Spending the day in Cork is the best

The grounds of the University College, Cork are beautiful. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

Spending the day in Cork, a city located in the south-west region of Ireland, is an absolute delight. Personally, it was the best day from beginning to end.

Our host here at Fenroyd House B&B volunteered to take us through the University College of Cork, which just happens to be right across the street from our accommodation.

The grounds of the University College, Cork are beautiful. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.
The grounds of the University College, Cork are beautiful. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

More than 20,000 students attend the university and it is regarded as Ireland’s first five-star university. Established in 1845 it was established in the reign of Queen Victoria. There is an old student superstition that to cross the Quad before graduation, or even set foot o the grass, is to risk bad luck and potential failure at exams.

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The first stones recording the Celtic alphabet — the Ogam Stones — can be found on display here. The Ogam Stones are the earliest written source of the Irish language, the oldest record of Irish personal names, and the earliest real evidence of Irish scholarship and learning.

University College, Cork. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.
University College, Cork. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

From the university we walked to St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

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St Fin Barre's Cathedral  has offered worship since 606AD. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.
St Fin Barre’s Cathedral has offered worship since 606AD. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

A Church of Ireland cathedral, it was the first major work of the Victorian architect William Burges and is one of the three cathedrals in the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

It’s a beautiful example of a 19th century, high Victorian design cathedral and well worth a visit. Take the time to look at all the details.

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St Fin Barre's Cathedral is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.
St Fin Barre’s Cathedral is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

Having walked to a high point in the city to enjoy the views of Cork we strolled our way tot he ‘English Markets’. I’ve no idea why they have this name as they are full of Irish fresh food and it is a place where many locals shop daily.

The market has been trading since 1788 and is one of the oldest municipal markets of its kind in the world.

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Renowned chef Rick Stein once said, “In my opinion this is the best covered market in the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

According to Rick Stein, this is the best covered market in the UK and Ireland. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.
According to Rick Stein, this is the best covered market in the UK and Ireland. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

You can indulge in coffee and cake at one of the many stalls. I had what was possibly the best profiterole I’ve ever tasted, and was overwhelmed that the chocolates that were normally €1 were free.

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Shandon, a district in Cork, is regarded for The Bells of Shandon, which is a song that celebrates the bells of the Church of St Anne.

You can climb the steep staircase to play the bells.

The Church of St Anne is a Church of Ireland church located in the Shandon district of Cork. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.
The Church of St Anne is a Church of Ireland church located in the Shandon district of Cork. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

Walking back down to the main area of Cork you can find yourself at The Oliver Plunkett. Saturday afternoons featured traditional Irish music along the street as well as inside the pub.

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You'll be treated to traditional Irish music at The Oliver Plunkett at Cork. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.
You’ll be treated to traditional Irish music at The Oliver Plunkett at Cork. Photo courtesy Lorraine Parker.

We dallied to hear the band and enjoy the two Irish dancers before heading inside for dinner. I had the Irish stew and, of course, Jameson’s with dry.

It was the perfect way to end our day.

Have you been to Cork, Ireland? What was your experience like? Is a trip to Ireland on your travel bucket list?

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