Cobh (pronounced ‘cove’) is a charming waterfront town on a glittering estuary, dotted with brightly coloured houses and overlooked by a splendid cathedral. The area is one of the most popular places to visit if you want to experience the unique combination of architecture, food and culture of Cork. Here are 10 things to do in the historic town:
On April 11, 1912 the Titanic made it’s last stop in Cobh before setting sail across the Atlantic. Today, the former White Star Line Ticket Office, which was the embarkation point for the final 123 passengers is known as the The Titanic Experience. For €9.50 per adult, visitors have an opportunity to travel in the footsteps of an actual passenger on that famous ship’s tragic maiden voyage. Only at the end will you discover if you were one of those who survived or was lost!
The Titanic Trail
Go on a guided walking tour that explores the town of Cobh which was the last port of call of RMS Titanic. This Irish heritage walking tour takes visitors through the historic town of Cobh where the buildings, streets and piers have not changed since the Titanic’s sinking over 100 years ago. The entertaining and innovative Titanic Trail has been operating every day since 1998. The one hour escorted tour, with specially trained guides, brings to life the story of Titanic, and the events in the town on the day Titanic left her last anchorage to sail into her icy fate in the North Atlantic. Cork historian, Dr Michael Martin, the creator of the Titanic Trail, offers a truly authentic Titanic experience. The Titanic Trail has been filmed by 20th Century Fox, National Geographic and many other travel documentaries.
St Colman’s Cathedral
The Roman Catholic Cathedral took 47 years to build. Starting in 1868. In 1916 a Carillon of 42 bells was installed. The largest bell is 200 feet above the ground and weighs 3.6 tons. The Cathedral organ, by Telford and Telford, contains 2,468 pipes. Its 49-bell carillon is the only such instrument in this country and is the largest in Ireland and Britain.
- Saturday: 6.00pm
- Sunday: 10.00am, 12.00 noon & 7.00pm
- Weekday Masses: 8.00am & 10.00am
Take a ferry to Spike Island
If visiting old prisons is your thing then I’m sure you’ve heard of Kilmainham Gaol and the Cork City Gaol – both well worth a visit, as is a trip across the water from Cobh to Spike Island. Over the years Spike has played host to a variety of institutions including a monastery, a fortress and a prison, and these days it is open to the public as a visitor attraction. While exploring the extensive star-shaped fort, see the jail cells, walk the ramparts, marvel at the 360-degree views of Cork Harbour, see the huge gun that protected the harbor from attack, hear about the high-society artist Willam Burke Kirwan, convicted of the violent murder of his young wife, or John Power, a Waterford orphan who was so brutalized by the system that he ended up murdering a prison warder and the Young Irelander, John Mitchel after whom Fort Mitchel is now named. You can find tour details, prices etc on the Spike Island website.
Say a prayer at the Lusitania Peace Memorial
A memorial for people who drowned when RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine just under 20km off the Old Head of Kinsale on May 7th, 1915. 170 of the 1200 who died were laid to rest at the Old Church Cemetery just outside of Cobh.
The Cobh Museum
Overlooking the Cork Harbor, the Cobh Museum has exhibitions that reflect the cultural, social and maritime history of Cobh and the Great Island. Formerly known as Queenstown, Cobh has a long maritime history and is known throughout the world for its association with emigration and was the last port of call for the RMS Titanic. The Museum holds the last written record for the RMS Titanic in the Pilot’s Log book. There is a small genealogical reference section in the museum where visitors can do their own family research. Families and groups welcome. The museum is open Monday – Saturday 11 – 1pm; 2pm – 5pm and Sunday 2.30pm – 5pm.
Ride the Cobh Road train
The Cobh Road Train takes you through the town stopping at, a spectacular viewing point which provides an opportunity to view the inner and outer harbour and the historic Spike Island. Its the most relaxing, informative and fun way to view Cobh’s historic sites and beautiful sea views.
The Sirius Arts Centre
The multidisciplinary non-profit centre for the arts was founded in 1988 and dedicated to facilitating artistic expression in Ireland. The yearly programming raises artistic awareness, provides opportunities for participation in and enjoyment of the arts, this is achieved through visual arts exhibitions, an artists-in-residence programme, music concerts and community engagement programmes. The Sirius Arts Centre’s building, formerly the Royal Cork Yacht Club, provides the organization with a unique environment, and revitalizes an important architectural gem on the banks of Cork Harbour.
See the Annie Moore Statue
A commemoration to the first immigrant to be processed through Ellis Island. She departed from Cobh, County Cork, accompanied by her brothers Phillip and Anthony, aboard the steamship Nevada on January 1, 1892, her fifteenth birthday.
Learn about The Queenstown Story at the Cobh Heritage Center
Cobh Heritage Centre is located in Cobh’s restored Victorian Railway Station and is steeped in history. A fantastic place to visit with many things to do. Come have a cup of tea or coffee and a bite to eat in our café, followed by some shopping in one of our shops such as Christies Irish Store Gift Shop. After you have had a bite to eat and done some shopping you should then visit “The Queenstown Story” inside the Heritage Centre which dramatically tells the story of Cobh’s unique origins, history and legacy through a stunning multimedia exhibition. Cobh’s Heritage Centre is a family friendly attraction which has something for everyone.
Also Read: 48 hours in Cork