Conveniently situated on the South coast of Ireland, just 15 Km from the city of Cork, Cobh, is a picturesque port town facing out to sea. When your ship pulls into dock you will be greeted by rows of terraces in tiered positions creeping up the steep hillside, topped with an impressive 19th Century cathedral. This friendly and welcoming little town offers traditional Irish hospitality and a wealth of history and tradition for tourists to enjoy.
Sightseeing in Cobh
While it’s nowhere near as cosmopolitan as neighbouring Cork, the city of Cobh is steeped in charm and history. It was the last port of call for the Titanic before her tragic maiden voyage in 1912. In fact, the port area is immersed in history as a gateway for the 1848 mass migration and the rescue hub for victims of the Lusitania disaster. There is plenty for visitors to see and do in the city and with the centre being located just a two minute walk from the cruise terminal everything is within easy reach.
St. Colman’s Cathedral
St. Colman’s Cathedral dominates the landscape and is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture and history. It was started in 1868, taking just over 50 years to finish. Tourists are able to wonder at the impressive stained glass, mosaics and marble carvings as well as a large pipe organ. As a working cathedral, mass takes place every day at 10am and visitors are welcome to take part.
With the town being linked to the Titanic, tourists are able to embark upon the Titanic trail which sees them enjoying a walking tour around the city while learning about the infamous ship’s last few days and the history of the harbour. There is also a new permanent visitor attraction, ‘The Titanic Experience’ which is housed in the original offices of The White Star Line. The exhibition retells the story of the final 123 passengers to board the ship bringing the human element of the tragedy to life.
Cork City Gaol
History lovers who like gruesome tales will enjoy a visit to the Cork City Gaol within easy reach of Cobh. Visitors are greeted by wax figures in the cells adding a sense of realism to the stories that track the history of this prison and the inmates who were interred here. The tales lead from pre-famine times through to when the institution finally closed its doors. The cells still contain the graffiti on the walls left by inmates, and the audio tour offers an insight into the stark contrast of lifestyles in 19th Century Cork.
Cobh Road Trains
Young and old will have great fun on the Cobh Road Trains. These colourful and quaint trains take tourists around the townn allowing passengers to disembark at two locations; St. Colman’s Cathedral and the Black railings, a great vantage point from where you will be afforded stunning views across the city. The entire journey only takes half an hour but allows you a fantastic overview of the city.
Shopping in Cobh
Being a small city Cobh is not a shopper’s paradise, but it does offer some unique retail experiences for tourists to enjoy. The Cobh Heritage Centre is a perfect place to pick up some souvenirs. Housed within a beautifully restored Victorian Railway station there are a variety of high calibre souvenir shops which sell the usual types of gifts from pottery and key rings to locally made craft items. The shops in the centre of town also have some beautiful ceramic and glass items for sale.
Eating Out in Cobh
Despite being small in size Cobh has a wide variety of dining options available with a range of cuisines to suit all palates. Fine dining can be enjoyed at The Cove which serves up mouth-watering delicacies in a European style. Guests of the restaurant can enjoy an opulent setting and soft music to accompany their meal. When it comes to traditional Irish cuisine, don’t let the humble potato pass you by. This ordinary vegetable takes on a new lease of life in Cobh, with potato farls, champ, boxty and colcannon all firm favourites.