On Time in Cork

After a relaxing day in Guernsey, we arrived in Cobh, Ireland – the port for Cork – the main city in southern Ireland. We initially planned to visit Blarney Castle, but those plans changed (the night before) after discovering the day was a holiday. (A good decision because we eventually learned that Blarney Castle was packed with people!)

Cobh, Ireland is one of the main ports in southern Ireland. We initially planned to travel to Cork (by train) to catch a bus for Blarney Castle. However, we heard that the day as an Irish bank holiday, so we scratched Blarney because we thought it would be extra crowded. (We heard that was true).

Cobh’s train station is beside the dock, so a 20-minute inexpensive train ride took us to Cork.

Given the holiday, it seemed many of the 125,000 inhabitants we either elsewhere or inside. Many businesses were closed and the city wasn’t bustling with people. Although a quiet day, we still had a good day walking in the city founded by the Vikings in the 6th century A.D. along the River Lee.

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Because we suddenly changed our plans for this day, we stumbled across this gem early in our day. A church on a hill caught our attention, so we migrated that way – and oh what a treasure would await us.

Built in 1722, Church of St. Anne (Anglican, Church of Ireland) with its towers provides a striking landmark above the city. We walked the 132 steps to the top for a beautiful 360-degree view of the city and surrounding region.

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The Firken Crane is directly below – a name that caught my attention. 🙂 It’s history is tied to the butter industry, but today it the the Institute of Choreography and Dance.

St. Anne’s tower is well-known for it’s bells. Given its location within Cork’s Shandon district, the bells are also known as The Bells of Shandon. Famous enough to have a song written about them.

For us, the trip to the tower’s top provided an added bonus. The first stop along the narrow corridor was the bell ringing station – actually known as change ringing. They provided a songbook for visitors to ring. After ringing, we continued our journey to the top, which included passing very close to the bells – as they were ringing! – so visitors are required to wear devices to protect their hearing.

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Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral (Anglican, Church of Ireland) is one of Cork’s must-visit locations. This gothic-styled cathedral built in 1879 is impressive.

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Elizabeth Fort sits on a hill south of the medieval town near St. Fin Barre. Built in 1601, its history includes time as a fort, military barracks, prison, police station, and tourist attraction. Actually unimpressive, but it has a historical role in the region.

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St. Patrick’s Street is a downtown shopping district that now includes pedestrian friendly streets. Unfortunately for us, many businesses were closed due to the holiday. That gave us time to return to Cobh to examines the quaint setting near the dock, which will be the next stop on this tour. Meanwhile, enjoy this 4-minute walking tour of Cork.


37 thoughts on “On Time in Cork

  1. How did you get on with the Irish accent Frank? It can be quite broad and rapid in the south. 🙂 I’ve not visited Cork, but I believe it has, as your photos show, many beautiful sights. What fun to ring the bells! I imagine that was a little different to your hand bell repertoire?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I spent the day in Blarney, so I didn’t get to see all these beautiful sites. But Blarney is wonderful. Unfortunately it rained the whole time I was there, and even with an umbrella and raincoat I was soaked. I’d love to visit it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. European cities are a feast in so many ways and Cork, Ireland, sounds like one to visit. I enjoyed going to the Firkin Crane ‘The Home of Dance’ website, especially their projects described in the BLANK CANVAS.

    Speaking of dance, this morning I reviewed your previous post on Argentine Tango which someday I hope to watch live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      I too consider European cities as gems … and each has its own unique character. Cork is not a large city as Dublin or Belfast – but it is an important metropolitan center for southern Ireland.

      Firkin Crane is quite the unique building. Given the name and architecture, it definitely caught my eye.

      Glad you saw the Argentine tango post … and see it danced by people who know what they are doing is special.


  4. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to visit, but I’d love to. I have family roots in Scotland and Ireland and I know it would be meaningful travel. Ireland is quite obviously a beautiful country. This recent trip of yours really appeals to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      If you ever get a chance, GO! … Cruising is like a sampler tray, little of this and that but never too much nor enough. Still much to go on this trip … Dublin is the next stop. 🙂

      BTW – we didn’t get to see the Irish countryside – which I’ve always heard is wonderful.


  5. Thank you for walking the 182 steps of St. Anne so I could view the magnificent city.
    There’s a great deal of history in this little town. Your photographs tell a story all by themselves.
    It looks like it turned out to be a good day for touring around the town.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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