Blarney, Kinsale, and Cobh: The Day Tripper Diaries

Deck of Cards View in Cobh
“Deck of Cards Houses,” Cobh, Co. Cork

When we’re not exploring Cork (and going to class, of course). Being in County Cork affords excellent opportunities to visit great nearby sites! The three sites I discuss in this issue are Blarney Castle, Kinsale, and Cobh!

Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle, Blarney, Co. Cork

Let’s start with Blarney! A 12-minute drive from Cork (by bus or car) lies Blarney Castle in Blarney! Blarney Castle has acres of forest and gardens that are great for a stroll or light hike. The grounds are home to both Blarney Castle and Blarney House. Blarney Castle is a medieval relic from the McCarthy line and holds the famous Blarney Stone, known for the lore of the “gift of the gab.” During my time in Cork, I visited Blarney Castle three times between going with friends in Cork and visiting friends. Each time was a time to remember! In addition to the castle, Blarney Village is home to the Blarney Wollen Mills, a massive store filled with Irish goods, a few other cute stores, and a very delicious pub for a great lunch!

Holy Cross Students Climbing Blarney Castle
Climbing Blarney Castle
Top of Blarney Castle
Heights of Blarney Castle

Next, let’s discuss Kinsale! Just 30 minutes south of Cork, Kinsale is the Newport, RI, USA of Ireland. In fact, Kinsale and Newport are sister cities! Kinsale has cute stores and restaurants amongst its colorful buildings and nautical culture. Boats are found everywhere, and the beach is a short walk away! A few of my friends and I had a beach day there in early September for a lovely day trip. We had a lobster roll lunch and ice cream to end our day on the beach. (See, just like Newport!) I went back to Kinsale when a friend visited, and we checked out the Old Head of Kinsale, one of the southernmost points in Ireland. With beautiful cliff views, it is definitely a sight to be seen! The headland is also the nearest point of land to where the Lusitania sunk! With lots to do, Kinsale is a top recommendation for a day trip!

Views of Kinsale, County Cork
Kinsale, Co. Cork
Old Head of Kinsale
Old Head of Kinsale, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Finally, let’s end with Cobh. Just a 25-minute train ride from Cork, the little village of Cobh holds a lot of fame. Known to be the last port of call before the Titanic sank, an immersive experience at the Titanic museum is a fun way to begin the day! Cobh is filled with cute stores, cafes, and restaurants to browse. Cobh is also known for the famous “Deck of Cards Houses” view in front of St. Colman’s Cathedral. A look around the stunning Cathedral and a trip to the viewpoint are highly recommended.

Views of Cobh
Views of Cobh, Co. Cork

These sites are only a few great areas accessible right from Cork! And they are definitely worth the trip!

Kinsale Beach
Kinsale Beach, Kinsale, Co. Cork

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