Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Building in Bantry

Bantry House & Garden

With its melancholic air of faded gentility, 18th-century Bantry House makes for an intriguing visit. From the Gobelin tapestries in the drawing room to the columned splendour of the library, it conjures up a lost w…
Top Choice Historic Site in Cobh

Spike Island

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 half of the 19th century, during the Irish War of Independence, …
Top Choice Museum in Cork City

Cork City Gaol

This imposing former prison is well worth a visit, if only to get a sense of how awful life was for prisoners a century ago. An audio tour (€2 extra) guides you around the restored cells, which feature models of suf…
Top Choice Gardens in Glengarriff

Ilnacullin

This horticultural miracle of an island was created in the early 20th century when the island's owner commissioned architect Harold Peto to design a garden on the then-barren outcrop. Topsoil was shipped in, landsca…
Top Choice Fort in Kinsale

Charles Fort

One of Europe's best-preserved star-shaped artillery forts, this vast 17th-century fortification would be worth a visit for its spectacular views alone. But there's much more here: the 18th- and 19th-century ruins i…
Top Choice Irish in Midleton

Farmgate Restaurant

The original, sister establishment to Cork city's Farmgate Cafe, the Midleton restaurant offers the same superb blend of traditional and modern Irish cuisine. Squeeze through the deli (open 9am to 6pm Tuesday to Sat…
Top Choice Market in Cork City

English Market

It could just as easily be called the Victorian Market for its ornate vaulted ceilings and columns, but the English Market is a true gem, no matter what you name it. Scores of vendors set up colourful and photogenic…
Top Choice International in Cork City

Nash 19

A superb bistro and deli where locally sourced food is honoured at breakfast and lunch, either sit-in or take away. Fresh scones draw in the crowds early; daily lunch specials (soups, salads, desserts etc), free-ran…
Top Choice Irish in Kinsale

Black Pig Wine Bar

This sophisticated hideaway is set in an 18th-century coach house with a charming cobbled courtyard out the back, and offers a mouth-watering menu of gourmet nibbles, charcuterie platters and cheese boards sourced f…
Top Choice Modern Irish in Northside of the Beara

Josie's Lakeview House

Captivating views over Glanmore Lake accompany scrumptious, home-cooked food at Josie's, set on a hill just north of the water. Choose from salads and sandwiches for lunch, cakes at tea, or a heartier rack of lamb a…