From the descendants of its crew to its ill-fated passengers, the story behind the Titanic has been re-told from Belfast to Hollywood. At Titanic Experience Cobh, visitors can explore the stories through interactive displays and audio-visual tours, and find out what happened to the 123 passengers who boarded the famous White Star Line liner in Cobh – one of them the young Jeremiah Burke who wrote the last message ever to leave the ship.
This dramatic exhibition on the history and legacy of this town is showcased in the Cobh Heritage Centre. The Emigration and Maritime Story within the centre tells stories designed to bring the Irish emigration experience and The Great Famine to life. It highlights Cobh's strong connections with some of the world’s most famous ships – the Sirius (the first steamship to cross the Atlantic), the Lusitania, and of course, the Titanic.
The engrossing Titanic Walking Trail through Cobh explores its fascinating history of military, maritime and social heritage. See the buildings, streets and piers where Titanic passengers embarked and learn all about Spike Island and the convicts who were shipped to its shores. This trail enjoys spectacular views of one of the world’s largest natural harbours - it makes for an hour well-spent.
Used as an island prison, fortress, monastery and even a home, Spike Island is a must-see location when in Cobh. Today, visitors can learn all about past captains, convicts, sinners and saints while uncovering 1,300 years of Irish history. Plan your visit ahead of time by booking your ticket online and secure your place on the boat that connects the island to the mainland.
Officially opened in 1911 after 47 years of construction, St Colman's Cathedral boasts a neo-Gothic spire that stands 100m tall and a tower that houses 42 bells inside, making it one of the largest carillons in Europe. Stop by the cathedral to admire the architecture and even better, plan your visit to coincide with the choir recitals that are often held there so that you can have the full experience.
If you fancy some fresh food and the best of East Cork’s produce, visit Cobh Farmer’s Market. As well as local favourites, you will also find a variety of international street food to try. Don't forget to browse the selection of handcrafted wares created by local merchants. This delightful market takes place every Friday from 10am - 2pm, along the promenade in Cobh.
Take a walk on the wild side and take the 15-minute journey from Cobh to Fota Wildlife Park. Come face-to-face with animals, birds and flora from across the five continents as they roam freely around the park. A day to Fota Wildlife Park is a perfect idea for a memorable family day out.
Go further east and taste some of Ireland's finest food at the renowned Ballymaloe House restaurant. If you fancy learning new skills yourself, take park in a cooking class at the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School nearby. Have a wander around the walled gardens and parklands before you hit the road and, of course, be sure to pick up a few souvenirs in the gift shop - their homemade Ballymaloe Relish comes highly recommended.
Take a journey from Cobh to Ballycotton where the lighthouse’s lantern was first lit back in 1851. Almost 150 years later, the last keeper left the island due to the introduction of automation at the Ballycotton Lighthouse and now – weather permitting – you can make landfall, climb the original iron staircase and enjoy incredible views from the lantern balcony.
With its long history of launching epic ships, Cobh also has a tradition of welcoming colossal cruise liners to its shores. Join the locals as they climb the hills overlooking the town on a day that sees the arrival of a liner into the dock. Get a true sense of the impressive scale of these oceangoing giants as they drop visitors off to enjoy a stay in East Cork.
For panoramic views of stunning Cork Harbour, get decked out in a life jacket and a boat of your own with Cork Harbour Boat Hire. After a quick training session from the experts, head out on a self-guided tour of the world's second largest natural harbour alongside a qualified safety boat guide. Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for the dolphins and seals that often peek out from the water below.