Take a train to the harbour village Cobh.
Cobh is a plesant town with steep streets which guide you to the famous St. Coleman's Cathedral.
Moreover Cobh has one of the largest harbours anywhere, therefore it was the last port of call for the Titanic. A memorial for the people who died on the Titanic is placed near the harbour (see photo).
At that time the name of Cobh was Queenstown.
Cobh - formerly Queenstown - has a fascinating history. It was the departure point for many Irish emigrants leaving the country to seek a new life in the United States, and the full story of these people is told at The Queenstown Story, down on the quayside. This is a superb museum, and really gives an insight into why people left Ireland and what they went on to. Outside the museum stands a statue of Annie Moore - the first emigrant to be processed at Ellis Island - and her brothers.
You can pick up a walking guide to Cobh at the tourist information office and it's worth spending a few hours following the trail. It takes you to key places in the town's history, in particular those associated with the terrible shipping disasters, the Lusitania and the Titanic. Many of those rescued from the Lusitania in 1915 were brought to the town for shelter. Those who were not so fortunate rest in the graveyard on the outskirts of town. We were lucky enough to meet a local man at the cemetery who had spent years researching the stories of those buried in the graveyard, and he kindly spent quite some time with us telling us about some of the 'inhabitants'. It sounds an odd way to spend an afternoon, but such an interesting one!
Next to Blarney, a trip to Cobh is the other popular day trip destination from Cobh. This cute town has been Corks gateway to the sea - as well as the gateway to the world to svereal millions of Irish emigrants. The city has an emphasis of two ship disasters which were linked to it: The sinking of the Titanic and the sinking of the Lusitania. That means that there are several museums related to those stories as well as an excellent walking tour. Add some 19th century architecture (including an out of size - cathedral) and a seaview and you'll get an idea why Cobh as one of the most visited places in this region.
Between Cork and Cobh, there are hourly trains running in each direction, calling at Fota which can be a nice day trip destination as well. The travel time is around 30 minutes. For further tips and details on Cobh, please visit my Cobh site.
Cobh (formerly know as Queenstown) was the last port of call for the Titanic and is home to the 'Queenstown Story' featuring information both on the Titanic & the thousands of Irish people who emigrated to the 'New World' from here.
The 'Queenstown Story' is open from 9.30 to 5.00 Monday to Friday (9.30 to 6.00 on Saturday and 11.00 to 6.00 on Sundays and Bank Holidays) in Summer (shorter opening hours in Winter) and costs €7.10 (€4.00 for children or €20.00 for a famility ticket of 2 adults and up to 4 children). Last admissions are one hour before closing time.
A word of warning though - this is not a place that will keep young children amused for very long, so if you've got children in tow head for Fota wildlife park (see my other tips) instead.
The town itself is also worth a wander round & is dominated by St Colman's Cathedral on the hill, from where you can get good views of Cork Harbour.
Commanding panoramic views of one of the finest natural harbours in the world, the tiny fishing village of Cobh was virtually unknown up to the early 1800's. Now Cobh's unique origins, its history and the legacy are dramaticaly recalled at the Queenstown story - a multimedia exhibition at Cobh's Victorian Railway station.
In Cobh, you should take the 'Titanic Trail' walking tour, leaving from the Commodore Hotel at 11 am daily during the season. You can also buy a booklet at the Tourist Centre for Pd. 4.95 and go on your own. The walking tour takes between 90 minutes and 3 hours, depending on whether you linger or not. Be sure to see the Heritage Center, Mansworth's Bar, and the colorful Westview 'pack of card' row houses.
Great amount of history related to immigration, the Titanic, and the Lusitana. The people are very friendly, and one can engage the locals in conversation.
CARILLON CONCERT at St. Colman's Cathedral every Sunday May through August at 4:30 pm. After the concert there is an opportunity to meet the carilloneur. It is free.
The resident carilloneur, Mr. Gebruers, is very enthusiastic and brings guest musicians from all over Europe. The carillon has 49 bells, which makes it quite versatile. The stained glass windows are impressive.