Weekend Holiday in East Cork

Whenever I go away for a long weekend, I try to have an itinerary planned so I won’t be bored. My husband and I went to East Cork for the May Bank Holiday weekend. The weather was cold but dry and we stayed in a bed & breakfast in Midleton. There isn’t much to see in Midleton so I wouldn’t recommend it but it was pretty near to Cobh and other interesting places like Youghal.

First, it had been several years since I had been in Cobh and I had forgotten how pretty and quaint it was. Cobh is a little town overlooking one of the busiest harbours in the world. Its buildings are picturesque and colourful and the town exudes charm and authenticity. I love it. Along the promenade, there are cafes and restaurants a plenty and a little park looking out onto the sea.

We visited the Titanic Memorial Museum. The tour lasted about an hour; got to see the bunk beds where the third class passengers slept, some artefacts and also the upper-class dining and sleeping quarters. The inequality between classes on board the ship was grossly apparent and shocking. Even more intriguing was, we stumbled across a local man, Patrick Dooley, who had died on the Titanic. He had intended on taking a different boat but ended up travelling on board the tragic ship instead. His memorial headstone is located less than two miles away from where we live. This poor individual had only been 38 years old at the time of the disaster.

Another place worth mentioning is Spike Island. You can travel there by ferry; the journey only lasts fifteen minutes and it costs eighteen euro, this includes the tour of the fort when you get there. The history of Spike Island is very interesting and there is a lot to see. There’s the prison where prisoners were kept in solitary confinement, a museum, a military camp, and a restaurant to quench the thirst after walking around the island. There is also a village, cemetery and a tour guide will give an insight into life as it was back then. Spike Island prison was only last used in 2004. It is both atmospheric and haunting. One can almost feel the depth of despair within its stone walls. I wouldn’t like to be there at night!

Fota Island is also a must see. This park is large and open with plenty space for the animals. The only thing I didn’t see were elephants. One can stroll around the park within an hour and a half. It costs sixteen euro to go in but it is enjoyable and all the animals are close to each other so there isn’t a lot of walking involved. Kids also get to feed the many breeds of ducks by giving fifty cents for bird pellets and tossing them on the ground. Some ducks are so friendly they’d literally eat out of your hand!

These are the highlights of East Cork. Go and check them out for yourselves. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!

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