If you’re lucky enough to visit this southern corner of Ireland, then you’re lucky enough. Cobh is the last port seen by those who set sail on the RMS Titanic, and the echoes of that voyage still ring throughout town. The glimpses of history here are enough to make your skin tingle. In Cobh, you’ll wake with the harbor sun and raise a pint under the glowing moon. The folks here will offer céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) and, if you’re anything like me, it won’t be a harbor mist that coats your cheek as you leave, but a teardrop.
1. Titanic Experience
We’ve seen the movie. It captivated the entire world, and not just because of Jack and Rose’s timeless love story. Imagine visiting the port where the Titanic sailed into its courtship with doom. It’s a particularly haunting experience and must be the first landmark you visit in Cobh.
This museum had big shoes to fill and knew they had to get everything right. You can be sure they did. This is a supremely educational yet haunting experience that you’ll remember for a long, long time.
Titanic Experience Cobh
Address: 20 Casement Square, Kilgarvan, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland
Website: Titanic Experience Cobh
2. St. Colman's Cathedral
St. Colman’s stands as the centerpiece in so many pictures of this pretty harbor town. She guards her people in daylight and moonlight. Today, it’s known simply as “Cobh Cathedral.”
Once you step inside, the sunlight streaming through her stained glass windows will seep inside your soul, sprouting a sense of calm and peace. Her stone arches are pretty as a picture, hovering over glossy wooden pews. Stay for a while. Offer up a prayer. And walk away feeling slightly more rejuvenated.
St. Colman's Cathedral
Address: 5 Cathedral Place, Kilgarvan, Cobh, Ireland
Website: St. Colman’s Cathedral
3. St. Benedict's Priory
This is a nice spot to visit after St. Colman’s, as it’s only a couple minutes’ walk. A garden built for prayer and reflection, you’re sure to find some added peace here. As if this sanctuary couldn’t get any more lovely, there’s also a tea shop worth visiting when you’re ready for some light refreshment.
St. Benedict's Priory
Address: Beechmount, Cobh, Ireland
Website: St. Benedict’s Priory
4. Spike Island
Ireland itself is full of rich history, ancient ruins, colorful folklore, captivating storytellers, and so much more. To say that Spike Island is in a league of its own is saying something. This dollop of land has gone through many transformations, including a 6th-century monastery, a 24-acre (10-hectare) fortress, and even the world’s largest prison in Victorian times.
You’ll learn the history of the island while simultaneously scaring the pants right off your legs. The conditions these convicts faced were particularly appalling and you’ll soon discover that mass graves are scattered all over this pretty little island. Are you brave enough to enter some of the underground tunnels at night?
Address: Kennedy Pier, 9 W Beach, Cobh, Ireland
Website: Spike Island
5. Cork Harbour Boat Hire
In a land where the water sparkles like pixie dust and the buildings stand more colorfully than a box of crayons, imagine what a boat ride through those harbor waters must be like. We’ve spent enough time gazing upon them, it’s time to get in them! After everything you’ve come to know and love about Cobh, taking a dip in its harbor is definitely worth the trip.
Cork Harbour Boat Hire
Address: The Quays Bar & Restaurant Pontoon, 17 Westbourne Place, Cobh, Ireland
Website: Cork Harbour Boat Hire
6. Fota Wildlife Park & House
Fota Wildlife Park is a 5.1-mile (8.2-kilometer) drive from Cobh. It welcomes nearly a half million visitors onto its 100-acre (40-hectare) wildlife park each year. The drive alone from Cobh to Fota is heart-warming, complete with ancient castle ruins and picturesque country lanes.
Originally a private estate, this land was sold to University College Cork in 1975. Now, the house is managed by the Irish Heritage Trust and the gardens are maintained by the Office of Public Works. A nearby 5-star resort also bespeckles this land. You’re going to enter here flying high from your scenic drive, and you’re going to leave here more appreciative of nature and those lovely old estates that the upper crust of society so thoroughly enjoyed.
Fota Wildlife Park & House
Address: Foaty, Carrigtwohill, Ireland
Website: Fota Wildlife Park & House
7. Roche's Point Lighthouse
Like Spike Island, Roche’s history is completely enthralling. Given its location on one of the southernmost tips of Ireland, it was surely the last bright light Irish emigrants saw before heading toward the US. Indeed, the Titanic and the Lusitania once relied on her beacon.
Roche's Point Lighthouse
Address: Trabolgan, Roches Point, Cobh, Ireland
8. Cobh Heritage Center
This is the cream cheese frosting that every red velvet cupcake needs. After everything you’ve learned throughout your beautiful and historical visit to Cobh, you must visit their Heritage Center. There are even more artifacts here from the Titanic and the Lusitania. Many folks feel so touched by the haunting remnants of these earth-shattering pieces, they even become a bit emotional.
Cobh Heritage Center
Address: Deepwater Quay, Co. Cork Cobh, Ireland
Website: Cobh Heritage Center
9. Cobh Road Train
If you’re wondering how you might get about town, then hop aboard this colorful and enjoyable train. Both children and adults enjoy the ride. When they say it’s perfectly novel and informative, they’re right. This is a great way to learn even more about your temporary home away from home.
Cobh Road Train
Address: 1 Westbourne Pl, Kilgarvan, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland
Website: Cobh Road Train
10. Cobh Pastimes
The Good Ship RMS "Welcome" in Cobh Pastimes has had some fine gentlemen and ladies in their studio. Lord and Lady...Posted by Cobh Pastimes on Sunday, 20 August 2017
While we’re aboard the “cute” train, you must make one final stop at Cobh Pastimes. Say goodbye to this rainbow sprinkle of a town with a photography studio that crops you into historic times. It’s fun, it’s quirky, and it places you in some of the most profound moments in Irish history. Check out their various themes in the link below. Would you like to be portrayed in Edwardian times? How about a little Steam Punk action?
Address: 29 Beach Rd, Maulbaun, Co. Cork
Website: Cobh Pastimes
Website: Gallery Themes
Dazzling drops of dew
Whether you’re skirting through the famously soft rains of Ireland or tilting your chin up toward those misty harbor breezes, every corner of Cobh is going to color your love for Ireland.
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