Fota Island, Cobh
Fota Island is a 780 acre island that is just outside of the island that Cobh is on in Cork Harbour. There is a golf course and golf club where you can get a light lunch. They also have a great wildlife preserve, rose gardens, an arboretum and a Georgian era house to be explored.
Paths follow along the enclosures. Most of the enclosures are open with just a fence around the perimeters. The cheetahs had a higher fence and the eagle was caged in but the rest could roam around. There was a bison, there were kangaroos, penguins, elands, giraffes and loads of water birds and flamingoes and peacocks roaming around. There are a few small islands in a man made lake that house several species of monkeys as well. My favourites were the giraffes!
There's a separate fee for the manor house. The house was an 18th c. hunting lodge and later enlarged in the early 19th c. by Richard and William Morrison, a father and son team of architects. There isn't much furniture in the house but there are interactive displays on things like the house's history and hidden nooks and crannies. The kitchens had lots of copper pots and a big contraption that is used to hang the proceeds of the day's hunting, birds mainly.