You’ll hopefully from reading my blog start to learn how much Ireland means to me and it is such a massively important part of my life for many reasons. It is such a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. Therefore I feel it is my duty to show you some of my favourite trips and places to visit. Starting with Cork.
Cork is located in the South West of Ireland in the province of Munster. I first visited here in February on a long weekend girls trip for my best friends 21st birthday. Just like me she is very fond of the Emerald Isle. We flew into Cork airport on a Friday afternoon. It’s a relatively small airport which makes it super easy to navigate, any problems ask someone, the Irish are always so helpful! I was with my friend and all her friends and family, there was a big group of us so we pre booked our taxi to the Maldron Hotel. The hotel was beautiful, it had everything we needed and was a short walk from the quay and city centre. Perfect!
That evening we had a meal booked at a restaurant called Currans. I remember it was pouring down that night so you will definitely need a coat if you are planning on travelling at that time of year. The restaurant was cosy, quirky and extremely accommodating. We all enjoyed a wonderful night of food and drinks and laughed all night long as we always with our families!
The morning of day two has us strolling the streets for a good full Irish breakfast. We certainly got that when we discovered Tony’s Bistro. This place was incredible!! I definitely recommend it but be prepared to wait for a table, especially if you are a large group like we were. But it is so worth the wait, so much so we went back the following morning for more! You can’t beat a full Irish. You’ll find Tony’s Bistro on 69 North Main Street.
After that we did what most groups of girls do, shop! In the main centre of Cork you’ll find the usual shops that you get everywhere else. What you do need to look out for is all the quirky boutiques and stalls that you’ll find down little side streets tucked away. You also need to check out the English Market located on Princes Street in the heart of Cork City. Here you’ll find a massive variety of of products and different foods some made traditional from cork and some from a far. It has a bustling crowd of people and a wonderful atmosphere. Upstairs is a lovely restaurant too, we’re you can try out some of the products on sale!
We finished the day off with another lovely meal at a local Chinese restaurant called Yuan Ming Yuan which I would definitely recommend. This was followed by some amazing cocktails at a bar called SoHo! YUM! If you’re then off for a night on the town like we did, be aware that the clubs close at 2am in Ireland! This is something we were not aware of or used to coming from England. So give yourself enough time to dance the night away before closing time!
Day three was my favourite. We spent it at Blarney Castle and it’s gardens. After breakfast, we took a taxi from the main centre out to the castle, it took about 20 minutes and cost us around €15.00 if I remember correctly. As you enter the grounds you pay an entrance fee of €15.00 for an adult and that gives you unlimited access to the grounds for that day. A little bit of background on the Castle, it is well over 200 years old and is famous for the Blarney Stone in which if you kiss it you will supposedly receive ‘The Gift of Eloquence’. I now boast this gift myself as I was brave enough to put myself through the trauma of ‘the kiss’! To kiss it, you lean backwards whilst holding an iron railing and hold your breath!!
The grounds itself are truly breathtaking. It boasts several gardens in which I suggest you take your time and explore them all. Allow yourself a full day here to discover the diverse surroundings from tranquil to serene, to mystical and magical. I recommend you check out the ‘Bog Garden’ where you’ll find two waterfalls. Take a moment to find a penny and make a wish. Mine came True!
Katie x 🇮🇪