Deluxe Tours Ireland | Discover Cork and Kinsale
Cork (Corcaigh in Irish) comes from the word ‘corcach’ meaning ‘marsh’. It is in the Southwest of Ireland, lying on the river Lee and is the second largest city in Ireland. The beauty in this county has to be seen, photograph’s simply don’t do it justice. Take a luxury tour of Ireland and discover the extraordinary landmarks in this wonderful county of Munster.
Blarney Castle (Caisleán na Blarnan, in Irish) has been rebuilt twice since its’ original structure of wood, in the 13th Century it was replaced with stone before being demolished in the 15th Century and rebuilt again by the King of Munster, Cormac McCarthy. This is the castle that can be seen standing today, although it’s partially in ruins. The castle is also surrounded by picturesque gardens, one of the gardens is a ‘poison garden’ filled with poisonous and toxic plants. Enter at your own risk!
One of the more famous features of the castle is the Blarney Stone. For a fun family vacation package in Ireland, kissing the stone is a must on your list of things to do in Ireland! For over 200 years millions of people have been travelling to Blarney specifically to kiss this magical stone, though its power’s are questioned it doesn’t stop people visiting from all over the world to kiss it. In the past it wasn’t easy, visitor’s had to be held by their ankles to reach it, however, nowadays there are iron bars for safety and it’s a little easier to kiss the stone but still involves lying down and kissing it backwards!!
There are many legends about the Blarney Stone but the common one is that whoever kisses the stone is gifted with eloquence and persuasiveness. In other words ‘the gift of the gab’, it certainly explains why us Irish folk like to talk so much!
Near the castle is Blarney Woollen Mills, here you can purchase authentic traditional Irish gifts (Irish linens, lace & Waterford Crystal). A perfect opportunity to get keepsakes from your trip or to bring some home to loved ones. At duty-free prices this unique store also offers to ship your gifts straight to your home.
Traditional Irish clothing hailing from the Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway, are Aran jumpers. They are made from sheep’s wool and are an 0ff-white colour. These jumpers are extremely cosy and warm, I’m sure they will come in very handy if you experience typical Irish weather during your stay in Ireland! Aran jumpers can also be found in Blarney Woollen Mills, so there is no need to take the long journey from Cork to the Aran Islands to get one!
In Middleton, Cork you will find the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. As one of the popular tipples in Ireland, Jameson’s Whiskey Distillery has created the Jameson Experience tour, allowing people to explore the distillery to see for themselves the secrets to perfecting the ‘uisce beatha’ (whiskey, meaning ‘water of life’ in Irish) .
The enormous vats of whiskey can be seen in this unique guided tour which includes watching a film, and the signature golden drink can even be sampled before you leave!
The English Market can be found in Cork City centre and is Ireland’s most famous covered food market. The market attracts people from all over Ireland and further, it even was honoured to visited by the Queen of England in 2011. There’s a mix of traditional Irish food’s but also exciting new foods on the market. It’s famed for its’ fresh produce and has been at its present site since 1788.
Hayfield Manor is a famous 5 star deluxe Hotel in Southwest of Cork. As it’s family-owned it gives a unique experience to luxury accommodation and houses magnificent gardens. All bedrooms in the Hayfield have their own signature style and with antique settings in each, they exude comfort.
Guests can be pampered in Hayfield’s Beautique Spa, with 6 different treatment rooms it offers a sanctuary of relaxation and exclusion packages to soothe the body and mind. Everything you could wish for on a deluxe tour of Ireland.
A personal driver in Ireland can bring you to this rare town of Cobh. This harbour town was known as Queenstown until the 1920’s and is steeped in heritage. The harbour is one known to be one of the safest in the world but is also famously and tragically known because of the Lusitania and the Titanic.
Cobh was the Titanic’s last port of call before striking an iceberg and sinking in the Atlantic in 1912. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died. It was the largest tragedy to every befall a ship.
In memory of the Titanic, Cobh has a museum called the Titanic Experience. Here visitor’s can see the original White Star ticket office along with a personal tour guide of certain replicas of the ship, like the sleeping quarters a 3rd class passenger would have experienced. The tour takes there guests through the journey of the Titanic right up until the sinking. With exhibition areas to view it really gives you a sense of the scale of this tragedy at the time.
The above photograph shows the 123 boarding the Titanic before its’ tragic fate. Only 44 of those people survived the sinking.
A popular holiday destination for Irish and tourists, Kinsale is a charming yachting harbour. The Irish word for Kinsale is ‘Cionn tSáile’ and is located at the mouth of the River Bandon. It is a highly recommended place to visit and a private guided tour of Ireland will show you everything you need to see in this hidden gem.
There are many prominent historical buildings in Kinsale and walking through the colourful streets there’s also an artistic feel to this quirky town. It hosts an annual Jazz festival, not something you typically find in traditional Ireland. Many of the pubs and restaurants here also host jazz and blues groups through the year.
The Old Head of Kinsale is breathtaking and one of Ireland’s most phenomenal coastal areas. It is also famously known as the nearest point to where the Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo during World War 1, in 1915. There is a loop walk that can be taken along the Old Head and allows you to take in the fresh sea air while admiring the idyllic scenery. It is also famous amongst golfers, with the unique Old Head Golf Links there, it’s a golfers’ paradise!
Built as a military fort in Kinsale, Charles Fort was designed to withstand attack. It’s unique star-shape was constructed between 1677 and 1682 and was one of the largest military forts in the country. The Fort is recognised throughout Irish history as being part of some momentous events (the most famous being the Siege of Kinsale).
That ends our lovely little tour of Cork and Kinsale, there are so many other wonderful places to see in this spectacular county. If you are interested in a customized tour of Ireland and would like more information, please click on the Enquire button below:
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