County Cork


County Cork, in Southwest Ireland is the largest county in the Republic of Ireland and also the location of the country's second largest city. This means that its inhabitants have a reasonable sense of their status. It also has a very long coastline and many items of interest for the visitor.


Kitchen garden, Ballymaloe



Other destinations


County Cork had a population of 480,000 in the 2006 census, but it's increasing quickly at the moment so it's likely to have over half a million by now. Up to 400,000 are considered to be in the Greater Cork area - within about 20 miles (30km) of the centre. The more distant parts of the county are sparsely populated. The harbour has a long maritime history and the area is part residential, part industrial. The farmland of the county is very productive and is a mixture of dairy towards the North, arable towards the East and sheep towards the West, with considerable overlap. Fishing is important all along the coast. Manufacturing tends to be centred in and around the city, while Artists and Artisans and small businesses can be found throughout the city and county.


There is definitely no shortage of chatting in County Cork. Try to concentrate and you will pick up most of English spoken word here.

Get in

By air

The Airport is situated 4 miles (6km) south of the city center. Several airlines provide scheduled flights to many cities in the UK and Europe. Bus Éireann operate regular bus services between the airport and the city with the 249 (Timetable) and 226 (Timetable).

By bus

Eurolines also operate an overnight bus service from London to Cork, via Rosslare.

By boat

The port of Ringaskiddy is 7 miles (11km) to the southeast of the city, on the harbour, and ferries take passengers to Swansea in Wales (new service operated by Fastnet Line resuming in Late May/Early June 2009) and to Roscoff in Brittany. A bus service operates between the port of Ringaskiddy and the city.

Get around

By bus

Bus Eireann run dozens of services from Cork City bus station to all of the towns in the county and throughout Ireland. Direct services between the major towns and cities in Ireland will run several times daily and can be a very cost effective way of travelling around Ireland.

By train

Trains run from Kent station to Mallow, Charleville and Northwest parts of the County (on their way to Dublin and Tralee) and a commuter service runs to Fota Island and Cobh. It is possible to reach most major towns in Ireland by train, but many will require a change of train during the journey. Irish Rail run the rail network

By taxi

Metered taxis are available almost everywhere and non-metered hackney cabs also (try to find out the price of a journey beforehand). In general, taxis are not cheap in Ireland and can quickly become an expensive luxury while visiting Ireland.

By bicycle

Bicycling is very pleasant on the quieter roads and there is a nascent network of bicycle lanes in the city.

By car hire

Car hire is available from several agencies in the city and at the airport. The following car rental companies are listed as having a location at Cork Airport:



You could base an itinerary on any of several activities, including:


Cork city has several multi-screen 'Multiplex' cinemas in the centre and suburbs which show popular films. There are similar cinemas in Clonakilty, Midleton and Mallow. For more alternative and international movies, try the Kino Arthouse cinema on Washington St in Cork, or occasionally, the Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin St, Cork.

There are several Theatres in Cork city, providing a wide variety of stage-based entertainment. The Cork Opera House on Emmet Place is the largest, and among the others are the Everyman Palace on MacCurtain St, the intimate Granary Theatre on Mardyke Parade and the Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin St.


Cork has a good reputation for food. Beef, lamb, bacon and poultry are raised to a very high standard. The dairy produce is as good as any in the world. The sea is full of fish and shellfish. These products are served up in both traditional and innovative ways throughout the county, and are complemented by dozens of ethnic restaurants cooking food from all over the world. There are over 500 restaurants in the yellow pages and many are world class. Some examples are:


Irish pubs are an important part of Irish life and Cork has lots of them. There is at least one in every little village, and sometimes they don't even need a village, they're just there. Cork city has a selection worthy of the second city, and they tend to be more intimate and friendly than those you might find in bigger cities. Do try Murphy's and Beamish at least once each.

There are usually a couple of dozen clubs running in the city at weekends, perhaps a dozen during the week. Ask around or check out the flyers in pubs to see if there is something you like on - there probably will be.

Most of the towns in the county have a club or two at weekends. These tend to try to please as many people as possible and serve the purpose of providing late night alcohol, rather than cutting-edge music. But you never know.

Stay safe

For emergency assistance (Gardai [Police], Ambulance or Fire-brigade), phone 112 or 999.

Go next

If you must leave the county, the nearest places to do so are Kerry, Waterford, Limerick and Tipperary.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, May 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.