Things to do in Cork
The venue for WESC 2019 is a tourist attraction in itself. From the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in the Lower Grounds to the Stone Corridor of the Main Quadrangle to the Crawford Observatory, UCC is a great place to explore.
University College Cork’s Visitors’ Centre acts as a central point of information for the many visitors to the University.
The centre is located along the Stone Corridor in the North Wing, at the cultural and historical heart of campus.
New audio tours taking in the history and culture of the University are available from the Visitors' Centre for purchase - call into centre for more details.
A leisurely 20 minute walk from UCC main campus and situated in the heart of Cork City, the English Market is a roofed food market and has been trading since 1788. The market is always bristling with activity and the array of stalls are an assault on the senses. It is a great place to grab a quick lunch, shop for souvenirs and generally experience the city.
Cork City Gaol
Again an approximately 20-minute walk from UCC campus, in the 19th Century prison or Gaol which is now an interesting visitor attraction. Wandering through the wings of the Gaol, the atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre-famine times to the foundation of the State. The cells are furnished with life-like wax figures and feature original graffiti on cell walls which tell the innermost feelings of some inmates.
An interesting audio visual tour tells the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork, why some people turned to crime, and some ended up in Australia. This exhibition fascinates visitors of all ages and nationalities and the tour is available in up to 13 languages.
The Cobh Heritage Centre
You can take the train from Cork City to Cobh. This journey takes about 30 minutes but is well worth the trip. Cobh Heritage Centre is located in a restored Victorian railway station. Between 1848 and 1950 over 6 million people emigrated from Ireland, over 3 million from Cobh. It was the last port of call for Titanic.
It is a dramatic exhibition of the origins, history and legacy of Cobh (originally called Queenstown), a unique port town. The entire exhibition is an experience for the senses, from the sound of the rocking waves to the dimmed lights, lots of information to read and collection of artefacts to see featuring realistically illustrated conditions and the reconstruction of the interior of an old ship. The new part of the exhibition includes the building of the Titanic, the White Star Line Collection and Female Convict Transportation.
If you make the trip to Cobh you should definitely continue to Spike Island, Cork’s Alcatraz. Ferries depart from Kennedy pier and cross the beautiful Cork harbour, the 2nd largest natural harbour in the world. In the last 1300 years Spike Island has been host to a 6th century Monastery, a 24 acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of island homes. The island's rich history has included monks and monasteries, rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints.
Today the island is dominated by the 200 year old Fort Mitchel, the star shaped Fortress which became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners. The island has a fantastic tour which earned it the title Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2017.
A 20-minute bus ride form Cork City will take you to the famous Village of Blarney and its historic castle which is most famous for its stone. The word Blarney was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk. If you are brave enough to do this you will be granted the “gift of eloquence”, this should be particularly useful for WESC 2019 delegates!
The castle grounds are beautifully maintained and the village of Blarney itself is well worth a visit.
The Old Midleton Distillery
If Whiskey is your thing you might be interested in taking a one hour bus ride the town of Middleton where it has been distilled since the early 9th Century. The Old Midleton Distillery, founded by the Murphy Brothers in 1825, still produces in excess of 24 million bottle of whiskey each year. It also houses the largest Alembic in the world.
A haven for all Whiskey connoisseurs, it is also the ideal place, for amateurs to learn the secrets of good Irish whiskey. The 45 minute guided tour of the distillery commences with a short audio-visual, after which visitors are taken on a tour of the old distillery by local guides. The tour ends in the Distillery pub, where all are invited to enjoy a glass of Irish whiskey before leaving the Distillery.
Outside of Cork
Wild Atlantic Way
See Ireland as never before, while you travel along the beautiful west coast, taking in incredible scenery and amazing experiences. The The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's longest defined coastal touring route. It's inspiring, renewing, relaxing and invigorating. It's yours to experience however you choose. Wild Atlantic Way is the world's longest defined coastal touring route. It's inspiring, renewing, relaxing and invigorating. It's yours to experience however you choose.
Discover the Lakelands
The Lakelands is a well-loved Irish destination, and it's easy to see why. Stunning countryside around the lake shores and an abundance of picturesque towns like Killaloe and Ballina makes this area perfect for walking, cycling, horse riding and other activities.
Browse the four different route sections of the Lakelands - Lough Derg, Lough Ree and Mid Shannon, Upper Lakelands and Lough Erne all have their own truly unique character. Visit Ireland's Lakelands for an unforgettable break.
Discover Northern Ireland
Discover Northern Ireland - Inspirational locations, stunning landscapes and the friendliest of welcomes. Learn about our unique stories from Saint Patrick to Titanic Belfast, from the Giant’s Causeway to the Mountains of Mourne and the Walled City of Derry.