There’s so much here in Cobh to make you stop and linger.
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 origin, 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.
This engrossing walk through Cobh explores its fascinating and diverse history of military, maritime and social heritage. See the buildings, streets and piers where Titanic passengers embarked and learn all about Spike Island and convict transportation. This trail enjoys spectacular views of one of the world’s largest natural harbours and takes about an hour to complete.
Used as an island prison, fortress, monastery and even a home, today visitors can meet captains, convicts, sinners and saints while uncovering 1,300 years of Irish history at Spike Island. From monks to the military, to idolised rebels, visitors can only access the island by boat from Cobh. The island itself has restricted opening hours and advance booking is recommended.
This grandiose neo-Gothic building took 47 years to build and finally opened in 1911. Its spire stands 100m tall and the tower houses 42 bells, comprising the largest carillon in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe. Today, the cathedral continues to hold religious services and often hosts recitals featuring choirs from around the world.
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 as well as a selection of handcrafted wares to choose from. This delightful market takes place every Friday from 10am - 2pm, along the promenade in Cobh.
Less than 15 minutes away from Cobh, visit Fota Wildlife Park where you will find animals and birds from five continents as well as hundreds of native plants and trees. This is no ordinary wildlife park; their residents thrive in an open environment which allows them to mix with other species and where possible, their human visitors too. Families will love this memorable experience.
Go further east and taste some of Ireland's finest food at the renowned Ballymaloe House restaurant, or learn how to cook some of the Allen family's famous recipes in nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School. You can stay in this establishment, have a wander around the walled gardens and parklands or buy some Ballymaloe relish, homemade crafts or cookery books in the gift shop.
Take a journey from Cobh to Ballycotton where the lighthouse’s lantern was first lit back in 1851. 141 years later the last keeper left the island due to the introduction of automation at the 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 cruise liners to its shores. A favourite activity for Cobh insiders is to climb the hills overlooking the town on a day that sees the arrival of a liner into the dock. You will get a great sense of the impressive scale of these oceangoing giants as they drop visitors off to enjoy a stay in East Cork.
With so many things to do and places to see, your stay in Cobh will be packed full of opportunities to make memories, learn about its history and enjoy the beautiful scenery.