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Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

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Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

My Wife and I are flying into Cork for 3 nights to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary and my 30th birthday which happen to be on the same day. We arrive into Cork on Sunday 17th Aug and leave on the morning of the 20th Aug.

We both enjoy beautiful scenery and small picturesque towns and villages that we can wander around stumbling upon a good pub to eat at and for me to have a beer as my Wife is expecting our first baby and she will be the designated driver!

We basically have two full days and we were thinking about visiting the Blarney Castle but would also like to drive a nice coastal route and see places such as Kinsale, Cobh, Clonakilty and maybe Kilkenny.

We enjoy pubs with traditional music followed by a meal in a nice small cosy restaurant. Near to where we live there is a small family run Italian which my Wife loves so something similar would be great for our anniversary/birthday meal if anyone can recommend anywhere.

Seeing as it's my birthday also a romantic tour of a brewery would be a suitable attraction but I don't think Monday and Tuesday are good days for a tour?

We are stopping on Summerhill North, St. Luke's which is about a 5 minute walk into the centre of Cork city.

We were thinking about hiring a car from a company at the airport but not sure what we will be able to fit into our 2 days. We would like to explore the city on foot at some point also.

I did think about booking a Bus Eireann tour and one day doing the half day open top tour of Cork and Blarney then the full day Ring of Kerry tour but it’s the lack of flexibility that puts me off.

Some sort of itinerary of what we can fit into two days would be fantastic along with any other suggestions or advice.

Many thanks, James

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1. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

Im not from Cork but from passing thru there from time to time, its not the sort of place I would bother taking an open-top bus tour of. Its not a capital city and so has no great range of significant buildings, museums or historical sites. There are a few though.

And while Im on the negatives, Blarney isn't up to much in my opinion. Visited the village recently, there is the castle, where you can apparently kiss a piece of rock that others, mostly Americans, kiss, and shop for souvenirs. I've not been into the castle, but if you wanted to see a dramatic castle, visit Cashel in County Tipperary.

Now, what County Cork does have of significant historical interest is the port of Cobh, gateway to America for irish emigrants, last port of call of the Titanic. Both events commemorated in exhibitions - that I've not yet seen. Even Ian Paisley visited the area recently.

Cobh also has Fota Wildlife park if you want to see some wild animals in an uncaged setting.

But if you are interested in scenery, south west County Cork has that in abundance. There are a multitude of seaside villages along the cosat such as Baltimore, Glandore, Glengarriffe where you could have a cosy pub lunch.

I'd suggest that you do hire a car and get out of the city on day-trips as far as you can. A bus-tour doesn't give you the flexibility to go see the places you want, stop at the pubs you like, etc. The Ring of Kerry is a scenic area, but the south west Cork cost is just as pretty, and the villages are more attractive than those on the Ring. You could drive along the south west Cork coast, go into County Kerry at Kenmare, head over the Molls Gap part of the Ring to view the lakes of Killareney and return via the main Killarney Cork road. All that, with stops, would be an 8-hr trip.

Gougane Barra, inland, is a national park with a lake, an island, and a small church on the island which is popular for weddings. Thats romantic. Not too far from there is Beal na Blath where leader Michael Collins was assassinated in 1922 (subject of the movie)

Kinsale has a foodie eputation, lots of great restaurants, which might be the location to treat yourselves to a celebratory meal.

You could travel to east Cork on the other day, into County Waterford and visit more villages like Ardmore or as far Waterford city and the fishing port of Dunmore East.

Dingle Peninsula is a very scenic and much visited area which would be within reach of a long day-trip from Cork also.

Murphy's brewrey in Cork, owned by Heineken, apparently has a visitors centre for your pub outing, tasty, but hardly romantic though :)

Kilkenny is along drive from Cork, and there are not a huge number of attractions along the route, although you would not be far from the Cashel castle that I mentioned earlier.

Not sure if you would find a pub with traditional music on a Monday night in Cork city, but you could ask around. You wouldn't find it in the small villages because there wouldn't be the volume of visitors to warrant it and the locals, like locals everwhere, do their socialising at weekends.

Im sure if you contact Cork tourism or somewhere they can recommend some good restaurants in the City.

Hope you have a good trip.

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2. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

James, why not stay in Kinsale altogether? www.kinsale.ie.

Reason I say this is with your wife in her current pregnant state she might prefer somewhere quieter.

