Thinking about a break away in the Rebel county with your other half? Wondering what there is to do in the largest county in Ireland? The answer is lots. Our guide to things to do in county Cork for couples will ensure you have a fabulous weekend away, no matter what the weather and your interests.
Things to do in Cork when it is sunny
There’s nowhere nicer than the People’s Republic when the sun shines. The county is full of fantastic things to do with your partner on a sunny day. Some of our favourites include:
These beautiful landscaped gardens are the perfect place for a sunny stroll or picnic, right in the centre of Cork city. Take in the many outdoor pieces of art and sculptures dotted throughout the park or take a stroll along the banks of the Lee river.
Cork Harbour Tour
What’s nicer than getting out on the water on a sunny day in Ireland? Take a tour of Cork Harbour to hear about the fascinating history of this part of the Irish coast. See county Cork from a different perspective out on the water. Some tours pass the picturesque town of Cobh or Blackrock castle, built in the 1500’s to repel pirates and other invaders. But most of all, enjoy the sun on deck. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Did you know Cork Harbour is home to a pod of bottlenose dolphins? Lots of people don’t. Take a whale and dolphin watching tour for a chance to see them. Whales tend to be found off the Irish coast in the autumn and winter months, dolphins and basking sharks are more common in the summer months. While there is no guarantee you will see either, it is well worth taking the trip for more common wildlife like seals and host of seabirds as well as stunning views of the Cork coastline.
Blarney Castle and gardens are a beautiful place to explore on a sunny day in Cork. Take your time and really enjoy this wonderfully romantic location. Pack a picnic and make an afternoon of it. As well as the famous Blarney stone, the castle is home to beautiful gardens, wonderful walks and lovely views of the surrounding countryside.
Head of Kinsale
Less than an hour from Cork city and one of the most picturesque towns in Ireland, Kinsale is a wonderful place to enjoy the sunshine in Cork. Hailed as the gourmet capital of Ireland, this is the place to come for a romantic lunch or dinner in one of its many unique restaurants. It is also a wonderful place to shop for Irish craft and design.
Fota Wildlife Park
Visit Ireland’s largest wildlife park set on over 100 acres on Fota Island, a short drive from Cork city. The park is home to a huge range of wild animals from all over the world. Highlights include giraffe’s, tiger’s and lions to name but a few. You can also visit a new edition, Matheo, a two-year-old sloth. Take a leaf out of his book and relax for the day at Cork’s wildest attraction.
Pre-booking is essential while Covid 19 restrictions are in place.
Go to the beach
Cork is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland, so if the sun is shining, why not pay one of them a visit? It’s a lovely, inexpensive way to spend time with your loved one. There are a whole host of Cork beaches to choose from some of the best include:
- Garrylucas, White Strand
- Inch Strand
There are also many stunning beaches in West Cork.
Things to do in Cork when it rains
If you are unlucky and facing a rainy day in Cork, there is still plenty for you and your partner to do around the city and county. Some of our top picks include:
Blackrock castle observatory
What’s more romantic than stargazing with the one you love? Don’t let bad weather put you off – you can see the stars indoors at the Blackrock Castle Observatory. Take a whirlwind tour of the universe at the observatory and learn how life on earth started. Or visit the planetarium to discover more about the sky at night.
Open Saturdays and Sundays only from 10am to 4pm. Pre-booking is essential while government restrictions are in place.
Cork Public Museum
History buffs will be glad to know Cork Public Museum is free to visit and contains archaeological exhibits tracking 7,000 years of life in Cork and the surrounding area.
The Crawford Gallery
If art is your thing, a visit to the Crawford Gallery is a must while in Cork, especially if it rains. Its permanent collection contains over 2,000 works of art by eighteenth and nineteenth century Irish and European artists right through to contemporary pieces so there is bound to be something for everyone. Located beside the famous opera house, the gallery is free to enter and has a lovely cafe.
The English Market
If you and your partner are foodies, this is the place to visit in Cork rain or shine. Housed in a beautiful mid-nineteenth century building in Cork city centre, there has been a market in this location since 1788. The English Market is home to some of the best artisan food produced in the country. It is also the place to try local specialities like drisheen, spiced beef and buttered eggs. Dodge a shower or drop in for a delicious breakfast or lunch on your romantic weekend away in Cork.
Mother Jones Flea Market
Relatively new to Cork, Mother Jones Flea Market is a treasure trove of books, clothes, furniture and general brik-a-brak. Explore a wide range of stalls offering a range of kitsch, quirky and cool wares. So, whether you are kitting out your home or looking for something retro for your wardrobe, this is a great thing to do while in Cork.
Cork City Gaol
Cork City Gaol is an imposing building located on the north side of the city. It was a working prison up until the 1920’s but is now a gripping visitor attraction and unique destination for a date day in Cork if it’s raining. Get a fascinating insight into day to day prison life in the 19th century as you wander through the gaol’s wings. Wax figures, the sound of shuffling feet and warden’s keys add to the atmosphere on your trip back in time. Well known former inmates include Countess Markievicz, Frank O’Connor and Sean McCarthy.
Following on from government advice Cork City Gaol has temporarily closed.
These are only some of the highlights of this wonderful county. If you are looking for a tailored things to do while you are in Cork, why not try Clayton Concierge? We will recommend tailored activities based on your interests.
Why not make your romantic stay in Cork extra special by booking an executive or river view room in Clayton Hotel Cork City? You and your partner can enjoy extra space or wonderful views of the city and River Lee in your complimentary robes and slippers.