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.
Welcome to Ireland’s second city
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 of the city creating the landscape of meandering streets with picturesque bridges connecting the separate islands which create Cork.
Although the successful butter making, shipbuilding and car manufacturing years have now passed, Cork thrives on prosperous technology companies, pharmaceuticals, brewing, distilling and tourism. The locals get their kicks from referring to Cork as the ‘real capital’; there is an ongoing friendly rivalry between Cork and Dublin.
Discover Cork’s culture
From the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Cork city is easy to visit and stroll around. The main shopping district is Patrick Street, with its lively shops and pubs. This long and winding shopping street boasts a variety of side streets which play host to charming cafes, individual boutiques and interesting attractions for everyone to enjoy. It’s here you’ll have a good view of Shandon Clock, ‘The Four Faced Liar.’ Each of the four clock faces on the tower tells a different time. For a better view, you can climb the tower itself and even ring the bells.
The Crawford Art Gallery welcomes 200,000 visitors a year to see its historic and contemporary art pieces. You’ll find fresh local produce and quirky shops in the English Market; locals and visitors alike flock here for the great atmosphere. It’s here that you’ll find all sorts of native delicacies and boutiques to embrace your inner local. Chat to our hotel concierge about booking a table for lunch at the Farmgate Café & Restaurant in the English Market. This covered market has been trading since 1788 with fresh local produce, and the knowledge the staff have of food is amazing. You can try local delicacies– 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 and perfect for people watching. This one of a kind eatery serves the produce the market sells. You can’t get much more locally-sourced than that!
If you enjoy a spot of shopping, stop by Mahon Point Shopping Centre and Merchants Quay Shopping Centre – both relatively close to the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork. Mother Jones Flea Market is also worth losing yourself in – discover vintage clothing, books, records and more.
Irish whiskey, festivals and events
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 3 times to give it a smoother flavour. The distillery is not far from Cork in the town of Midleton.
Cork really lights up with its festivals and events throughout the year – 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 and revellers. Pubs, theatres and cafes overflow with the soul of the city. This city swings with fun and friendliness, and is a great place to relax and explore on your trip to Ireland.
Things to do in Cork
Cork is a pretty town on the banks of the River Lee. Here are some fun things to do in Cork, both on and off the water.
Visit Fota Island Wildlife Park
The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork is situated close to the Fota Island Wildlife Park. It’s the perfect place to spend a family day out in Cork. Fota Island is also home to Fota House and Gardens, as well as a golf course, so there’s something for all the family to enjoy.
Wander the city
Take a stroll or hire a bike to get around Cork, and be sure to stop and look around. Cork’s energy is contagious both day and night, and you need to be in the action to feel part of the fun. From the pubs, bars, restaurants and parks to the water sports, popular shops and markets – you won’t be short of things to do during your Cork holiday.
Play some sports
If you like playing sport then you’re in luck. Cork has several spectacular golf courses, including one close to the hotel Cork Golf Club. 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 famous for Hurling –It’s a popular sport and provides a great opportunity to join in with the locals and watch a game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh stadium.
Visit the Jameson Experience, Midleton
The Jameson Experience is just 15 minutes from the hotel, and tells the story of whiskey over 3 centuries. A little known fact that the smoothness of Irish whiskey is down to the fact it has been distilled 3 times, unlike Scottish whiskey, which is distilled twice.
Stop by Triskel Christchurch
Triskel is Cork’s principal arts centre, and as such is the best place to experience contemporary arts in Cork. Whether you’d like to see a play, marvel at some visual arts or kick back and listen to some live music – you won’t be disappointed by the splendor this building can offer.
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 that take place throughout the year – get involved!
Celebrate the Emerald Isle
In March you can experience the Cork St. Patrick’s Festival – a real celebration of the Emerald Isle. There are stalls, parades, events, music, dancing, drinking and eating galore! The centre comes alive with colour and laughter, making this a great time to visit the city.
Run a marathon
The Cork City Marathon and Half Marathon usually take place in June – be sure to check the exact date online, as it’s a great event to take part in during your Irish trip. Afterwards you can recover in the hotel with a big brunch!
Dance in the streets
You’ll also be able to take part in the Shandon Street Festival in June, 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
Grab your bike in July for the Cork Cycling Festival – it’s free, and there are various parties and bicycle events to join in. You can even have a portrait made of you and your bike, or buy some cool new cycling gear.
Party at Cork Pride
The Cork Pride Festival for the LGBT community is hosted over the summer. There’s 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.
Celebrate the written word
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, discover some new authors and enjoy short stories from the city and beyond.
Order some jazz with your Guinness
Join the Cork Jazz Festival celebrations in October. It’s been running since 1978 and each year for a week, Cork mellows into a moody, jazzy city, with a variety of acts spanning from bands to choirs. The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival – arguably the best party in Ireland – is on the last weekend in October where tourist travel from far and wide to enjoy not only the citys Jazz, but the smaller fringe festivals around the county also.
Enjoy a festival of film
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 in a range of unusual venues.