Who doesn’t love the gorgeous weather we are having right now? The long evenings? The joy of exploring all the beauty within our 5km radius? Who has discovered streets they didn’t know existed, noticed unusual coloured birds, heard leaves and branches rustling, the sounds of children playing, realized that the tops of some buildings host some truly spectacular stonework?
Time in this new restricted world of ours can be bleak but there is no denying that it has afforded us ample opportunity to appreciate the beauty that has been right in front of us but perhaps were simply too busy to notice. Our summer plans may be shattered but now has never been a better time to become acquainted with the amazing array of outstanding offerings here in good old Ireland.
To help you make a new summer plan, we at Hotel Isaacs, have put together a list of some of the top reasons why Cork should be number one on your staycation plan. All of the below are within short walking distance of our city-centre boutique hotel, providing you with a safe and peaceful oasis of calm with its very own courtyard and soothing waterfall to provide the perfect backdrop to your home away from home this summer.
Cork is a quirky, modern city with two amazing art galleries: the Crawford Art Gallery in the city centre (including its magnificent Canova casts collection) and the Glucksman Art Gallery in the lower grounds of University College Cork. The streets are also teeming with funky street art courtesy of volunteer group “Mad about Cork”. Watch out for some of the artwork on the electrical boxes. A unique way to pick up some Cork slang on your wanderings!
Founded by St Finbarr in the sixth century, Cork has seen it all with monks, Vikings, Normans, battles and sieges all colouring the pages of Cork’s saga. Discover some of the story yourselves with a visit to the neo-Gothic St Finbarr’s Cathedral and nearby Elizabethfort (also boasting stunning views of the city and cathedral). For those in search of something a bit more thorough, try the Cork Public Museum in the grounds of Fitzgerald’s Park or a visit to Cork’s newest visitor attraction: the Nano Nagle Place. Cork City Gaol with its accompanying radio museum is also worth a visit for a recreation of prison life during the 19th century.
Cork City is a walker’s paradise with two riverside walks and ample outdoor space to explore from the ornamental gardens of Fitzgerald’s Park (with new revamped playground), to the picnic-friendly surrounds of the Lough and its resident black swans to a little bit of rural in the urban at the Lee Fields riverside walk. There are also some great self-guided walking tours to take with Shandon and the University route being two of our personal favourites.
Cork City couldn’t be better placed for discovering some of Ireland’s prettiest towns and villages, many less than half an hours’ drive from Hotel Isaacs with regular public transport. Choose from the cute fishing town of Kinsale, renowned for its colourful streets, charming restaurants and imposing Charlesfort or the breathtaking coastal trails of Ballycotton. Alternatively, how about a trip to Midleton to explore the Jameson Whiskey Experience or nearby Cobh, the last port of call for the doomed Titanic liner and home to one of the world’s largest natural harbours? One of Ireland’s number one visitor attractions, Blarney Castle and its gorgeous gardens is another contender you won’t want to miss.
Cork is fast becoming a foodie’s fantasy fulfilled with a magnificent mix of restaurants and bars to tempt the taste buds of even the most fussy of eaters. Dating back to 1788, our indoor food market, the English Market has survived wars, famine, economic downturns and has tirelessly worked to serve the people of Cork during this pandemic. It is an emporium of all things good food with daily fresh produce. Prepare for an assault on the senses!
Speaking of an assault on the senses, it would be a crime not to mention our very own award-winning Greenes Restaurant (residents enjoy a 15% food discount) and number one cocktail bar in Ireland, Cask. After an exciting day of exploring, allow yourself to sit back and indulge in a little bit of luxury.
The summer demands it after all!