the River Lee, Cork has a wonderful European feel, making it a fashionable place for city breaks.
Lying just upstream from Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world, the area has a rich seafaring history too.
Cork is the third largest city in Ireland after Dublin and Belfast, and in 2005 it was named the European Capital of Culture thanks to its phenomenal array of heritage sights, theatres and art galleries.
There are plenty of things to do in Cork for people of all tastes and interests, so you're free to enjoy a pint at one of the many traditional pubs, pick up some souvenirs at the many markets or simply tour the city marvelling at its stunning Gothic architecture.
This lively university city is the heart and soul of the County Cork area, so cross the Irish Sea with P&O Ferries today and visit Cork, the place locals call 'the real capital of Ireland'.
MUST-SEE SIGHTS IN CORK
Whether you're staying for a day or a fortnight, there are a number of essential things to see in Cork that simply must be ticked off.
To truly take in the scale of this great city, climb the hill to St Anne's Church for some magnificent panoramic views. This distinctive tower allows visitors to ring its world famous 300-year-old bells of Shandon, and the tolls can be heard across the city.
For the freshest of local and international cuisines, make sure you take a trip to the English Market. This covered hall is the bustling hub of the city, offering a tantalising array of artisan foods, and has even been visited by Queen Elizabeth II.
Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, and its twin spires dominate the skyline of Cork. A guided tour of this beautiful building and its stained glass windows allows you to learn about its construction based on the designs of William Burges, widely celebrated as one of the greatest Victorian architects.
For a peaceful break from your exploration, stop off in Fitzgerald Park, which was refurbished to gorgeous effect in 2014. In this leafy, tranquil oasis you can wander past a Georgian house, relax in the cafe or simply relax by the side of the water lily pond.
VISIT CULTURAL CORK
Head to the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery to witness some of the country's most notable artworks, with a collection that ranges from classical to contemporary.
While you might not want an overnight stay, the Cork City Gaol is a fun day out for the whole family. This prison-turned-museum allows you to step into the shoes of a 19th century convict, and take in the stories — and escape plans — of its many inmates.
Another favourite attraction of kids and grownups alike is the 16th century Blackrock Castle, which also functions as an observatory and contains its own restaurant.
DAY TRIPS AROUND CORK
Cork is the perfect base to explore many of the most iconic sights in Ireland. The small town of Blarney to the north west of the city contains a beautiful castle which is home to the most legendary rock in Ireland. The fable goes that by leaning backwards to kiss the Blarney Stone with your head upside down, you will be given the gift of confident speech.
For foodies, the historic port of Kinsale is considered the gourmet capital of Ireland thanks to its many top eateries, but it's also worth visiting for the stunning 17th century Charles Fort.
To finish your trip, take a romantic stroll along the jaw-dropping Ballycotton Cliff Walk.
Explore the most beautiful parts of Ireland and Cork by catching our Liverpool to Dublin ferry crossing today.