Cork Off The Beaten Path Tips by evaanna Top 5 Page for this destination
Cork Off The Beaten Path: 40 reviews and 67 photos
Monument to Annie Moore and all Irish emigrants
Cobh (pronounced cove) - formerly Cove and, subsequently, Queenstown, is a pretty resort and port situated on the largest island in Cork Harbour.
Walking along the quayside lined with elegant hotels, good restaurants and interesting shops, the first time visitor might not even suspect the town's tragic past. And yet it was from here that over 2.5 million desperate Irish people set off on the sea journey in the years 1845-1950 in pursuit of a better life. For many, it was the only chance of survival in times of hunger and disease brought on by the repeated potato crop failures in 1845-1849.
The town has not forgotten them - the Queenstown Story museum at the Cobh Heritage Centre tells their story and the story of the port in its expressive multimedia exhibition.
Outside the disused railway station where the Centre is located stands the statue of Annie Moore, who was the first person to be admitted to the United States of America through the new immigration centre at Ellis Island, New York on 1 January 1892. The statue of Annie and her brothers was sculpted by Jeanne Rynhart of Bantry and is dedicated to all those who were forced to leave Ireland in those days of need.
Admission fees: EUR 6.60 - adult, 3.30 - child, seniors and students - EUR 5.50
Phone: 353 (21)4813591
Garryvoe Beach is situated south east of Cork near the town of Youghal. This area is sometimes called the Irish Riviera, but I think that fortunately there are fewer hotels and it's less touristy than the other Rivieras I have seen pictures of. On the other hand, the weather was not too good when we went there so it might look different on a sunny summer day. There were a few people walking on the beach though and the caravan park nearby was quite full. The place seems to be a good one for birdwatching - there was a list with illustrations of all kinds of seagulls and other birds that can be encountered there. In the distance you can see the Ballycotton Lighthouse.
It was the place we went to soon after my arrival from Warsaw and I really enjoyed the open spaces and the sea after the noise, crowds and congestion of my hometown.
Watching boats on the River Lee
The Corkonians have a lot of space for recreation: parks, gardens, the embankment of the River Lee... The city is not just green - it shimmers with all the colours of the flowering shrubs, creepers getting into every nook and cranny often high up on the walls, beautiful flower compositions on the lawns and the roundabouts. I was astonished to see palm trees - one would think they don't grow so far north but here they were and many of them too.
Watching the passing ships and boats is one of my favourite pastimes and there were endless opportunities to do that.
One of the places where you can do this to your heart's content is the colourful 2000 Garden at the Port of Cork, developed to welcome the turn of the Millennium. Situated right on the embankment at the west end of Tivoli, it commands wonderful views of the river up towards the city centre and down to Blackrock Castle and the Marina, and is a great place for a walk along its banks. Unfortunately, we stopped there only for a few minutes to take some pictures while the sun was shining. We had to stay near the car parked illegally in front of the gate so couldn't explore the garden. Try to get here on a sunny day - you are bound to enjoy it.
Cathedral and town from the quay
Cobh remembers not only the mass exodus of Irish emigrants but also some maritime disasters. Queenstown, as it was then called, was the last port of call of the ill-fated Titanic on her maiden voyage in 1912.
Three years later the war took its tragic toll: the Cunard liner Lusitania with 1959 people on board was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine just 16 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale. 1198 people lost their lives and the survivors were brought to Queenstown. 150 bodies were buried in mass graves in the Old Cemetery there. A monument to the victims of the Lusitania and the local fishermen who tirelessly fought for the survivors' lives can be found on the quayside.
The past is hard to forget here but Cobh is also a lively touristy town and port where luxury liners and smaller ships call in and fishing boats go about their business. Take a walk on the quayside and explore the winding narrow streets leading up to the cathedral at the top of the hill. And listen to the sound of the cathedral bells announcing new better times for this old Irish seaport.
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