Cork is the third most populous city in Ireland, located in Munster in the south west region of the island. Like the rest of Ireland, Cork has mild weather and is accustomed to rainfall throughout the year, with temperatures in the summer months reaching around 18 degrees. Visitors can reach Cork easily from Cork Airport, and also via ferry from the United Kingdom and France. For those wanting to explore Ireland, Cork is a great jumping off point with Kent Station connecting the city to Dublin, Limerick and Galway amongst others.
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Cork began as a religious settlement when St Finbarre founded a monastery there in the 7th century. The Cathedral is name after St Finbarre as a dedication to the patron saint, although it wasn’t constructed until the 19th century. The city became important within its province of Munster but in 1185 it fell under the rule of the English and continued to endure battles from its independence thereafter. Fast forward to the 18th century however, and Cork began to flourish once more, exporting whiskey, beer, beef and butter from its port. In fact you can even take a tour of the city’s Butter Museum to find out just how much butter changed the economy of the country. Unfortunately the city was to fall once more just 100 years later when famine ravaged the country and those that escaped death fled abroad for a better life. During the War of Independence, Cork played a key part until it was finally freed in 1916.
Mizen Head is situated on the most south westerly point of the island, and is one of the county of Cork’s main tourist attractions. With breathtaking dramatic cliffs and a lighthouse only accessible by an arched bridge high above the sea, it makes a fantastic family day out and a chance to experience the verdant countryside of Ireland. Golf enthusiasts should find time to squeeze in a round at the Lee Valley Golf and Country Club, just 15 minutes from the centre of Cork. Designed by the Ryder Cup Star Christy O’Connor Jnr it is one of the finest courses in Ireland.
One of Cork’s most visited buildings is the University, dating back to 1845. It is here that the award winning Lewis Glucksman Gallery is located- a modern structure of steel, timber and limestone that houses contemporary art from Ireland and abroad. Every 2 weeks, the gallery offers curatorial tours, so be sure to check if one is on during your visit. Foodies will love the English Market, a food market focused on local produce where you can pick up delicacies to take home, or cook with if you’re staying in a self catered apartment. It’s also a good destination to eat on the go, or source your lunch for a gourmet picnic!
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