Must See Places in Ireland: Cobh

We love Ireland's history interwoven with the sheer beauty of the land as well. While Kinsale is our adopted home, it could have easily been Cobh (pronounced Cove), another seaside town and one filled with history as it was the last stop of the ill fated voyage of the Titanic. We reinvented our lives more than five years ago now, and we still delight in the short day trip out of Kinsale where we love to visit other historic views of Ireland. This article is one of a series on “must see places in Ireland” and is written for those staying in our short term let in Kinsale, or others considering accommodations in Kinsale or places to stay in Kinsale.

If you are staying in Kinsale we recommend a trip to the tourist office to sort out your best mode of travel to Cobh. We would suggest you make a loop, going through Cork/Mahon Point area on one direction so that you can stop at Fota House, and either coming or going through Carragaline to take the ferry over to or back from Cobh. Once in Cobh you will want to stop to see the museum with its great diorama of sea going travel as it developed in the last two centuries, including a discussion of both the sinking of the Lusitania and the Titanic. There are a selection of good restaurants along the seaside and a walk or short drive up the hill above town will take you to the Cobh cathedral, which was often the last site the emigrant saw as they left their homes.

Since we were born in the United States, Cobh is special to us, not just as a charming seaside village, but as a holder of much of the personal history of the Irish American an example of the success for many of the American dream. Poor Irish Immigrants went on to be fireman, policemen and indeed to build the infrastructure of the growth of the US in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Ireland claims blood relations to three presidents.

If you have a little more time and are traveling by car we would recommend a stop at Fota house, which you will pass on your way to or from Cobh if you go through Cork. A good example of an English estate with fantastic gardens which are most beautiful in May when the Rhododendrons are in bloom, Fota house is the home of the local zoo and a wonderful stop for families.

If you have a bit more time, one stop beyond the turn to Fota House and Cobh, away from Cork is Carrigtwohill and right off the N25 is Barryscourt castle – our favorite castle tour in Ireland. Check with the tourist office to make sure it will be open, but if it is this is a treat as the inside of the tower house has been fitted with furniture of the times and the tour is one of the best in the country. Visitors will love being able to imagine what life was like in medieval times.

We have had many visitors during our years in Ireland and this day trip continues to be one of the favorites. It offers history, interesting sites, somethings of interest for families with children, and will be a fun and interesting day trip out of Kinsale.

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