Cork City Tour
Cork City Centre – The Bells of Shandon – English Market
The Cork City Tour will kick off with meeting up with your assigned Cork local tour guide in the Cork city centre at the Parnell Place bus station at 9:00am. From there, you will then take a short 15 min walk to visit St Anne’s Church home of Shandon Bells Tower.
Shandon Bells Tower
The Church of St Anne is situated on a hill overlooking the River Lee not far from the Cork City Centre. The current structure as it is today was founded in 1726. This is considered a landmark and is a very popular tourist attraction. It is built with red sandstone and limestone. The walls are seven feet thick and it’s 120 feet to the tower in height. The church has a total of eight bells, with the largest weighing a little over 1.5 tons!
Visitors will be able to climb to the first floor and ring the bells themselves and then proceed up to the outdoor observation area in the upper tower area which is an amazing photo opportunity to capture skyline and panoramic photos of Cork city.
After taking a short walk from Shandon Bells Tower, we now arrive at Shandon Sweets. This sweet shop has been in operation since 1928 by the Linehan Family. This is the only sweet manufacturer in operation in Cork. They offer hand made sweets containing sugar, sucrose, syrup and water which are gluten free. You many purchase bags of assorted sweets and also enjoy some complimentary samples. Up next, we take another short walk and arrive at the Cork Butter Museum.
Cork Butter Museum
The Cork Butter Museum is located in the former Cork Butter Market which was built in 1849. During the 19th century, Cork was the biggest exporter of butter in the world. The Cork Butter Museum has exhibits highlighting the butter production back to the 19th century and leading up to operation of Kerrygold in more recent times. You will have a chance to view dairy paraphernalia, documents and artifacts relating to the commercial butter trade.
Cork City Gaol
As you wrap up visiting the Cork Butter Museum, the next place to visit is the Cork City Gaol. Your local tour guide will take you on a short walk to a local bus stop where you will get onto a bus that will take you near the Cork City Gaol. Once you get off the bus, its a very short walk down a small hill.
The Cork City Gaol after being constructed, first opened in 1824. This prison originally housed both male and female inmates that had committed crimes within the Cork City limits. In 1878, the gaol was reorganized into an only Women’s Gaol. The Gaol then closed in August of 1923. It was reopened to the public as a museum in 1993.
This is a self guided tour, where you will have the chance to walk through various parts of the structures, including some of the actual inmate cells and many opportunities to take photos and video. They also feature an old radio museum and have the actual microphone and stand that former US President Kennedy spoke with when he visited Cork, Ireland back in the early 1960’s. As you finish up the touring of the Cork City Gaol, you then will go for a short walk and come to the Daly’s Suspension Bridge.
Daly’s Suspension Bridge
This suspension bridge, also known as the Shakey Bridge by locals was built in 1926 and then opened in 1927. The local’s term, Shakey Bridge refers to the movement of the platform of others running or jumping on the bridge. It spans the River Lee and it joins Sunday’s Well on the north, to Fitzgerald Park to the south. This is the only suspension bridge located in Cork and is mostly constructed of wrought iron. The bridge is 160 feet in total span and has a timber planked walkway measuring four and a half feet wide. As you cross the bridge to the other side, you are then entering Fitzgerald Park, our next stop on the Cork City Tour.
Fitzgerald Park contains sculptures, a skate park, a pond, and formal gardens. You will also find the Cork Museum, Riverview Cafe, the original pavilion and ornamental fountain from the exhibition era. This is a great place to relax, take in the views and take some photos. Your tour guide will either recommend taking a 1 hour lunch break at the Riverview Cafe, or going to a nearby Irish Pub to the park, which would be your choice. As you wrap up your lunch break, your tour guide will then take you to the nearest local bus stop where you will then travel by bus back to the Cork City Centre and goto the Cork English Market.
The English Market located in the heart of the city of Cork has been trading since 1788. The City Council leases out the stalls under a 21 year lease and organizes the administration matters for the market. This is a unique shopping experience, where you can buy all sorts of fresh fruits, vegetable, assortments of cheeses, sauces and much more. Once you are finished shopping and walking through the market, your tour guide will then walk you to the Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre.
Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre
Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre is the home to three large major department stores along with 45 specialty shops. This shopping centre is a multi leveled with escalators and also has places to grab a coffee or tea. This is considered one of the premier shopping destinations in Cork city. You will have the chance to walk through the centre and view the directory to see all of the shops available. You should take advantage of your tour guide to find out which shops in particular might have items that you are looking for.
As you leave the shopping centre, your tour guide will take you on a short walk down the street to a local Irish gift shop where you can purchase all sort of souvenirs such as t shirts, post cards, magnets, cups, jewelry, and other Irish gift items. As you finish up shopping at the Irish gift shop, your tour guide will then take you on a short walk to your final destination on the Cork City Tour, Larry Tompkins Irish Pub.
Larry Tompkins Irish Pub
Finally, the Cork City Tour ends with stopping at Larry Tompkins Irish Pub for a pint and to chat about the day’s events. This is the perfect opportunity to pick your tour guide’s brain on any questions you may have about other things to do or places to go after your day tour with us has ended. Depending on how the day has progressed, we estimate you will have about 45 min to 1 hour here before your tour will be ending at 5pm.
Cork City Tour Wrap up
At this time, you will say goodbye to your assigned Cork Local Tour Guide and to show your appreciation you may tip your tour guide. Tips are not required, but highly recommended, especially if you felt you have had exceptional service and you feel this tour was something you are gonna take home as a special memory from your holiday or vacation. You are welcome to stay here at the pub after the tour on your own, or you may ask your tour guide what is the best form of transportation you should take to go back to your hotel or onto your own destination.
If this full day tour sounds like something you definitely want to do when you are visiting Cork, Ireland, then take a few minutes and fill out our price quote form so we can obtain a price for you and your guests to make this experience a reality.