City life is great, especially in the gorgeous city of Cork. We have everything we need practically on the doorstep of our Hotel Isaacs Cork; great shopping, interesting museums and cathedrals and the best pub culture you could hope for. Despite everything in the city, it’s good to escape from the big smoke and explore the wilder parts of the county on a day trip. If you’ve seen enough of city life and want to explore the picturesque harbours, castles and coastline of the south-west, Cork has it all. Here are some of our favourite day trips you can take from the city, a short drive from our Cork city hotel. 

Blarney Castle County Cork

Blarney Castle – 15-minute drive 

Have you ever visited a real-life castle? If you have, you’ll have realised Disney wasn’t exactly honest with us! The castles you’ll find in Cork don’t have tall turrets or princesses trapped inside, instead they are fortified stone structures, used as defensive strongholds. Blarney Castle was built in Medieval Ages and is one of the most popular attractions in Cork. It was built almost 600 years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and lands. One of the castle’s main attractions is the famous Blarney Stone. It is said that if you kiss the stone, you’ll be given ‘the gift of the gab’ and never be lost for words. There is a bus every half hour going to Blarney from the city and our friendly staff would be delighted to help you book your spot on this unique Cork tour.

Jameson Whiskey Experience - 20-minute drive  

There is no doubt, whiskey is one of Irelands greatest exports especially the liquid gold produced right here in Cork, Jameson Irish Whiskey. If you’re a fan of Whiskey or have never had the pleasure of trying it, get yourself to Jameson’s Midleton Distillery. For over 200-years the Jameson Distillery was based in Dublin. In 1975, they decided they needed more space & freedom to grow and so moved the entire operation to the green fields of Midleton in Cork. When you visit the distillery, you’ll witness first-hand the hard work and dedication that goes into making every bottle of Jameson and why it is so popular. Their 90-minute tour is informative and entertaining and ends with the all-important tasting of the delicious whiskey.

Picturesque Cobh County Cork

Cobh – 25-minute drive 

Did you know that the port in Cobh was the last stop of the infamous Titanic on her first and last voyage? Or that the town was originally developed as a place for wealthy Victorians to enjoy a spa retreat? It was also once the most important port in Ireland for trans-Atlantic travel. Cobh is one of the most gorgeous towns in Cork, especially down by the picturesque harbour where there are excellent views of the water and the brightly painted houses usually found on postcards. Cobh has many attractions besides the port; like the magnificent St. Coleman’s Cathedral, the educational Cobh Heritage Centre & Queenstown Story experience and a little further out, the gorgeous Fota Wildlife Park.

View over Charles Fort Kinsale County Cork

Kinsale – 30-minute drive  

Another scenic location in Cork, Kinsale is widely known as one of the most picturesque destinations on the island of Ireland! The town started as a medieval fishing port and went on to develop a fascinating history involving battles, castles and Spanish invaders. Some of Kinsale’s most beautiful attractions include the long waterfront, a yacht-filled harbour, narrow winding streets and brightly painted galleries, shops and houses. Kinsale is a great place to enjoy some of the best food in Ireland, often being hailed as Gourmet Capital of Ireland’. It’s an ideal golfing destination too, a place to enjoy water sports and activities such as deep-sea angling, scuba diving, boat hire, fishing, kayaking, climbing and abseiling. Kinsale really does have it all and should be high on your Cork bucket list.

Ballycotton Cliff Walk County Cork

Ballycotton Cliffs - 35-minute drive 

To experience some of the best cliffside views on Ireland’s West Coast, without the long drive to Moher, take a short hop to The Ballycotton Cliffs. The Cliffs are a short drive from our Cork City hotel and offer breath-taking views across the sea and an ideal place to take pictures to treasure forever. There is a scenic two-hour cliff walk from Ballycotton village to Ballyandreen beach, following the coastline on one side and enjoying gorgeous green meadows on the other. You might want to drop into the nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School for one of the daily afternoon demos

If you need a base to stay when exploring Cork city or further afield, Hotel Isaacs Cork is your ideal choice. We’re ideally situated to enjoy the attractions of the city or to enjoy one of the Cork bus tours departing closeby. Contact our friendly reservations team or book one of our exclusive special offers only available when you book direct.

About The Author

Sarah originally from Dublin has a keen interest in travelling and writing and aims to travel around the beautiful places in Cork in Ireland as much as possible. From the most popular places to hidden gems Sarah aims to find the best of Cork and the surrounding areas to get the best out of your visit to Cork, whether long or short.

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