It’s great to escape for a few days but the hassle of flying (especially with children) can leave you more exhausted than when you started.
We’re so lucky in Ireland to have a host of amazing staycation options right on our doorstep and in a new series, we’ll be looking at different destinations and what they have to offer.
This week, it’s the tribal county of Cork!
How To Get There
The drive to Cork is 3hrs 15mins on the M7 and M8 but you can get there in 2hrs and 35mins with an Irish Rail train from Dublin’s Heuston Station to Cork’s Kent Station. Tickets are priced from €15 (one way) and services run throughout the day.
Where To Stay
The Kingsley (below) is a four-star luxury hotel on the banks of the River Lee and boasts a spa, a health club, a wedding venue and conference centre, while the Hayfield Manor is a very special five-star close to the city centre.
The spa at the gorgeous Clarion Hotel uses Yon-Ka products and also has a pool for any guests who fancy a swim. For a historical spot, try the Metropole Hotel. This city centre spot was opened in 1897 and is a ten minute walk from Kent Station.
The kids will love a trip to Fota Island Wildlife Park, which is a 75-acre park featuring over 30 mammal species and 50 birds. Spike Island is the second largest natural harbour in the world and has been home to a prison, a monastery and a fortress.
Check out some of Ireland’s modern artwork at the Crawford Art Gallery before catching a show at the Everyman Theatre or Cork Opera House (above). Give a kiss to the Blarney Stone and finish with a wander through the English Market for a tasty lunch. Perfect!
Where To Eat
Vegetarians have to check out Café Paradiso, which is famed for its inventive approach to dishes. If you fancy relaxing over a charcuterie board with a bottle of wine, you can’t beat Amicus – while we love Jacques for the relaxed intimate atmosphere.