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Barryscourt Castle is such a hidden gem. It's a castle, run by Heritage Ireland. Guided tours are run if there are people ready to go. We were taken into the base of the tower house and given the spiel on the place. So interesting. We then climbed the next three floors, where we were given a talk on each floor and were able to explore. It has been restored to how it was in it's heyday when the Barry family owned it. All local artisans were involved. It is NOT overdone and just wonderful. The guide was extremely knowledgable and was happy to answer all questions. He really knew his stuff! The gardens are lovely too. There is a tea room that has tea, coffee and home made cakes. Lots of parking. Not busy. I don't think the coaches know it exists! And the best thing. It was free. Yep, FREE!!!!!
15 out of 10.
Written Jul 24, 2011
Shandon is just slightly off the beaten path and is easily accessed by climbing up any one of the steep lanes across the river from the Opera House. The Famous church is here and maybe it's a good idea to visit it first and then relax into the rest of the area. St Anne's is of course a Protestant place of worship and the 18th century interior/museum has been authentically maintained. It's fusty and dusty with austere wooden benches, church records and red velvet cassocks. If you decide to go upstairs you can enjoy wonderful views over the city and have a go at ringing the bells. It's a sort of Karaoke type scenario where you pull certain ropes and a barely recognisable version of a certain song assaults the eardrums of local residents. All good clean fun of course but be careful where you tread as the steps are precipitous and the floorboards extremely precarious in places. Outside you can admire the weather vane of a salmon known as the 'goldy fish' and not to be confused with the 'goldy angel' in St Finbar's Cathedral. Given the legend of tower clocks being known as the four-faced liar, you might have the urge to run round all four sides and check the times but they synchronise at least every hour.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Located in Carrigtwhoill only 10 miles from Cork city (there is a bus service from the bus station on Merchants Quay in Cork city), Barryscourt Castle is a restored castle with excellent guides who tell you the story of the castle and explain what you are looking at.
An added bonus is that admission is free!!! So the trip to Barryscourt is far more reasonable, less crowded & interesting than Blarney.
Updated Jul 22, 2010
Phone: (021) 488 2218
I put this on the off the beaten track as it is not a tourist spot yet picturesque from the cruise ship as we sailed towards the port of Cork. It had medieval type of buildings and it was an interesting sight we could view for free!
It is located at Haurbowline , Cork City, Cork, Ireland
The fine buildings of the Haulbowline Naval Base were constructed by the Royal Navy in 1806. The adjacent basin and dock - The Royal Alexandra Yard were opened in 1822. Unfortunately the buildings have become dominated by the now closed Irish Steel works which opened between the Royal Navy's withdrawal and the establishment of the Irish Naval Service.
The steel works closed at the start of the 21st Century and during autumn 2005 demolition was in progress.
Written May 23, 2010
25 minutes away by bus from Cork, is the village of Blarney - Famed for its Castle and The Blarney stone. Another attraction is The Blarney Woollen Mills - a place for buying Irish crafts such as woolens!, Waterford Crystal, pottery, celtic jewellery, and souvenirs of all things Irish.
The Castle and its grounds are worth visiting - although pick your time, as it is one of Irelands most popular tourist spots, so can be quite crowded. We visited on a wet Sunday in October, so it wasn't too bad. We didn't have to queue too long to kiss the Blarney Stone!
Blarney also has quite a few pubs and restaurants. We ate at The Muskerry Arms, which was popular with the locals. It has a sporting theme- the day that we visited there was an important rugby match, with local team Munster away to Sale. Blarney were also playing in the Hurling championship in Cork. These games were relayed on TV and radio, along with horse racing.
Please visit my Blarney page for more info and pics.
Written Nov 30, 2008
Blarney Castle is a very easy 20 minute bus ride from the main bus station. The bus stops in the very small village of Blarney and there is a sign showing you the direction of the short walk to the entrance. Kissing the Blarney stone gives you the gift of the gab – or the power of eloquent speaking. The castle and grounds itself is worth the visit alone. After your climb up the steep stone stairs to kiss the Balrney Stone, you can walk back into the village for a pint and meal in the pub. An easy and fun day out from Cork.
Take bus 224 almost every hour from outside Merchant's Quay (across the road from the main bus station).
Opening Hours (from the website):
Monday to Saturday:
May: 9.00am to 6.30pm
Jun-Jul-Aug: 9.00am to 7.00pm
Sept: 9.00am to 6.30pm
Oct-Apr: 9.00am to sundown
Summer: 9.00am to 5.30pm
Winter: 9.00am to sundown
Last Admissions: 30 minutes before closing
Updated Nov 3, 2008
Phone: 00 353 21 4385252
Sometimes if you are lucky you may find a street singer with a wonderful voice singing a song he wrote himself,I was lucky enough to find this singer singing in the pouring rain a song called "pouring rain" he sang beautifully ,I gave him all the change i had.
Written Oct 21, 2008
Here is a plaque commemerating a young man who died during the War of Independence.This plaque can be found at Blarney Street. Similar plaques and monuments can be seen around Cork City and in County Cork as well.Cork was to the forefront in the battle for independence from Britain. Other bigger monuments commemerating battles can be found at Dripsy County Cork,and Kilmicheal.to name but a few.
Check out St.Finbarrs Cemetery Cork City and view the Republican Plot there.2 of our Lord Mayor's are buried there,Tomas Mac Curtain,who was shot dead by the British and Terence MacSwiney who died on hunger strike in prison.(see other pic)2
Updated Sep 20, 2007
This is a sport where hound dogs are raced across country for about 8 to 10 miles.They follow a scent which has been laid down by men who "run" the course with the scent.The hounds are members of various clubs throughout the city and county,like,Fair Hill or Northern Hunt.Drags are held from March to the end of August. To get an idea of a Draghunt click on the link included.
Written Sep 20, 2007
A sport that is kind of unique to Cork is Road Bowling,well almost unique as it is played in county Armagh as well. It is played on country minor roads around Cork City and in the county as well. A game is called a "score" and it is played with a 28 ounce iron bowel.A score is played over a certain distance of the road and the person to finish in less throws is the winner. A lot of money can be bet on a score and it is all done in cash and no receipts are given or asked for! :)
Written Sep 19, 2007
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