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Cobh

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Sculpture by Jeanne Rynhart of Annie Moore and her brothers. The sculpture broadly represents the Irish emigration experience. It assumes a place of prominence on the waterfront as Cobh was a significant port of departure for the Irish.

Cobh is a small seaport town in County Cork, Southwest Ireland. It's on Great Island in Cork Harbour. In the era of transatlantic travel it was the first and last port in Europe and it was the last port for the Titanic in 1912. It consequently played a major part in the story of Irish emigration to America. Originally known simply as "the Cove of Cork" it started life as a small fishing village but began to row rapidly when the British established naval fortifications in the area during the Napoleonic Wars. Later it was the country's largest emigration port with over 1.5 million emigrants passing through on their way to a new life, mostly in North America. In 1849 the town was renamed Queenstown following a visit by Queen Victoria but in 1920, during the Irish War of Independence, the town adopted a gaelicised version of "cove" and Cobh became the town's name.

The town faces the sea in rows of terraces rising up the steep hillside, dominated by a tall and handsome 19th century St. Colman's Cathedral, designed by Pugin.

Get in[edit]

Cobh (Pronounced Khov) is on an island in Cork Harbour, connected at the north end by a bridge to Fota Island at Belvelly which is connected to the mainland by another bridge.

Cobh can be reached by Cork's only suburban railway [1]. By road, Cobh is 20km from Cork City, crossing the bridge to the island. Cobh is 40km from Kinsale. From there, it takes an hour, and requires taking a €4 car ferry that runs from 7AM-11.45PM. Don't take the wrong ferry, which goes to France, the one to Cobh is poorly signposted.

Free, unlimited car parking is available in the car park behind the St. Coleman's Cathedral. Around the town centre the first hour of parking is free, charges apply for every subsequent hour and a limit of 3 hours exists on most streets. Anyone parking in Cobh town centre is advised to check signs for the limit which applies to the particular street.

Get around[edit]

There is a limited bus service around the town which is mostly used by older people and those living in outlying estates for shopping.

(A Cabs Cobh), 21 Coolamber Drive, ☎ 021-4814000. 24 hours. They are a new Taxi Company based in Cobh, Co Cork, offering substantial discounts on taxi fares prices. Give them a call for a quotation. The longer the journey, the bigger the reduction. Alternatively you can e-mail [anthonycannon@eircom.net] now offering 10% reduction on metered fares..

The Taxi Rank is in Pearse Square and it is possible to travel anywhere on the Great Island for around €10 max (2011 price). All taxis have meters fitted and must by law operate them whilst on a journey. Taxi companies include Anthony Cannon at 086-8621783, Cove Cabs (kiosk in town centre, Tel: 481 2299), Barry's Cabs (Tel: 087-6195283) and Harbour Cabs (Tel: 481 4444). Island Taxis Cobh Telephone: 021-481 1111.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Memorials The Titanic & Lusitania memorials are on Pearse & Casement Squares respectively.
  • St. Colman's Cathedral Dominating the town's skyline, this neo-Gothic structure has great views of the harbor from its vantage point. Guided tours every Sunday afternoon at 3:30PM.
  • The Queenstown Story, Telephone: 021/481-3591. Local heritage centre that documents the towns emigration and other history, including the Great Famine and Titanic. €6, open daily May to October 10AM-6PM, November to April 10AM-5PM, last entry 1 hour before closing.
  • Cobh Museum - located at the entrance to the town in an old Presbyterian Church and completely separate to the nearby heritage centre, Cobh Museum has many interesting local artifacts and some genealogical research information. Open from May to October 12-4PM. </see>

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Tourist Information Office, in the Old Yacht Club on the harbor, Telephone: 021/481-3301, [2]. Open M-F 9:30AM-5:30PM, Sa,Su 1PM-5PM.
  • Titanic Trail Tours, Tel: 021/481-5211 or mobile 087-276-7218, [3] - Michael Martin leads 75-90 minute tours explaining the Titanic story in Cobh, €9, price includes pint of beer at pub at end of tour, daily at 11:00, June to August also at 3:00, meet at Commodore Hotel, private tours available. There is also a Ghost Trail during Summer.
  • Old Church Cemetery, Ticknock - old cemetery 1km north of town. Contains mass graves of Lusitania victims and many other interesting graves including that of the famous boxer, singer and crooner Jack Doyle. Directions= pass the cathedral (follow one-way system if driving), pass Top of the Hill, take first left after Supervalu shopping centre.
  • SailCork, East Ferry Marina, Cobh, +353214811237, [4]. Have fun learning dinghy or cruiser sailing , powerboating or navigation. Enjoyable courses for juniors and adults under the guidance of Eddie English and his crew.  edit
  • Titanic Experience. located on the waterfront opposite the Lusitania memorial, open 7 days a week from 9AM-6PM, last tour at 5:15PM.  edit
  • Spike Island Walking Tours, departing from Kennedy Pier.  edit


Eat[edit][add listing]

All of the hotels serve food. Good food can also be enjoyed at restaurants including the excellent Trade Winds on the waterfront which looks like an ordinary bar at the front. The Indian Kitchen, serving Indian food is on East Beach near the yellow clock tower. There is a Chinese restaurant, the Hong Kong Kitchen on West Beach opposite the pier while Mimmos is a restaurant attached to the fish & chip shop on Pearse Square but providing a much wider range of food than simply fish and chips. Mimmos is also an excellent takeaway and other takeaways in the town include Sorrento's and the Ocean Palace chinese restaurant on Midleton Street at the back of town. The Bella Vista Hotel also operates a Chinese restaurant and takeaway. Additionally there is also the Waters Edge Hotel (near the train station and Heritage Centre) which comprises of Jacobs Ladder Restaurant and Bar. Here it has beautiful views of the harbour to enjoy with an extensive A La Carte Menu or some light snacks. Also when cruise liners are in, the hotel gives fantastic close up views as the liners berth on the hotel's pier.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are many excellent bars in Cobh to enjoy a drink, whether you prefer a quiet atmosphere or live music.


