special landmark is St. Anne's, Shandon, with its great gilded salmon weather
vane and peal of bells which residents and visitors alike may play. Within Cork's
generous harbour is Cobh (pronounced Cove), last port of call for the ill-fated
Titanic and now dedicated to the streams of Irish emigrants of the 19th and 20th
century fleeing from harsh times at home, The Heritage Centre. |
A few miles north is Blarney, Blarney Woollen Mills and
Blarney Castle, beloved of Americans who strain to kiss a stone in its castle
wall to gain the gift of eloquence, an attribute not lacking in the courtly Sir
Walter Raleigh who brought the potato and tobacco to Ireland. He was once Mayor
of the nearby town of Youghal ( pronounced Yawl ). Further north is Mallow, where
gracious Longueville House makes wine from its own grapes. There is imported wine
aplenty in historic Kinsale, off which the Lusitania sank in 1915. Kinsale has
more good restaurants per hectare than any other part of Ireland and is the centre
of yacht chartering in one of Europe's almost virginal but classic cruising grounds.
County Kerry, next door, is known as The Kingdom and claims
Killarney as the jewel in its mountains and championship golf courses. The Dingle
peninsula is the haunt of seekers of craft works, good pubs and Fungi, the friendly
dolphin who prefers the company of women, while Tralee is probably the only town
in Ireland that has a song about it that every child of Erin can sing. They say
St. Brendan left Dingle in the eighth century in a leather boat to reach America
long before Columbus.
Cork City, Capital of the south and Ireland second largest
city, is excellently situated for exploring the Cork coast and river valleys and
indeed the whole of south and south-west Ireland. The city spreads itself out
from the valley floor and crept up the hills lying above the River Lee to the
north and south. The river flows in two main channels, crossed by numerous bridges.
Cork is a place of commercial importance, largely due to the excellence of its
harbour, the city quays can accommodate the largess vessels. It is an export centre
for the agricultural produce in the south, and many industries in the city include
brewing, distilling, hosiery, flour milling, bacon curing and footwear factories.
It' s a friendly city and an excellent shopping centre.
County Cork and Kerry, a playground for Angler, the region's
rivers and lakes and mountain streams provide superb game and coarse angling.
As one of Europe's choice sea-angling areas it draws fisherman from all over the
world. First class uncrowded roads through dramatic mountain passes or along quit
Lakeland country, there's a wealth of historic reminders to be seen, like prehistoric
stone circles, ring forts, monks' 'beehive' cells and Norman Castles. You can
move forward to more recent times by visiting an historic mansion surrounding
by gracious gardens.
Here you can see exactly how lords and ladies lived about
two hundred years ago. If you dream is to go swimming or to simply enjoy a lazy
sun bath on an uncrowded beach, then you need wait no longer. The south-west has
miles of quit sandy beaches with interesting little coves - all washed by the
warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and if you're a golfer you may heard from the
courses at Ballybunion, Waterville, Killarney and Cork. You'll be welcome to play,
where the scenery and friendliness of your Irish host prove why Ireland is often
described as a 'golfer's paradise'.
Time for Entertainment and Festivities, after a satisfying
day in the countryside? You can relax and be entertained in a number of ways.
Entertaining is an art that comes easily to the Irish. If you're a traditional
music enthusiast, interested in folk theatre, ballads or contemporary theatre
you'll be rich rewarded. Like wise if simple impromptu session in a friendly pub
take your fancy you'll be in the right place!
The south-west coast is an important sailing area, offering
excellent conditions for races and events. The world's oldest yacht club is in
Crosshave. There's flora and fauna of incredible beauty, offering you plenty of
scope if you're interested in biology or underwater photography.
The National Parks and Forest Trails from Gougane Barra,
Doneraile and Farran in Cork and Killarney National Park in Kerry should not be
missed if you enjoy nature at its best, the Kerry Way is o long-distance walking
path between Killarney and Glenbeigh via the Cummenduff Glen and is a must for
the walking enthusiast. The small island's, Cape Clear, Sherkin and Bere Island,
off the coast of West Cork are well worth a visit.