Kinsale is a cinch to get to from Cork Airport, it's as simple as driving out the gate of the airport and taking a right, and after about 15 miles you are in the pretty town of Kinsale.

If you do this you should probably forget about Blarney and Cobh and concentrate on Kinsale and Clonakilty. There are loads of lovely cosy restaurants in Kinsale see the website above (I recommend Man Fridays, old fashioned but wonderful home cooked food).

There are lovely places to visit when in Kinsale. The town itself is lovely fro a stroll, Charlesfort is also worth a visit and you can walk there (40 mins each way) along the famous Scilly walk.

There is a nice beach area (lots of bracing fresh air - before lunch at Fishy Fishy) there called Garettstown which is nice to see.

On day two you could visit Clonakilty which is about 20 miles from Kinsale. It's a lovely town, nice restaurants (I recommend the The Sugan). There are lovely pubs there hidden in this town. If time you can drive out to the Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa (3 miles away) maybe treat yourself and your wife to a surprise spa treatment.

If you want to stay in the city centre however, this is not a problem and there are loads of pubs, shops and restaurants to choose from. You mentioned an Italian meal. Il Padrino in the city centre is good.

If you want my restaurant/pub list email me at brynoadvisor@yahoo.ie and I'll be glad to send it to you.

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3. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

Thank you for taking the time to provide me with such detailed responses. We have already booked a room with breakfast and city view for 80 euros for the room per night which for the location and with free parking I thought that it represented pretty good value and it looks ok.

Our provisional plan now for the first day is to drive to Kenmare via Klonakilty in a kind of loop and visiting Gougane Barra but I cannot see the Molls Gap part of the Ring that was mentioned which would give us a view of the lakes of Killareney (I was looking on google maps). We would stop at seaside villages on the coast also.

On the second day we really liked the sound of Kinsale and Garettstown (Man Fridays or Fishy Fishy??) we would also like to drive to Cobh which is certainly of interest to us both even though it’s in the opposite direction.

Hopefully this will leave us enough time to explore the city and try and search out some traditional music. Il Padrino in the city centre will be perfect I’m sure.

Please will you have a look over our provisional route plan and tell me if it’s achievable.

Can you recommend any airport car rental companies?

Really appreciate your help, James

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4. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

drive to Kenmare via Clonakilty in a kind of loop and visiting Gougane Barra but I cannot see the Molls Gap part of the Ring that was mentioned which would give us a view of the lakes of Killareney (I was looking on google maps). We would stop at seaside villages on the coast also.

###That is going to be some day !! It will be very rushed. A possible loop would be Cork-Bandon-Clonalkilty- Dunmanway- Kenmare - Killarney - Macroom - Gouganebarra - Cork.

I would plan to leave out GouganeBarra, it's just a bit off the track for you. What you are planning will not leave a lot of time for hanging around.

Molls gap is on the road from Killarney to Kenmare, so you will not pass it unless you travel towards Killarney on your way back.

On the second day we really liked the sound of Kinsale and Garettstown (Man Fridays or Fishy Fishy??) we would also like to drive to Cobh which is certainly of interest to us both even though it’s in the opposite direction.

###You could easily do Cobh in the morning and then drive back via the Jack Lynch tunnel towards Kinsale, Garrettstown etc. A tip for getting to Kinsale, follow the signs to the airport, once you pass by the airport you will know you are on the right road !

Charlesfort is well worth visiting and the lovely Bulman pub just 5 mins walk down hill from the fort is worth a visit.

Make sure you pay a visit to the Grotto in Ballinspittle (on the way to Garrettstown). This is the grotto where in the 80's thousands reported to have seen Our Lady moving. No doubt it had something to do with the Paddy, the Jameson or the Murphys, as she hasn't moved since ;-))

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5. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

Everything sorted. Your help has been fantastic. Many thanks, James

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6. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

You are welcome. There is also a 'James'Fort in Kinsale, it's not restored but the fact that it was a fort is pretty obvious. It's just beside the Dock pub outside of kinsale about one mile on the way to Garrettstown. When you drive over the long bridge you go right for Garrettstown and left for a quick peak at Jamesfort. Enjoy

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7. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

Hi James

Well done Bryno you have given good advice again but could I just add if you are going to Garrettstown James why don't you carry on through there to The Speckled Door Pub for Lunch you can sit in the conservatory & look out to the ocean while having a nice lunch.

Enjoy your trip

Nebo

8. Re: Help or advice with my 3 night/2day Cork itinerary please!

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