South West England
A trip to Ireland would not be complete without a visit to the lush green countryside and peaceful atmosphere of County Cork. The county is famed for being one of the most beautiful in the country and the thousands of visitors who come each year are yet to disagree. From Cork City to the picturesque fishing villages everyone will find something in the county to delight them and no matter how long you are staying, you will find that there is not enough time to see everything that you want to.
Enjoy a trip to Blarney Castle and kiss the infamous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone gives you the gift of the gab. True or not, visitors queue to take part in the ritual making this one of the most popular tourist attractions in the county and it can get really busy at times. If you are looking to explore a castle that is a little less crowded yet still visually stunning then Barryscourt Castle is the place to visit. It has been restored over the years and the gardens and kitchen area are superbly authentic.
Heading into Cork City you will find Cork City Gaol. It is not to be missed, literally. This large imposing building is a fabulous piece of architecture. A tour of the inside of this 19th century prison will reveal its very grim past. There are lifelike waxwork statues that help to bring the past to life making it a great place to visit for anyone with a curiosity about local history, those that love architecture and it is even great for children or anyone who wants to enjoy something completely different while visiting Cork. It is not hard to see why Cork City Gaol is one of the top attractions, not just in County Cork, but throughout the whole of Ireland.
A visit to Ireland would not be complete without a trip to a distillery and County Cork is home to the old Jameson Distillery. The building dates back 200 years and it is possible to see how whiskey is made from start to finish. The gift shop is great too – and very popular! If learning how things are made interests you then try visiting Durrus Cheese. Book a trip in advance and buy a sample after the tour.
When the weather is great visit Inchydoney Island is the place to be. The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag and is a great place for a swim. However the riptides are dangerous so heed the Red Flag warnings and don’t go in the water when they are flying. Schull Community College is home to the country’s only planetarium and should be added to the list of things to do, as should the West Cork Model Railway Village. This delightful model village is fun for adults and children alike so it’s a great place to take the whole family.