Cork Map Tourist Attractions
DAYTRIPS FROM CORK
BLARNEY. Tourists eager for quintessential Irish scenery and a cold kiss head northwest of Cork to see Blarney Castle and its legendary Blarney Stone, which confers the gift of persuasion upon those who smooch it while leaning over back-wards. The top of the castle provides an airy and stunning view of the countryside. Try to come early in the morning to avoid the ubiquitous crowds, (m 438 5252. Open June-Aug. M-Sa 9am-7pm, Su 9:30am-5:30pm; May M-Sa 9am-6:30pm, Su 9:30am-5:30pm; Sept. M-Sa 9am-6:30pm, Su 9:30am-dusk; Oct-Apr. M-Sa 9am-6pm or dusk, Su 9:30am-5pm or dusk. ‚4.50, students and seniors ‚3, children ‚1.50.) Buses run from Cork to Blarney (10-16 per day, round-trip ‚4.50).
KINSALE. Affluent tourists come to eat at Kinsale’s expensive, famed restaurants, known as the Good Food Circle, but the town’s other attractions are cheap. Follow the coastal Scilly Walk 30min. from the end of Pearse St. to reach the star-shaped, 17th-century Charles Fort, which offers spectacular views of the town and its watery surroundings. (477 2263. Open mid-Mar. to Oct. M-F 10am-6pm; Nov. to mid-Mar. Sa-Su 10am-5pm, M-F by appointment. ‚3.50, students ‚1.25.) Buses arrive on the pier, at the Esso station, from Cork (40min. 5-11 per day, round-trip ‚6.50). The tourist office, on Emmet PL, is on the waterfront. ( 477 2234. Open Mar.-Nov. M-Sa 9am-7pm.) Local fishermen roast their catch at HThe Spaniard , a pub with delicious entrees (‚7-14).
SCHULL AND THE MIZEN HEAD PENINSULA
The seaside hamlet of Schull is an ideal base for exploring the craggy and beachladen southwest tip of Ireland. A calm harbor and numerous shipwrecks make it a diving paradise; the Watersports Centre rents gear. (28 554. Open Apr.-Oct. M- Sa 9:30am-6pm.) The coastal road winds past the Barley Coast Beach and continues on to Mizen Head. The Mizen becomes more scenic and less populated the farther west you go from Schull; Betty Johnson’s Bus Hire offers tours of the area. ( 28 410. Call ahead. ‚12.) In summer, ferries (28 138) depart from Schull for Cape Clear Island (June-Sept. 2-3 per day, round-trip ‚12). Buses arrive in Schull from Cork (1-3 per day, ‚12) and Goleen (1-3 per day, ‚3.10). There is no other public transportation on the peninsula. Confident cyclists can daytrip to Mizen Head (29km from Schull). The immaculate Schull Backpackers’ Lodge (IHH) O, on Colla Rd. has hiking and biking maps and info. (28 681. Bike rental ‚10 per day. Dorms ‚ 12; singles ‚ 18; doubles ‚36.) The Courtyard , on Main St. has delicious options for breakfast and lunch; the fruit scones (‚0.60) and the sandwiches on fresh ciabatta (‚7-9.50) are both worth a try. (Open M-Sa 9:30am-6pm.)
CAPE CLEAR ISLAND
Although the scenery visible from the ferry landing at Cape Clear Island (Oilean Chleire) is desolate and foreboding, the main industry of this beautiful island is farming. Cape Clear provides asylum for gulls, petrels, cormorants, and of course their attendant flocks of ornithologists; the Cape Clear Bird Observatory (39 181), on North Harbour, is one of the most important observatories in Europe, and offers bird- watching and ecology courses. Those more interested in lovebirds should head to the Marriage Stones, on the northeast comer of the island, which were often visited by those seeking the gift of fertility. If the stones fail you, console yourself at Cleire Goats (39 126), on the steep hill between the harbor and the heritage center, where you can sample rich and delicious goat’s milk ice cream for ‚1.50. Ferries (28 138) go to Schull (45min. 1-3 per day, round-trip ‚11.50). There is an information office in the pottery shop to the left of the pier that provides a pamphlet detailing all the island’s sights. ( 39 100. Open July-Aug. llam-lpm and 3-6pm; Sept. and June 3-6pm.) Cleire Lasmuigh (An OigeHI) O is a lOmin. walk from the pier; follow the main road and keep left. (39 198. June-Sept. dorms ‚11-13.) To reach Cuas an Uisce Campsite O, on the south pier, walk 5min. uphill from the harbor and bear right before Ciaran Danny Mike’s; it’s 400m down on the left. (39 136. Open June-Sept. Tent and one person ‚10; under-16 ‚7.50.) Groceries are available at An Siopa Beag, on the pier. (Open July-Aug. daily llam-9pm; June llam-6pm; Sept.-May llam-4:30pm.)
