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Visiting Cork - things to see and do on Leeside

Friday, 24th January, 2020 9:42am

1. Fota Wildlife Park: A wildlife park unlike any other in Ireland! You can see peacocks strut in front of you or lemurs playing together as you eat your lunch, it's the perfect spot for a day trip! Located near Carrigtowhill, Fota Island is only 25 minutes from the city centre or 15 minutes by car. 
 
2. Blarney Castle: This 600 year old castle built by the Chieftain Cormac MacCarthy is one of Ireland's greatest landmarks. Not only does Blarney Castle boast beautiful gardens and a magnificent castle, it also has the famous Blarney stone - kiss it and legend has it that you’ll never be lost for words again. 
 
3. English Market: At the heart of Cork city, this market is one of the oldest of its kind. From freshly caught fish to chocolate to make your mouth water, this market has got it all. Who knows you might even bump in to a few famous faces, too! 
 
4. Spike Island: For over a thousand years, the island has played host to a monastery, a fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of island homes. On the island you can book a tour around the fort, meeting various different characters along your journey. 
 
5. Blackrock Castle Observatory: Originally built as a coastal defence fortification, this 16th century castle now houses an observatory, visitor center and restaurant. For seven euro a ticket you can tour the castle and view the planetarium show.

6. Charles Fort Kinsale: Just outside of Kinsale town, this fort has played home to some of Ireland's most momentous events. The entrance fee, which costs five euro for adults, includes admission to the exhibition centre as well as access to the grounds of the fort. 
 
 7. Titanic Experience Cobh: Located at the original White Star line ticket office in Cobh, this experience is definitely worth a visit. When you arrive and check-in you receive a boarding card attached with a name of one the 123 people who left Cobh, bound for America on the ill-fated Titanic. A guide will then take you on a virtual journey showing you just what life was like on the Titanic. The tour lasts approximately 30 minutes with time then to explore more of the center 
 
8. Shandon Bells: This experience gives you the chance to ring the famous Shandon Bells and play a tune or two while you're at it! You can then climb the 132 steps to get a 360 degree view of Cork city at 120 feet. You can also see the inner workings of the clock along with enjoying the beautiful surroundings of St Anne's Church.
 
9. Cork Ghost Tour: For those who enjoy something a bit different, this is the perfect thing for you. The aim is to fright and delight at Cork Ghost Tours - the 15 euro tour, which lasts about an hour, explores the more gorey side of Cork in a scary but fun way!
 
10. Jameson Experience: Cork's answer to the Guinness store house, but better. The distillery offers many different whiskey tasting experiences and tours ranging in different price and lengths. It is definitely a must see!

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