Cork City & Region - Places of Interest

Within the city itself, there are a number of places of historic and cultural interest , all easily accessible from the Arbutus Lodge Hotel. These include the following:

University College Cork
Cork has just celebrated its 150th anniversary as a University city and the University entrance is located on Western Road, just across the road from the Mardyke. Tours are available of the city from June to September. The buildings are styled after the Tudor Gothic period and visitors are free to walk the corridors in the path of many famous and historic figures. Once such person being George Boole, after whom the Boole library is named, one of the more modern buildings on the campus and well worth a visit. The Quadrangle Building and the Honan Chapel should also not be missed. The Chapel houses some beautiful stained glass and Celtic designs, which epitomise the spirit of the early 20th century Celtic revival period.

St Finbarr's Cathedral
Located on Bishop Street, quite close to the University is the beautiful Gothic St Finbarr's Cathedral which was designed by William Burgess. This early French Gothic structure is beautifully proportioned and contains a lot of ornamental mosaic work and rich carvings typical of the medieval period. The present building replaces two earlier churches and was completed in 1870.

Cork South Mall

This South Mall is the business and financial center of Cork, and it contains many interesting buildings. At the end of the South Mall is the former Provincial Bank, a highly ornate Corinthian structure. Opposite in Parnell Place is the Cork Savings Bank, which was designed by the Kearne Bros., and Sir Thomas Deane. Also in this vicinity, located on the other side of the river is the City Hall, an impressive limestone building which was opened in 1936, by the then president Eamon De Valera. The English Government had provided the funds to construct the building in reparation for burning the original city hall in 1920, during the Irish War of Independence. A number of large events and exhibitions are held in the City Hall throughout the year, including the International Choral and Folk Dance Festival.

The English Market
With entrances from Patrick Street, Princess Street and the Grand Parade, this is a vibrant and thriving covered market with stalls selling a variety of goods and fresh produce. The original market dates to 1610, and the present building built in 1786, was refurbished in 1980, following fire damage. For a great variety of fresh fish, meat and vegetables, this is the place to go. Additionally a large selection of more exotic and peculiar foodstuff not native to Cork can also be found here. All in all the English Market is certainly worth a browse.

For those who care to venture a little further and leave the city behind them, there are a number of interesting areas in the vicinity which are well worth a visit.

Located to the north of Cork City, only about a 20-minute drive from the Arbutus Lodge Hotel, is the famous village of Blarney. Visit Blarney Castle and estate, the ancestral home of the McCarthy family and with the Blarney Stone set in its battlements. According to legend the gift of eloquence may be attained by kissing the stone. The village of Blarney is charming and definitely worth a trip while Blarney Woollen Mills is the perfect stop for some bargain hunting or last minute shopping.

Located about 20 miles from Cork city (a 30 minute drive) is the harbour town of Kinsale, one of the oldest and most attractive towns in the South of Ireland. Kinsale has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction in recent years and is currently considered to be the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. It is home to a large number of small, fine and intimate restaurants in which you may put this assertion to the test for yourself. The town is especially conducive to exploration on foot with its winding quaint streets and historic buildings such as the Desmond Castle.

Other Cork towns within reasonable distance of the city include,
Cobh, Ballycotton, and Midelton. Additionally the neighbouring counties of Kerry and Tipperary also offer some great attractions for a day trip. The towns of Tralee and Killarney in Co. Kerry are world famous as are the historic towns of Cahir and Cashel in Co.Tipperary Cork City and the Arbutus Lodge Hotel offers a convenient base from which the best of southern Ireland can be easily explored.

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