KILLARNEY AND KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK
The town of Killamey is just minutes from some of Ireland’s most glorious natural scenery. The 95 sq. km national park outside of town blends forested mountains with the famous Lakes of Killarney. Five kilometers south of Killamey on Kenmare Rd. is Muckross House, a massive 19th-century manor with a garden that blooms brilliantly each year. A path leads to the 20m high Tore Waterfall, the starting point for several short trails along the beautiful Tore Mountain. Walk or drive to the 14th- century Ross Castle, the last stronghold in Munster to fall to Cromwell’s army, by taking a right on Ross Rd. off Muckross Rd. 3km from Killamey. Alternatively, the footpaths from Knockreer (out of town on New St.) are more scenic. (Open June- Aug. daily 9am-6:30pm; May and Sept. 10am-6pm; Oct. and mid-Mar. to Apr. 10am- 5pm. ‚5, students ‚2.) Bike around the Gap of Dunloe, which borders Macgilly- cuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range, or hop on a boat from Ross Castle to the head of the Gap (lV&hr. ‚ 12; book at the tourist office). From Lord Brandon’s Cottage, on the Gap, head left over the stone bridge, continue cycling 3km to the church, and then turn right onto a winding road. Huff the 2km to the top, and your reward is an 11km coast downhill through the park’s most breathtaking scenery. The 13km ride back to Killamey (bear right after Kate Kearney’s Cottage, turn left on the road to Fossa, and turn right on Killorglin Rd.) passes the ruins of Dunloe Castle, demolished by, you guessed it, Cromwell’s armies.
Trains (31 067 or (1890) 200 493) arrive at Killamey station, off East Avenue Rd. from: Cork (2hr. 4 per day, ‚20); Dublin (S’ahr. 4 per day, ‚52); and Limerick (3hr. 4 per day, ‚20). Buses (30 011) leave from Park Rd. for: Belfast (2-4 per day, ‚30); Cork (2hr. 10-14 per day, ‚13); and Dublin (6hr. 5-6 per day, ‚20). O’Sullivan’s, on Bishop’s Ln. rents bikes. (31 282. Free locks and maps. Open daily 8:30am-6:30pm. ‚12 per day, ‚70 per week.) The staff at the tourist office, Beech St. is extremely helpful. (31 633. Open July-Aug. M-Sa 9am-8pm, Su 10am- lpm and 2:15-6pm; June and Sept. M-Sa 9am-6pm, Su lOam-lpm and 2:15-6pm; Oct.-May M-Sa 9:15am-lpm and 2:15-5:30pm.) The immense and immaculate Neptune’s (IHH) O, on Bishop’s Ln. up the first walkway off New St. on the right, has an ideal location and professional staff. ( 35 255. Breakfast ‚2.50. Dorms ‚11-17; singles ‚25-35; doubles ‚16-19.) Orchard House B&B , on Fleming’s Ln. is near the town center and an unbeatable deal; small rooms are compensated by a lovely proprietress and good amenities. ( 31 879. Singles ‚25-30; doubles ‚45-60.) For a delicious variety of quality vegetarian and meat dishes, try KThe Stonechat , on Fleming’s Ln. The low-key but sophisticated atmosphere makes this by far the best restaurant in Killamey. (Lunch ‚7-9. Dinner ‚11-14. Open M-Sa llam-5pm and 6- 10pm.) UThe Grand , on High St. brings together locals and tourists for fantastic food and live music. (No cover before 11pm. Open daily 7pm-3am.)