Cobh, The Queenstown Story


The howl of the storm almost knocks you off-balance, there's a bit of fake vomit on the deck, and the people in the pictures all look pretty miserable – that's just one room at Cobh Heritage Centre. Housed in the old train station (next to the current station), this interactive museum is way above average, chronicling Irish emigrations across the Atlantic in the wake of the Great Famine.

Other exhibits include some shocking stuff on the fate of convicts, shipped to Australia in transport ships 'so airless that candles could not burn'. Scenes of sea travel in the 1950s, however, might actually make you nostalgic for a more gracious way of travelling the world. There's also a genealogy centre and a cafe. The last admission is one hour before closing.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cobh attractions

1. Cobh Museum

0.04 MILES

Model ships, paintings, photographs and curious artefacts tracing Cobh's history fill this small but engaging museum. It's housed in the 19th-century…

2. Titanic Experience Cobh


The original White Star Line offices, where 123 passengers embarked on (and one lucky soul absconded from) the RMS Titanic, now house this powerful…

3. St Colman's Cathedral


Dramatically perched on a hillside terrace above Cobh, this massive French Gothic Cathedral is out of all proportion to the town. Its most exceptional…

4. Spike Island

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This low-lying green island in Cork Harbour was once an important part of the port's defences, topped by an 18th-century artillery fort. In the second…

5. Fota Wildlife Park

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Kangaroos bound, cheetahs run, and monkeys and gibbons leap and scream on wooded islands at this huge outdoor zoo, where the animals roam without a cage…

6. Fota House Arboretum & Gardens

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Guided tours of Regency-style Fota House focus on the original kitchen and ornate plasterwork ceilings, but the real highlight here is the 150-year-old…

7. Blackrock Castle

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Blackrock Castle is a restored 16th-century castle that now, rather incongruously, hosts a small hands-on science centre, an inflatable planetarium and a…

8. Jameson Experience

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Coachloads pour in to tour this restored 200-year-old distillery building. Exhibits and 75-minute tours (run between 10am and 4pm) explain the process of…