Top things to do

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…
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 guides you around the restored cells, which feature models of suffering pris…
Top Choice Gardens in Glengarriff

Ilnacullin (Garinish Island)

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 Museum in Cobh

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 ol…
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…
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, and again during the Irish War of Inde…
Top Choice Modern Irish in Northside of the Beara

Josie's Lakeview House

Captivating lake views accompany scrumptious, home-cooked food at Josie's, set on a hill overlooking forest-shrouded Glanmore Lake. Choose from salads and sandwiches for lunch, cakes at tea, or heartier rack of lamb…
Top Choice Irish in Midleton

Farmgate Restaurant

The original, sister establishment to Cork city's Farmgate Café, the Midleton restaurant offers the same superb blend of traditional and modern Irish cuisine. Squeeze through the deli selling amazing baked goods and…
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 sell some of the region's very …
Top Choice Modern Irish in Baltimore

Glebe Gardens & Café

The beautiful gardens here are an attraction in themselves (admission is €5). If you're dining, lavender and herbs add fragrant aromas that waft over the tables inside and out. Food is simple and fresh, sourced from…