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The Spellbinding Ring of Cork
If you’ve spent any time in Ireland, then you’ve more than likely heard of the Ring of Kerry. It is a justifiably famous and stunningly beautiful route through the wild and untamed southernmost part of Ireland. However, Ireland has another ring that is just as beautiful and wild with unique attractions and some of the best artisan food in the country. Introducing the Ring of Cork.
The Ring of Cork takes you on a journey where you will time-travel to heritage sites, enjoy picturesque villages and visit attractions while soaking up the breathtakingly beautiful scenery that is a part of the Ring of Cork? Start your journey in Cork City, grab a cheap and comfortable hotel handily located for the open road like the Travelodge Cork Airport Hotel and get ready for one of the great Irish travel secrets.
What is the Ring of Cork?
Let’s get into the nitty gritty of what exactly is the Ring of Cork. It takes in all the area around the second city of the Republic of Ireland, Cork City, and encompasses quaint villages like Castlemartyr, coastal settlements like Crosshaven and heritage towns like Cobh and Youghal along its sixty-six miles of road-ringing East Cork.
You could motor around the Ring in a day but to really enjoy yourself, set at least a long weekend aside while you also could pass a very enjoyable week taking in all the sights.
What to See and What to Do on the Ring of Cork
You could take the scenery almost for granted on the Ring of Cork, there are so many scenic spots along the way but it’s definitely worth stopping at Ballycottton Lighthouse for the amazing cliffside views of the Atlantic Ocean or so you can walk on the nearby beach of Paradise!
If you like your historical towns, then the Ring of Cork is made for you. You can choose from the beautifully maintained narrow winding streets of the medieval town of Youghal with its eccentric town crier whose position dates back all the way to Walter Raleigh. Or pick the Cobh Heritage Centre with its Titanic Experience museum marking the last stop of the ill-fated RMS Titanic as well as the iconic Spike Island nearby which has been a monastery, fort and prison.
Prefer more modern attractions? Then the Ring of Cork will grant your wish with the Cork Fota Wildlife Park where you can meet some of the more exotic local wildlife like rhinos and cheetahs. For a more adult experience, the Jameson Distillery in Midleton is really worth a stop off, at least if you’re not driving, for a dram of one of the best Irish whiskies out there.
For the family you can drive back in time and park up at Ireland’s only drive-in cinema, Movie Junction in Carrigtohill.
Feed on the Delights of the Ring of Cork
Perhaps the incredible scenery and many interesting place to stop and investigate aren’t quite enough to sway you. Well, then let me put my final argument in favour of the Ring of Cork, the local food.
Without exaggeration, the concentration of artisan food producers from eastern Cork is unrivaled anywhere else in Ireland. The quality and variety of food on offer in the many top class restaurants and pubs is quite astonishing for Ireland while the local produce available in the various farmer’s markets in towns like Midleton is stunning.
It’s not just the obvious lamb, beef and dairy that are for sale on the Ring, you’ve also got amazing fresh seafood and a real artisan tradition of ice cream in Cobh and Youghal, especially for those summer months. You’ll never go hungry when you journey around the food-heavenly Ring of Cork.
After you visit the Ring of Cork be sure to explore the Cliffs of Moher.
Learn more at the Ring of Cork Tourism site.