Most of the bars (pubs) are located around Casement Square in the town centre, including:-

The Rob Roy, Casement Square - modern music, live acts especially at weekends. The Rob Roy is also the official meeting place of the local U2 fan club.

The Mauretania, Casement Square - named after the famous ocean liner, the Mauretania is small and cosy.

The Lusitania, Casement Square - another cosy bar but a bit more spacious. Like many local bars it has a maritime feel with lots of photos of old ships and ships paraphernalia.

Ryans, Casement Square - similar in size to the Lusitania

Tarrants, Casement Squre - more of the same.

Kelly's Bar is located at Westbourne Place near the Commodore Hotel. It is a spacious but small bar and one of the busiest in town. Popular with sports fans, it has a number of large screen televisions and a mezzanie area.

The Quays is across by the waterfront and also serves excellent food. Located between the Promenade and the Railway Station.


Heading back towards the eastern end of town are three pubs:-

Connie Doolans, East Beach - again a maritime theme and overlooking the sea. It is popular with tourists for its olde-world charm.

The Well House, Lynch's Quay - located on the waterfront near the eastern end of town. Music, especially at weekends. Popular with the younger set.

The Anchor Bar, East Hill - the last pub in town and you will have to climb a steep hill to reach it but the view from there is worth it. Enjoy stunning views of Cork harbour while you sip your drink near the window.


The centre of town gets quite busy (and sometimes noisy) on Friday and Saturday nights so if you want a quiet drink and a chat it's better to head to the back of the town, up that mountainous hill, the area is known locally as the "Top of the Hill". Here you will find the following bars:-

The Quarry Cock, Bond Street - nice "local" bar with lovely pine timberwork. About 200m behind the Cathedral.

Jack Doyles, Midleton Street - just around the corner from the Quarry Cock. Popular with sports fans, especially fans of Celtic Football Club which has its local supporters club here. Named after the famous boxer, crooner and Hollywood actor Jack Doyle who was from Cobh.

Gilmores, Midleton Street - old style pub with modern clientele. This was previously in the hands of the Mansworth family for over 100 years.

The Roaring Donkey, Midleton Steet - a lovely old pub at the very top of the hill. Front bar is quite small but widens out at the back. Live traditional music on a regular basis.


Further afield than these bars you will probably take a taxi. The other bars on the Great Island are:-

The Village Inn, Newtown - a big bar, popular with all age groups and has its own established clientele. Live Music each week, space for events and parties and also an area to play darts. Take the first left after the water ferry on the road into town.

Peg's Bar, Carrigaloe - old style bar, traditional music every Saturday night with impromptu sessions on Sundays and whenever the local musicians decided to have a get together.

The High Chapperal, Ballymore - about 3.5km from the town centre in the quiet rural area of Ballymore. Music at weekends and popular with card players.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Ard na Laoi, Westbourne Place, 021/481-2742. A friendly place with 5 rooms single €45-50, double €68, triple €99.  edit
  • Bellavista Hotel, < address="Spy Hill, Bishop's Road" directions="" phone="021/481-2450" email="">18 bedrooms, 4 suites, nice harbour views
  • Commodore Hotel, Westbourne Place, 021/481-1277 (fax: 021/481-1672), [5]. A grand 150 year old Victorian landmark which housed Lusitania refugees temporarily. Single €70-92, double €95-142, triple €150-210.  edit
  • Waters Edge Hotel, Yacht Club Quay, 021/481-5566, [6]. 18 bright rooms and a harbourside restaurant single €75-100, double €95-142, triple €120-160.  edit
  • Sheraton Fotaisland Hotel & Spa, < address="Fota Estate, Fota island, Cork" directions="Take N25 (E30) to Cobh Interchange (approximately 15 kilometers East of Cork City). Follow R624 toward Cobh for approximately 3 kilometers to the hotel." phone="021/467-3000" email="">131 bedrooms, Championship golf course

Cope[edit]

The town is served by several doctors' surgeries and a number of dentists. For out-of-hours doctors service contact South Doc, Telephone: 1850 335 999. Dr.Cahill's dental surgery provides out of hours dental surgery in case of emergency. Call 087 27 64 755 for out of hours service only.

There are several pharmacies / chemist shops in the town and the operate a 24 hour service by rotation.

Police: The Garda (Police Station) is located about 300 metres west of the railway station on the Lower Road and is open 24 hours a day. The phone number of Cobh Garda Station is 490 8530 or for emergencies dial 999 or 112.

Get out[edit]

  • 50 km to the west is the charming and equally maritime-historic village of Kinsale
  • The world-famous Blarney Castle is also in County Cork, 6km north-west of Cork city.
  • Fota Wildlife Park is on an island just outside Cobh and has a halt stop on the main Cork-Cobh railway line. Giraffes, monkeys, etc but in a much more open setting than a zoo. Also Fota House and Arboretum with many rare trees and plants. Located just before the bridge at Belvelly where you cross onto Great Island.
  • Barryscourt Castle [7] is a medieval castle near Carrigtwohill about 5 miles (8 km) from Cobh. It was the seat of the Barry family who owned much of the land around the area from the 12th to the 17th centuries. It features a tower house and extensions from several different periods. Open to public during summer months, the ground floor contains an exhibition on the history of the Barry family and Barryscourt Castle.
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