Last port of call for the ill fated Titanic in 1912
Known as Queenstown prior to 1920, Cobh (pronounced Khov) is a tourist seaport town on the south coast of County Cork. Large cruise liners visit Cobh each year, mainly during the summer months when there are a number of festivals to be enjoyed, such as the Festival on the Hill in July, Cobh People's Regatta in August and Cobh International Deep Sea Angling Festival in September.
Tourist attractions are focused on the maritime and emigration legacy of the town and include the Queenstown Story at the Cobh Heritage Centre, Titanic Experience, Titanic Trail walking tour, Cobh Museum, Cobh Road Train, Spike Island tours and St Colman's Cathedral. With Cobh's water side location, there is easy access to some great Sailing. Boat Trips from Cobh include a visit and tour of Spike Island and around Cork Harbour.
Image: Cobh, Ireland
The Cove of Cork
Cobh 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 grow 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.
Eating in Cobh
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.
Drinking in Cobh
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.