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Lalli

Cork's city centre

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Cork's city centre is such a compact place that the highlights can easily be absorbed in a half day's walk. Start at the Tourist Information Office on Grand Prade where you can pick up a Cork City Area Guide which details points of interest.

 

St Finn Barre's Cathedral where the city began as a monastic school in about AD650. Both the Gothic late 19th century cathedral and the bridge across the River Lee are built of white limestone which is a characteristic Cork building material.

 

Next visit the Cork's indoor food market where stalls sell a wide variety of fresh food ranging from traditional meat and seafood to organic vegetables and hand made irish cheese.There is a nice cafe here on the first floor called the Farmgate Cafe and is one of the city's liveliest lunch spots.

 

The only park in the City Centre is Bishop Lucey Park and this leads to the Triskel Arts Centre a hub of the city's cultural life.

 

Cork's main shopping street is Patrick Street designed by Catalan architect, Beth Gali. The city was named European Capital of Culture in 2005. At the river end of Patrick Street on Merchan'ts Quay there is a shopping mall with all the usual high street stores.

 

About 20 metres along the street on the left hand side of a pedestrian alleyway next to The Body Shop leads to Rory Gallagher Piazza, a small pedestrianised square popular with buskers. Here an old part of Cork known as the Huguenot Quarter named after the French Protestants who lived here in the 18th century, meets a new shopping development. This is the closest Cork gets to a "left-bank" with a cluster of antique shops, bookstores, boutiques and trendy bars and restaurants.

 

A 20 minute bus ride from Cork of course is the village of Blarney where you can climb the tower in Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney stone. To reach the stone you must climb 120 steep stone steps through the five storeys of the castle. Fabulous views! The gardens are absolutely beautiful with a pretty stream running through, in spring its full of cherry blossom trees and daffodils and very peaceful. There are several pubs and restaurants in the village where you can have a spot of lunch. Also of course is the Blarney Woollen Mill which claims to be the biggest sweater shop in the country.

 

If you have a bit more time you must visit the town of Cobh (pronounced Cove) . Between 1848 and 1950 about 2.5 million people emigrated through the port of Cobh their transport ranged from the notorious coffin ships to the luxurious White Star and Cunard Lines, and of course it was the last port of call of the Titanic. Here in Cobh you can visit the The Queenstown Story, which is a heritage centre located in the actual railway station and customs hall that was used by the emigrants. Absolutely fascinating, you can have lunch in the pretty cafe and shop for souvenirs in the shop.

 

(H)

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Re: Cork's city centre

 

I'd certainly recommend Cobh as a spot to visit especially on a sunny afternoon. The waterside walks are excellent and there can be a nice buzz to the town especially if theres a cruise ship docked (see www.portofcork.ie ).

 

If you're in Cork city a trip up to St Marys in Shandon (look north for the church tower with a goldie fish) is recommended - you'll get a great view and a chance to play the bells.

 

One thing to note is that Cork city centre is an island within two channels of the river Lee. This can cause confusion if you orientate yourself with "the river"...

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