Explore – Cork

The rebel county would like to extend a warm welcome to all, to visit the ‘real capital’ of Ireland.

Things To Do

The largest county in Ireland, Cork has a rich and varied landscape, a wealth of activities Hidden Ireland for Cork Bed and Breakfast accommodationand sites of interest and a long and colourful history, of which it’s inhabitants are fiercely proud.

Ask anyone from Cork where they live and likely answer will be, “The real capital.” Cork city, founded in the 6th century as a monastic settlement by St Finbar, is a city who’s story has had more twists and turns than a mountain road. It was conquered by the Vikings, who were pushed out by the Anglo-Normans and became an outpost of Old English culture in the middle ages. It played a part in England’s “War of the Roses”, when the city’s mayor and several respected citizens joined in a plot to overthrow England’s King Henry VII, with fatal consequences for the plotters and earning the name ‘the rebel city’ as a result.

Cork is resilient. It has suffered fires, plagues and defeats to Dublin in notable GAA matches, yet has still managed to bounce back into the vibrant and exciting city it is today.

Every October, it is home to the Cork Jazz festival, which attracts thousands of music fans and has hosted many of the greats, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Buddy Rich.

Food lovers marvel at the English Market, a fantastic collection of artisan producers, which offer meat, vegetables, baked goods, fine wine and other delectables, in the heart of the city.

There are great restaurants, cosy pubs, busy nightclubs and lovely architecture that all capture the spirit of the south.

It isn’t all about the city, however. Cork county has some of the most beautiful coastal towns and villages in Ireland, where fishing, yachting, music, seafood and salty air attract them in their droves.

There’s Kinsale, christened the ‘Gourmet Capital of Ireland, West Cork with it’s beautiful beaches and charming villages and Cobh, the last stop made by the Titanic on her fateful voyage. If you’re bored in Cork, there’s no pleasing you.

Places to Stay

Hidden Ireland Historic Country Guest Houses

Bed and Breakfast

Ballyvolane House
Ballyvolane is a warm, welcoming, family house surrounded by woods, trees, fields and huge, impeccably maintained gardens. There are several trout lakes and private salmon fishing on the renowned river Blackwater, with fly-fishing courses available during the season. There’ s a series of comfortable, well-proportioned reception rooms and the bedrooms have stunning views of the garden or park. Guests enjoy simple, delicious home-cooking–the ingredients are grown in Ballyvolane’s own walled garden or bought from local artisan producers. There’s an excellent wine list and breakfast is served until noon. Nearby, the beautiful Blackwater Valley, with its gardens and historic sites, is well worth visiting, as are Blarney Castle, Kinsale, and Fota Arboretum and Wildlife Park.

Glenlohane is a house of great character, comfort and tranquillity. It contains furniture and memorabilia that reflect the family’s two and a half centuries of residence. In a parkland setting overlooking terraced lawns, the house is surrounded by stately trees and the rolling fields of the 250 acre farm. With Bantry Bay to the southwest and the Rock of Cashel to the northeast, Glenlohane is the ideal base from which to see Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, Blarney Castle, Cork City, Kinsale and Lismore heritage town. There are 17 golf courses within an hour’s drive. With advance notice, arrangements can be made for fox hunting with the Duhallow Hunt and for salmon & trout fishing on the famous River Blackwater. Horse shows at the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet and horse racing at the Mallow Racecourse are within twenty minutes’ drive. Whether it be for B&B or for small groups of 6-8 people, who would like the privacy of the entire house with full service, Desmond, Melanie & Gordon offer their guests a comfortable and relaxed stay in a gracious setting that remains essentially unchanged after ten generations. Shannon, Cork and Kerry airports are all within an hour and a quarter.

Self Catering

Farran House
An elegant Italiante style Manor house in mature beech woodland and gardens close to Cork City (15km). An ideal location for touring both Cork and Kerry and perfect for family reunions/annivesaries. Accommodation is exceptionally generous and gracious with antique furnishings, a grand piano and full-sized billiard table. Ten 18-hole golf courses arewithin 25km. Children welcome.
Lough Ine House
Lough Ine house was built by Lord Carberry in 1830 in the front of his 18th Century farm, as a hunting Lodge. It is surrounded by a 15 acres park and has magnificent views of the sea-lough, the fields and the Knochamagh mountain. There are many walking tracks around Lough Ine. The place is a famous beauty spot where you can enjoy seeing the wildlife. It is a protected area which attracts many species of birds. With the rowing boat provided you can explore the beautiful lough and go the island where there are the remains of an O’Driscoll tower and two small sandy beaches. The house is decorated and furnished to the highest standard. The two first floor front bedrooms on the sea have material on the walls, In the bathroom you can enjoy bathing in Churchill’s bath which came out of his London home in Hyde Park Gate. (Lough Ine’s owner was appointed as the interior designer of that project.) On the ground floor there are two pretty wood panelled bedrooms and two bathrooms. Elegant entrance hall, light and spacious drawing room with period furniture and a Regency marble fireplace. Dining room for ten to twelve, and a beautiful conservatory where you can enjoy drinks in the sun or read the papers or a book, quietly.