3 July 2022
By Bryan Smyth
This Summer why not embark on a treasure hunt of memory making experiences in Cobh!
- For families seeking the ultimate day out, Cobh Tourism offers a free treasure hunt for young explorers looking to discover best points of interest in the town centre!
- Solo travellers, couples and groups are invited to hop on the latest travel trend of ‘Experiential Tourism’ and immerse themselves in unique experiences found only in Cobh!
The scenic coastal town of Cobh in the East of County Cork is renowned as a friendly and charming visitor destination. As the summer season gets underway, Cobh Tourism is inviting visitors to discover Cobh in a new and more immersive way by going on a treasure hunt of the town’s historic treasures, inspired by the latest travel trend of ‘experiential tourism’. Cobh invites people to create lasting memories rooted in the people, history, and stories of the town.
Visitors can discover the many free and ticketed attractions within easy walking distance around Cobh town, on the water (the world’s second largest natural harbour) and the nearby islands of Fota and Spike, creating lasting memories.
Whether travelling solo or in a group, visitors will find plenty of inspiration for things to do with helpful half or full day itineraries outlined on visitcobh.com. From Titanic Lusitania, and Emigration stories, to Convict and Coffin ships, Spike Island, St Colman’s Cathedral, and lots of family activities, Cobh has a surprisingly varied and significant amount of historic appeal and stories to tell.
Families are invited to discover Cobh by embarking on the FREE Cobh Treasure Hunt. Free treasure hunt sheets are available from the tourist office or can be printed at home from the Visit Cobh website. As you answer questions and completing tasks you will learn fun facts and hidden history by going to points of interest in the town. Spot local sights like the Annie Moore Statue, Heartbreak Pier, and Sonia O’Sullivan statue and more. When you’re done, you’ll have experienced Cobh in a new fun way!
The famed coastal town of Cobh has an extraordinarily rich history and the stories of events and people who shaped this history are recounted by the many award-winning visitor attractions located in and around the town. Here is a roundup of the Top Engaging Experiences Unique to Cobh and not to be missed!
- Discover stories of the Titanic! Cobh is recognised around the world as the last port of call for Titanic, the famously ill-fated ship which hit an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage. To immerse yourself in the Titanic story you can visit attractions such as the Cobh Heritage Museum, Titanic Experience, or the Guided Titanic Walking Trail. Unique to Cobh is the opportunity to experience first-hand accounts and moving stories such as that of Jeremiah Burke and the message in the bottle he sent from Titanic, authentic imagery by Fr. Frank Browne whose photos on board Titanic survived and the original letter written on board Titanic by passenger Edward Colley and posted in Queenstown. See www.titanicexperiencecobh.ie or www.cobhheritage.com for more.
- Learn about the Lusitania: Cobh is also deeply connected to the Lusitania tragedy, victims and survivors of the stricken cruise liner were brought to Cobh in the hours after it was sunk by a German U boat torpedo. Check out the Lusitania monument in Casement Square or delve deeper into this dramatic moment in history at the ‘Lusitania- A Day in May’ exhibit at Cobh Museum. www.cobhmuseum.com which has a variety of historical and exhibitions on display.
- Explore Fortress Spike Island! One of Europe’s leading tourist attractions is a short and scenic ferry ride from Cobh to the island, which has lived many lives as the site of a 6th century Monastery, a 24-acre Fortress, and the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times! Storyteller guides will relay the history and mystery of the peoples and places that make Spike Island so special, from monks and monasteries to rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints. With a family friendly café and plenty of picnic sites, this is a fun, informative and relaxing day out! www.spikeislandcork.ie
- Make a splash in the maritime haven of Cork Harbour. Getting out on the water is very accessible from Cobh’s Great Island with a choice of regular boat trips, private charter, scenic tour, or self-drive options available. Whether you take a boat trip from Cork City to Cobh as part of your excursion or book on a bespoke sunset cruise you are sure to make long lasting memories. Check www.oceanescapes.ie and www.corkharbourcruises.com for further details.
- Be enthralled at St Colman’s Cathedral. This iconic structure looming high over Cobh offers amazing views over the town and sparkling blue harbour beyond. It even has a peregrine falcon roosting in the spire! The Cathedral is ranked as the town’s number one tourist attraction and is free to visit. Built in the neo-Gothic style over the course of 47 years, the cathedral was dedicated in 1919. High up in the tower of St Colman’s Cathedral is an unusual musical instrument, a series of 49 finely tuned bells forming a ‘Carillon’ and played with pedal and keyboard. The Cobh Carillon is the only such instrument in the country and includes Ireland’s largest bell, named St Colman. New at the Cathedral for Summer 2022 the impressive ‘Gaia’ rotating sculpture of Earth goes on display from 18th to 25th after touring in Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan, and the Natural History Museum in London, make sure to check it out!
- Take a walk on the wildside amongst animals from all over the world at Fota Wildlife Park. This 100 acre wildlife park is Ireland’s wildest attraction with 135 species and specially designed naturalistic habitats showcasing native and exotic animals and plants. Animals you’ll see include lions, tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, monkeys, giraffes, flamingos, peacocks, lemurs, kangaroo and wallabies to name just a few! With cafes, a gift shop, toilets, picnic tables, carparking all on-site it is ideal for a family day out. See www.fotawildlife.ie for booking details and more.
After a day of activities Cobh offers an array of top-notch eateries including Jacobs Ladder Restaurant, The Quays Bar & Restaurant, and the Harbour Browns Steakhouse to name a few. Local pubs are another great way to immerse yourself in a truly local experience. Options include Kelly’s Bar, The Rob Roy, The Roaring Donkey, Mauretania and Ryan’s Bar.
Cobh is accessible by road, rail or sail. Rail links are convenient with services departing from Cork’s Kent train station to Cobh every 30 minutes from June and the journey taking just 25mins. With car hire so expensive, Cobh is one of Ireland’s most affordable Tourism Towns to reach. Or you can take the Cobh Connect Bus and in the summer Ocean Escapes ferry from Cork city. If arriving by car we recommend parking for free behind St Colman’s Cathedral or on the waterfront car park.
Day trips from Cork City or staying longer in Cobh
Cobh makes an ideal day trip location but with so much to see and do you may want to stay even longer at well-appointed local hotels include The Commodore Hotel, Bella Vista Hotel and self-catering Suites, the Water’s Edge Hotel, Fota Island Resort, as well as a myriad of Bed & Breakfast or Air BnB’s in the vicinity. Cobh is a town that embraces tourism and welcomes visitors so make sure to put this colourful town located in the east of Cork top of your list for your next short break! You can find more information on Cobh town and its experience, as well as places to dine, drink and stay, check out www.visitcobh.com