Wednesday, 14, May 2014

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The River Lee

Romantic Cork: 14 Things To Do

County Cork - in the south of Ireland – has it all; a vibrant capital city that’s renowned for its food, culture and night-life, as well as some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes, mountains and forests. 

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From your base in Cork City, there’s lots to explore together, so let’s be sensible and begin with a hearty meal. We recommend a romantic brunch for two at  Bodega before heading for a stroll along the lovely River Lee. Why not stop for a coffee and cake at the famous  English Market? Later, when the sun sets, be sure to walk hand-in-hand to the city’s  marina. There’s a stunning coastal walk that leads to  Blackrock Castle Observatory – what better way to round off the evening than by gazing at the stars together?

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Cork is famed for its rugged countryside, so we highly recommend you step outside the city during your visit to sample all this mighty county has to offer. Just 25km south of the city, you’ll find Kinsale, a gorgeous seaside town (originally a medieval fishing port) that’s now known as the "Gourmet Capital of Ireland". Unsurprisingly, Kinsale restaurants serve up a delicious selection of fresh seafood – we would recommend calling in for a bite at renowned eatery  Fishy Fishy before exploring this picturesque destination. Wander up the  Old Head of Kinsale for a breathtaking view of the bay, before finishing up with a bevvy in the Bulman, a traditional, cosy pub that looks out across the harbour. 

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North-west of the city meanwhile is the town of Blarney, whose medieval castle is home of the famous  Blarney Stone. While we insist you and your sweetpea kiss it – ensuring you’ll have the "gift of the gab" for the rest of your days – the castle is an absolute must-see too. Built nearly 600 years ago by one of Ireland’s great chieftains, Cormac McCarthy, it’s steeped in history, having been besieged, seized, sold and even confiscated over the centuries. What’s more, the grounds of the castle are absolutely stunning. Lose yourselves as you stroll around the pretty Rock Close Gardens, down the "Wishing Steps" and around the giant Dolmen stone.

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Finally, finish up your Cork adventure with a trip to  Fota Wildlife Park - the county’s most popular tourist destination. In this self-financed, non-profit organisation, you’ll meet a colourful array of gorgeous birds and animals from all around the world. Lemurs, tapirs, cheetahs, flamingos, kangaroos, penguins, meerkats and (cuteness alert) baby giraffes can all be found roaming happily in this 75-acre park.

Looking for the ideal accommodation for your romantic getaway? The  River Lee Spa Getaway Package is just the ticket.

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