Hotels in Cork
VISIT CORK FOR A TRUE TASTE OF IRELAND
Fascinating culture, picturesque scenery and vibrant nightlife – Cork has it all! The luxury Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa is just 10 minutes from all the action in Cork city with its countless museums, cosy pubs and unusual shops. Take a stunning coastal drive around West Cork stopping off at historic Cobh and enjoying lunch in the gastronomic capital of Ireland, Kinsale.
Lying in the southwest of Ireland on the Atlantic Ocean, Cork is a vibrant city with a deep natural harbour. The River lee runs through the centre splitting it into islands and pretty waterways with colourful houses spilling down the gentle hilly streets. The islands offer the opportunity to see wildlife in quiet reserves as well as a golf course – an unusual day out from the hotel if you fancy a little boat ride. Although the successful shipbuilding and car manufacturing years have now passed Cork thrives on prosperous technology companies, pharmaceuticals, brewing, distilling and tourism and the locals get their kicks from referring to Cork as the ‘Real Capital’. There is an ongoing friendly rivalry between Cork and Dublin.
From the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Cork, the city is easy to visit and stroll around. The main shopping road is Patrick Street with its lively shops and pubs. It’s here you’ll have a good view of the ‘four faced liar’ – the clock faces on the tower of the Church of St Anne Shandon always tell different times, but for a better view you can climb the tower itself and even ring the bells. The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery welcomes 200,000 visitors a year to see its historic and contemporary art pieces. Another popular attraction is the English Market, which has been the centre of local produce since 1610. You’ll find fresh local produce and a happy crowd; locals and visitors alike flock here for the buzzy atmosphere and to taste something of Ireland. It’s here that you’ll find ‘drisheen’ too, the local dish of dried sheep’s blood and herbs - a lot tastier than it sounds.
Can there be a trip to Cork without having a tipple? The Jameson Experience is a good choice if you want to learn all about Irish Whiskey – it’s distilled three times to give it a smoother flavour and the distillery is not far from Cork in the village of Midleton. Cork really lights up with its festivals and events – it holds a film festival every November and the annual jazz festival every October when the streets are filled with the sounds of saxophones and trombones. Pubs, theatres and cafes overflow with the soul of the city. This city sings with fun and friendliness and it’s a great place to relax and explore in a lively and historic part of Ireland.
Cork is a pretty town on the banks of the River Lee. Here are a few things to do in Cork both on and off the water.
- The hotel is on Fota Island and so you can easily visit the Fota Island Wildlife Park for a morning or an afternoon. Remember to take your camera as there are some great photo opportunities with the animals. Fota Island is also home to Fota House and Gardens and a golf course.
- Take a stroll or hire a bike to get around Cork and whatever you do make sure you stop and look around. Cork is a place which feels alive on the streets day and night and you need to be in the action to feel part of the fun. From the pubs and bars, to the restaurants and parks to the water sports and popular shops and markets – you won’t be short of things to look at and you’ll soon feel part of the city.
- Chat to someone at the hotel about booking a table for lunch at the English Market. This covered market has been trading since 1788 and the produce and knowledge of food here is amazing. You can try local delicacies – dried sheep’s’ blood and herbs – or just sip on a hot drink while enjoying the busy ambience. It’s a real joy having lunch at Farmgate Café and Restaurant, which overlooks the market place and serves the produce the market sells. You can’t get much more locally-sourced than that!
- If you like playing sport then you’re in luck. Cork has several spectacular golf courses including one close to the hotel on Fota Island. If you’re more into watching sport than taking part then settle down with a pint and enjoy watching one of Ireland’s hurling games. Cork is one of the big teams in Hurling – sometimes nicknamed The Blood and Bandage for their distinctive red and white kit. It’s a popular sport and a good way of joining in with the locals.
- Only fifteen minutes from the hotel is the Jameson Experience where you can get to know and taste the famous Irish whiskey. The Jameson Experience tells the story of whiskey over three centuries – note the smoothness of Irish whiskey which has been distilled three times rather than the Scottish method of whisky production which is distilled twice.
There’s a good chance you’ll be in Cork for one of its many festivals. The city is always buzzing but the festivals add to the friendly atmosphere on the streets. Here are a few to keep in mind through the year.
In March you can experience the Cork St. Patrick’s Festival - a real celebration of the Emerald Isle. There are stalls, events, music, dancing, drinking and eating galore! The centre comes alive with colour and laughter and it’s a great time to visit the city.
The Cork City Marathon and Half Marathon usually take place in June so take a look at the website to check the exact date as it’s a great event to take part in. Afterwards you can recover in the hotel with a big brunch!
Also in June you’ll be able to take part in the Shandon Street Festival which fills the centre of Cork with colour and music. There are food stalls, dancing and merriment on the city’s streets.
Jump on a bike in July with the Cork Cycling Festival – it’s a free festival all about cycling in the city and there are various parties and bicycle events to join in. You can have a portrait of you and your bike or buy some cool new gear.
Over the summer is Cork Pride Festival for the LGBT community, which has a fantastic party atmosphere with plenty of activities, music and food stalls. The festival is really popular and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
Visit in September and put on your literary hat for the Cork Short Story Festival, the oldest annual festival of its kind in the world. Listen to readings, find some new authors and enjoy short stories from the city and far beyond as everyone celebrates the written word.
Join the Cork Jazz Festival celebrations in October. It’s been running since 1978 and each year for a week Cork mellows into a groovy, moody, jazzy place with plenty of different acts from bands to choirs. The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is on the last weekend – the best party in Ireland.
November is all about films and the Cork Film Festival explores films from all genres, communities and countries. There are around 80 films shown during the festival across the city.