Cork and the South:
Cork is Ireland’s third largest city and, with one of the world’s largest natural harbours, a historic trading port established by the Vikings in the 10th century. Cork has plenty of worthwhile attractions: the 16th-century Blackrock Castle; remnants of the city wall; the breathtaking Holy Trinity Church and St Fin Barre’s Cathedral; the unsettling 19th-century former prison Cork City Gaol; the Crawford Art Gallery; and St Anne’s Church, where visitors are invited to tug on the Shandon Bells. As for food, the English Market’s reputation for gourmet shopping and eating was alluring enough to attract Queen Elizabeth II during her 2011 visit.
Fifteen minutes drive northwest of Cork is the impressively preserved, 15th-century Blarney Castle. Tours of its many levels culminate in an unusual activity: being dangled backwards off the castle wall by a polite gentleman to kiss the fabled Blarney Stone, a ritual said to bestow the gift of eloquence.
Here are some Short tours of the south that can be covered in a full day or a few days:
Kilkenny Medieval City & County/ Graignamanagh / Inistoige / Nicholas Mosse Pottery.
Tipperary County & Historic Gems including The Rock of Cashel / Swiss Cottage & Cahir Castle.
The Ring of Cork – Old English Market, Cobh Heritage, Middleton Distillery and Kinsale
Waterford Crystal Factory, Dunmore East, Lismore Heritage Town and Ardmore Round Tower.
The Ring Of Kerry & Kenmare – Including Castletownbeare & Glengariff / Garnish Island Tour.
West Clare Tour of Cliffs of Moher, Ailwee Caves and the Burren