“Necessity is the mother of invention”
Here, at Hotel Isaacs, we love thinking up new and exciting ways of doing things. Our award-winning restaurant, Greenes and our Cocktail Bar Cask have launched their new takeaway collection service. It’s exciting and gives us the chance to have at least one evening a week where we can take a break from the cooking and kick back with some truly delicious food and drink.
Of course, in even the darkest of times, there are always positives to be found. No one can deny that this period has provided us with ample time to think and appreciate all the wonderful things Cork City and county has to offer. Things that we took for granted on our days off like going to our favourite restaurant, getting our hair done and popping off on a coastal adventure to one of Cork County’s seaside towns are just some of the many things we have to look forward to post lockdown.
One of our favourite places to escape to on our days off is the charming town of Cobh, a mere 25 minute drive from our city-centre boutique hotel (or a leisurely train journey of just 24 minutes with trains conveniently running on the hour). Famed for having one of the largest natural harbours in the world, Cobh is a lively, colourful town with numerous bars, restaurants and shops with friendly locals always ready to offer a warm welcome to its many visitors.
Here are our top picks of things to see and do on a trip to Cobh:
It is reasonable to say that most of our international travel plans have been scrapped for this year. Well, it may not be quite the South of France but Cobh’s picturesque promenade running the length of the town is still a nice place to enjoy a leisurely summer walk, breathing in the fresh sea air, admiring the many fishing boats and stunning views of nearby Spike Island.
Situated just off the promenade overlooking the naval base at Haulbowline, the JFK Memorial Park is a lovely place to enjoy a stroll or stretch out on the grass with a picnic. Complete with a band stand, fingers crossed; there may even be some music to serenade you on those long summer days.
If history is your thing, you need look no further than the Queenstown Story, a comprehensive heritage centre located at the railway station documenting the history of the town including its many maritime disasters as well as the mass emigration prevalent. Between 1815 and 1970, a staggering 3 million people emigrated from Queenstown. This interactive museum will provide the face behind some of these names. With its very own resident genealogist, you might even manage to trace some of your roots.
We all know the story! We’ve all seen the movie. But did you know that Cobh was the last port of call for the doomed liner with 123 passengers climbing aboard here? Who were these people? Live a little bit of their story with a tour of the Titanic Experience, located in the original White Star Line ticket office where visitors each receive a ticket of one of these passengers. Did they survive? All will be revealed at the end of the tour.
The hill may look daunting but the short (but steep) climb up to St Colman’s Cathedral is well worth it if even just for the spectacular sea-views that await you as well as the frequently photographed “Deck of Cards” houses. Rest the legs and have a moment of calm in the beautiful masterpiece that is St Colman’s Cathedral. Dating back to 1868 and taking over half a century to complete, the cathedral is also home to one of the largest carillons in Europe with 49 bells.
Of course, these are just some of the many ways to spend your time in Cobh. There are also daily walking tours, a tourist train (if you don’t fancy climbing the hill) and even an art gallery to whet your appetite.
Excited? Very much so!
Colette is a hotel receptionist working at Hotel Isaacs Cork. Her favourite part of the job is meeting the many guests coming from all corners of the globe and sharing with them all the wonders that Cork City and County has to offer. One of her great passions is travelling and exploring new places especially museums, galleries and castles. "One of the things I feel very strongly about is how so many people in Ireland are completely unaware of some of the hidden treasures right on their door-steps. When people go abroad, they push themselves to see all the cultural delights on offer but too often, they have no idea how great what is right in front of them, readily available every day is. I came to Cork as a student in 2008 and I too limited myself and didn't push myself to explore. It took a friend to take me off and show me how truly amazing this city and county is and this is what I want to share with my guests and readers.