This is the most popular Cork shore trip for first time visitors. You enjoy a Cork City driving tour to see the main sites including visits to the famous Cork City Jail and the English Market. After free time, you visit Blarney Castle, one of the most famous sites in all of Ireland.
After meeting your guide at the pier in Cobh you start with a driving tour of Cork. You will see historic landmarks such as City Hall, St. Finbarr's Cathedral, St. Patrick's Street and St. Anne's Cathedral.
After your introduction tour of the city you visit one of her top sights, the Cork City Gaol. During the 19th century this imposing building functioned as a prison. Opened in 1824, it housed prisoners until 1923. A tour takes you around the restored jail and its refurnished cells. This fascinating exhibition tells the story of the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork and explains why many of its people turned to crime and ended up occupying cells in this famous prison.
Next you enjoy a walking tour to visit the English Market. This covered market for fish, fruit, meat and vegetable sellers has entrances on Prince's Street, St. Patrick's Street and the Grand Parade. The origins of the market can be traced back to James 1st in 1610, but the present building dates from 1786. The tradition of the market is for selling meat and fish. Because of this you'll see butchers walking around wearing white coats covered in blood. In recent years the range of food available has broadened considerably to include fruit and vegetables, as well as organic stall, a traditional French deli stall, an olive stall, a cheese and pasta stall and a bread stall. If you are a fan of your local farmer's market, you are certain to enjoy this experience.
Next you have free time to enjoy lunch (meal not included) in a typical Irish pub.
This afternoon you depart for the Blarney Castle, which dates from 1446 and is built on solid limestone. Much of the castle is ruined but the main tower still remains. There are 127 steps to the top of the castle where you enjoy amazing views of the beautiful countryside. You will feel compelled to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence or as an 18th century French consul put it, "gain the privilege of telling lies for 7 years". What most visitors are surprised to learn, is that to kiss the stone you are held by the feet and suspended backwards over a stone wall.
Finally you drive into the village of Blarney where you enjoy time at the Blarney Woolen Mills. This local shop is located in an old woolen mill and specializes in quality Irish goods such as crystal, linen, china, pottery and more. After time to explore the shop you return to the pier in Cobh.
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Cork shore excursions
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