10 Things to Do in County Cork, Ireland

County Cork is a beautiful part of Ireland. Located in the south-west corner of the country, it’s a large county and the city of Cork is the second largest city in Ireland after Dublin.

For the Ireland road trips, make sure you are
familiar with the roadside aid policy of your car rental or insurance company. Usually, I check a couple of Irish insurance comparison sites to find cheap travel insurance online for a trip to Ireland.

There are plenty of things to do in Cork City and County; here are are out ten suggestions.


Blarney Castle

The most famous sightseeing spot in Cork is Blarney Castle. This castle is, of course, home to the Blarney Stone, and legend has it that if you kiss this stone (a feat achieved lowering yourself upside-down towards it) then you’ll be blessed with “the gift of the gab”.

Things to do in Cork

Kissing the Blarney Stone by SowersPics

Bantry House

Located in a beautiful spot on the shore of Bantry Bay, the sightseeing attraction of Bantry House is a historic Georgian building, dating back to 1700. Restoration work over the past couple of decades has kept it an impressive spot to see and the gardens are particularly worth seeing.

Things to do in Cork

Bantry House Gardens by Olivier Bruchez

Mizen Head

The dramatic cliffs at Mizen Head are a popular natural tourist attraction. It’s not actually the southern-most point of Ireland (many people say it is), but it’s very close!

Things to do in Cork

Mizen Head by sheena bizarre

The Titanic in Cobh

In Cobh (Queenstown), you can join a Titanic Trail tour that explores the heritage of the town – which is famous as being the last port of call of the Titanic. Of course, you can also explore Cobh on your own – there’s Titanic stuff everywhere considering 2012 is the 100th anniversary of its sinking.

Things to do in Cork

Titanic Pier in Kobh by littleFIRE

Fota Wildlife Park

The Fota Wildlife Park and Arboretum is by visitor numbers the most popular tourist destination in County Cork. Set up in the 1980s as a joint project between the Zoological Society of Ireland and University College Cork, it has a good reputation as an animal park which promotes conservation and sustainability, and it breeds many endangered species here – the cheetahs are famous!

Things to do in Cork

Fota Wildlife Park by Sean MacEntee

Ewe Sculpture Gardens

The Ewe Sculpture Garden in Glengarriff is a fascinating collection of various kinds of sculptures set through a garden that includes waterfalls and bridges, and is a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours. It’s a private garden opened to the public by its owners – the sculptures are all works done by one of the owners, Sheena Wood.

Old Midleton Distillery

The Old Midleton Distillery in Midleton is the place to go for a historical take on whiskey distilling – to be precise, it’s where Jameson Irish Whiskey was made for many years. The tour explains the old process although unfortunately you can’t tour the brand new distillery right next door, which is known for being state-of-the-art.

Things to do in Cork

Old Midleton Distillery by Olivier Bruchez

West Cork Model Railway Village

The Model Railway Village in Clonakilty, West Cork is a must visit for any train enthusiasts. It includes scale models of the four West Cork towns along the railway with time frozen to the 1930s era.

Things to do in Cork

West Cork Model Railway by jf1234

Garnish Island

Also known by its official name of Illnacullin, Garnish Island is found in the harbour of Glengarriff in Cork. It has a particular microclimate which has helped its gardens flourish and most people will come across to Garnish Island to explore these.

Things to do in Cork

Garnish Island gardens by denvilles_duo

Cork City Gaol

One of the most popular attractions in the city of Cork is the Cork City Gaol. This old prison is now a museum giving you an impression of what life was like for inmates back in the 19th century.

Things to do in Cork

Cork City Gaol by LWY