The scenic coastal town of Cobh in Co. Cork is renowned as a friendly and charming visitor destination. As the summer season gets underway, Cobh Tourism is inviting visitors to discover Cobh in a new and more immersive way. Visitors are invited to take a treasure hunt of the town’s historic treasures, inspired by the latest travel trend of ‘experiential tourism’. Cobh invites people to create lasting memories rooted in the people, history, and stories of the town.
Visitors can discover the many free and ticketed attractions within easy walking distance around Cobh town, on the water (the world’s second largest natural harbour) and the nearby islands of Fota and Spike, creating lasting memories.
According to Fáilte Ireland “Experiential tourism is travel motivated by the desire to really connect with a place, its culture, and people. it is less concerned with simply seeing or doing things, but rather with immersing oneself in the locale, interacting with people, engaging the senses, and learning the history and stories of the place” and this along with solo travel is one of the hottest travel trends post- Pandemic.
Cruise, Coffin and Convict Ships
Cobh has a surprisingly varied and significant amount of historic appeal and stories to tell. It includes the Titanic, Lusitania, and emigration stories, to convict and coffin ships, Spike Island, St Colman’s Cathedral, and lots of family activities,
Families are invited to discover Cobh by embarking on the FREE Cobh Treasure Hunt. Free treasure hunt sheets are available from the tourist office or can be printed at home from the Visit Cobh website. As you answer questions and complete tasks you will learn fun facts and hidden history by going to points of interest in the town. Spot local sights like the Annie Moore Statue, Heartbreak Pier, and Sonia O’ Sullivan statue and more. When you’re done, you’ll have experienced Cobh in a new fun way.
The famed coastal town of Cobh has an extraordinarily rich history and the stories of events and people who shaped this history are recounted by the many award-winning visitor attractions located in and around the town. Here is a roundup of the Top Engaging Experiences Unique to Cobh and not to be missed.
Discover stories of the Titanic
Cobh is recognised around the world as the last port of call for Titanic, the famously ill-fated ship which hit an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage. To immerse yourself in the Titanic story you can visit attractions such as the Cobh Heritage Museum, Titanic Experience, or the Guided Titanic Walking Trail.
Unique to Cobh is the opportunity to experience first-hand accounts and moving stories such as that of Jeremiah Burke and the message in the bottle he sent from Titanic, authentic imagery by Fr. Frank Browne whose photos on board Titanic survived and the original letter written on board Titanic by passenger Edward Colley and posted in Queenstown. See Cobh Heritage here.
Learn about the Lusitania
Cobh is also deeply connected to the Lusitania tragedy, victims and survivors of the stricken cruise liner were brought to Cobh in the hours after it was sunk by a German U boat torpedo. Check out the Lusitania monument in Casement Square or delve deeper into this dramatic moment in history at the ‘Lusitania- A Day in May’ exhibit at Cobh Museum. which has a variety of historical and exhibitions on display, see here.
Explore Fortress Spike Island
One of Europe’s leading tourist attractions is a short and scenic ferry ride from Cobh to the island, which has lived many lives as the site of a 6th century Monastery, a 24-acre Fortress, and the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times.
Storyteller guides will relay the history and mystery of the peoples and places that make Spike Island so special, from monks and monasteries to rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints. With a family friendly café and plenty of picnic sites, this is a fun, informative and relaxing day out, see here.
Make a splash in the maritime haven of Cork Harbour
Getting out on the water is very accessible from Cobh’s Great Island with a choice of regular boat trips, private charter, scenic tour, or self-drive options available. Whether you take a boat trip from Cork City to Cobh as part of your excursion or book on a bespoke sunset cruise you are sure to make long lasting memories. Check and for further details, see here.
Be Enthralled at St Colman’s Cathedral
This iconic structure looming high over Cobh offers amazing views over the town and sparkling blue harbour beyond. It even has a peregrine falcon roosting in the spire! The Cathedral is ranked as the town’s number one tourist attraction and is free to visit. Built in the neo-Gothic style over the course of 47 years, the cathedral was dedicated in 1919.
High up in the tower of St Colman’s Cathedral is an unusual musical instrument, a series of 49 finely tuned bells forming a ‘Carillon’ and played with pedal and keyboard. The Cobh Carillon is the only such instrument in the country and includes Ireland’s largest bell, named St Colman. New at the Cathedral for Summer 2022 the impressive ‘Gaia’ rotating sculpture of Earth goes on display from 18th to 25th after touring in Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan, and the Natural History Museum in London, make sure to check it out.
Take a Walk on the Wildside
Animals from all over the world reside at Fota Wildlife Park. This 100-acre wildlife park is Ireland’s wildest attraction with 135 species and specially-designed naturalistic habitats showcasing native and exotic animals and plants. Animals you’ll see include lions, tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, monkeys, giraffes, flamingos, peacocks, lemurs, kangaroo and wallabies to name just a few! With cafes, a gift shop, toilets, picnic tables, car parking all on-site it is ideal for a family day out. See here for booking details and more.
Cobh is a town that embraces tourism and welcomes visitors so make sure to put this colourful town located in the east of Cork top of your list for your next short break! You can find more information on Cobh town and its experience, as well as places to dine, drink and stay, see here.