You will find an incredible food and drink scene as well as a world-class food market and historical fort to discover in Cork City.
An English Market
English Market has existed since 1788 and is the envy of foodies everywhere in Ireland. Although this is not your typical English market, you can still pick up favorites like drisheen and pigs’ trotters, as well as seafood, bread, fresh cheese, and vegetables. Even after attempting to transform it into a parking lot in the 1980s, people in Cork have now realized it is worth saving, despite having survived several fires, civil wars, and efforts to sell it for development. Among the UK and Ireland’s best food markets, Rick Stein calls the English Market “the best-covered food market in the UK and Ireland”. Come grab a meal at the Farmgate Café when you visit the market.
The Cork City Gaol
Cork City Gaol represents a mixture of classical and Gothic architecture, making it look more like a castle than a penitentiary. Don’t be fooled by the elegant facade, for behind these walls are some of the most combat-seasoned veterans of war. Not well at all, it seems, when you consider how 42 prisoners tied sheets and clothes together and fled silently over the walls on bare feet one night in 1923. During the War of Independence, many republican women were held in this prison, which was mostly a women’s prison. A journey through the gloomy cells and corridors will take you back to those turbulent and tough times.
The Fort Elizabeth
During the Irish Civil War in the 1920s, this brute made a regular appearance in front of hostile forces. A few years after its construction began in 1601, the locals feared an invasion would destroy the structure. After the order was restored, Cork was forced to rebuild the city again entirely on its dime. A fort was replaced in 1624 and improvements were made by Oliver Cromwell while he besieged the city, leading to the fort we see today. People claim that the strongest view over Cork city can be found walking along the ramparts of the city.
The UCC campus (including the Lewis Glucksman Gallery)
It’s not quite like a stroll along the leafy banks of the River Lee through University College Cork. The vast diversity of trees on campus gives it a stately aura: in the President’s Garden, you can even spot one that sprouted from a sapling found in the pocket of a fallen soldier in the trenches of the First World War. The museum’s Lewis Glucksman Gallery continuously showcases the best in visual arts and fosters the university’s centuries-old tradition of excellence towards the visual arts. Several sculptures, photographs, prints, and paintings can be found throughout campus. While rambling through the grounds, count how many you can spot.
The Shandon Bells and St Anne’s Church
Upon learning that the red sandstone and white limestone of St Anne’s tower had inspired Cork’s sporting colors, it’s apparent how much the people of Cork love the church. Although a church sits above the city today, built-in 1722, a church has existed here since medieval times. But don’t trust the clock on top of the tower, since the different faces each tell a different time. That’s what locals call the “four-faced liar”. The church bells can be rung, but today they are controlled by an automated system, so you do not have to ring them on a rope anymore.