Commanding panoramic views of one of the finest natural harbours in the world, the tiny fishing village of Cobh (the cove of Cork) was virtually unknown up to the early 1800s.
With the advent of the French Revolutinary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815), Cork Harbour became an important refuelling and assembly point for naval and commercial ships. Up to 300 ships at a time could be seen at anchors in the waters of Cobh!
By the time of Queen Victoria’s visit in 1849, when Cobh was renamed Queenstown in her honour, the village had grown into a busy town. It had become the hive of naval and commercial activity as Cork Harbour’s strategic position in the North Atlantic was recognised.
Tall ships called to transport convicts to Australia and to carry emigrants to North America. Later, the Transatlantic steamers and great ocean liners continued the task of carrying the Irish to new lives in new lands. From 1848 to 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland. About 2.5 million left from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration.
Cobh is a now a busy and pretty town. It is just 20 minutes from Cork city and there are hourly rail connections to and from the city. The town’s architecture and streetscape is distinctly Victorian. From the steep hill on which it is built, St. Colman’s Cathedral dominates the town. Its 49-bell Carillon is the only such instrument in Ireland and is the largest in Ireland and Britain.
Cobh’s location makes it an ideal place to visit while in Cork and it boasts an impressive range of tourist amenities. There is a wide range of tourist accommodation available including Bed and Breakfasts, self-catering and small & mid-sized Hotels. There are many restaurants and cafes catering for all tastes close to the town centre.
Attractions for tourists abound and include museums, walking tours and many more sites of historical interest and importance. Shore and lake fishing, sailing,water sports, bird watching, etc. are also available. Over 50 cruise liners, including the largest liners in the world visit Cobh each year and berth a mere 200 metres from the town centre, a must-see sight for visitors. Cobh has many festivals and commemorations throughout the year, including a Parade on St. Patrick’s Day, commemorations of the sinking of the Titanic and the Lusitania in April and May respectively, and much more!
The surrounding area offers a wide array of facilities for tourists:
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