Coat of arms for County Cork
Dubbed the "Rebel County", Cork is known throughout Ireland for its independent (and sometimes a bit cheeky) spirit, having produced such individuals as Michael Collins, the family of James Joyce and Henry Ford (in fact, Ford's first European plant opened in Cork in 1917). Comic Tommy Tiernan once joked that, had astronaut Neil Armstrong been from Cork, after his first steps on the moon, he might've remarked, "Well, it's not Cork," and this sums up the Corkonian attitude perfectly. Cork people are proud of their county and of their uniquely sing-songy Irish dialect, which is largely unintelligible to the rest of Ireland and, indeed, the world.
The largest county in the Republic of Ireland, Co. Cork is understandably a popular holiday destination for Irish and international tourists alike. It enjoys warm weather and a huge coastline dotted with scenic villages and golden beaches.
Cork is also known for its love of food and has become a gastronomic destination in recent years. Fresh produce and artisanal Irish foods are available at places like the Cork English Market in Cork City – purportedly Queen Elizabeth's favourite stop on her 2011 tour of Ireland – while gourmet restaurants and culinary schools, including the celebrated Ballymaloe House and Cookery School are a way of life in Cork.
Cork has the type of rolling green hills so often associated with Ireland, as well as rivers – the Bandon, Lee and Blackwater run through the county – and mountains, such as Slieve Miskish, the Caha Mountains and, of course, the ever-so-scenic Beara Penninsula in West Cork, a popular spot for holidaymakers, thanks to its quaint villages along the rugged coastline.
In Cork City, you can explore intriguing Irish history, from Viking invaders (9th-10th centuries) to the butter trade (17th-20th centuries), while the surrounding areas offer a wealth of activities, from the infamous Blarney Stone to the colourful shops of seaside Kinsale and some of the best whiskey in Ireland at the Midleton Distillery.
Tell our friend, Georgia, we sent you when you stay at the beautiful and inexpensive (only €30 a night!) Sea Lodge B&B which is at the gateway to the Sheep's head peninsular, with scenic views of Dunmanus Bay only 10 foot from the front door.
University College Cork
The Queen's visit to Cork
The Blarney Stone, Co. Cork
Beara Peninsula, Co. Cork
Beara Peninsula, Co. Cork
Blarney Castle, Co. Cork
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