Cork's West Side, Cork (Self Guided)

The west side of Cork is considered the most ecological part of the city. Along the Lee river, you'll find some of the most important landmarks of the city, including the Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork City Gaol, and University College Cork. It's also a quiet area where you can enjoy a walk.
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Cork's West Side Map

Guide Name: Cork's West Side
Guide Location: Ireland » Cork (See other walking tours in Cork)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Author: naomi
1
St. Vincent Church

1) St. Vincent Church

St Vincent's church is a remarkable essay in early Gothic by Sir John Benson. It stands on a bluff of Sunday's Well, built predominantly of red sandstone which appears particularly impressive when looked at from the Mardyke. The site on which it stands was a gift to the city from Miss Mary MacSwiney, a local resident. Public subscription for the project was organised by the Very Reverend Michael O'Sullivan, Vicar General of Cork. Construction of the church began on 24 October 1851 with the foundation stone laid by the Bishop of Cork William Delaney. Half way to completion, on 4 November 1853, when much of the stonework and part of the roof was done, a natural disaster – mighty storm – fell upon the structure blowing off the roof and seriously damaging the walls. The event aroused nationwide sympathy and saw many donations for rebuilding of the church coming in from many dioceses and private individuals across Ireland. The completed church was solemnly dedicated on 20 July 1856.
2
Cork City Gaol

2) Cork City Gaol (must see)

Transport yourself to the 19th century and get a feel of how the prisoners were detained back then. Located 2 km from Patrick’s st. is the Cork City Gaol, one of the main visitor attractions of Cork. This fortress stands as an example of the city's brilliant architectural and historical heritage.

A hit amongst all aged visitors the City Gaol lets you in on the day to day activities and lives of those who were kept prisoners in the facility. The City Gaol makes an extra impact with its life-sized wax models, sound effects and other image presentations. A self-guided tour with sound aid is available in 12 different languages which include French, Germany, Italian, English, Irish, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Japanese, Swedish, and Spanish. With prior notice, you can also arrange for a personal guided tour and even a night visit at the City Gaol. Educational programs can also be arranged with the museum authorities with prior intimation. If you are planning on a visit between May to September, check for the open top bus facility that picks and drops visitors from the Gaol.

Take home memories and mementos at the souvenir shop and have a fun time with family and friends at the Cork City Gaol.

Another fun visit to the same location is the Radio Museum. The Radio museum exhibits a 6 CK Radio Broadcasting studio along with many artifacts that are sure to take you on a nostalgic ride.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the best attractions in Cork and Ireland as a whole.
Not too expensive, with also some great views of the city.

Tip:
Bring something warm to wear, as the thick walls keep the building pretty chilly.
Note, also, that if you're not the fittest, you may want to get a taxi or tour bus to the location, as there are some steep hills to climb.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm
3
Cork Public Museum

3) Cork Public Museum (must see)

Standing in Fitzgerald Park is a two storey Georgian house, now known as Cork Public Museum. A Beamish family built this beautiful building as a place for their residence in 1845. In 1902 and 1903, the house was a host to the Cork International Exhibition, where many people visited the Art, Machinery and Agricultural exhibits. Later in 1906, this site became the Public Park.

In its initial few years, the building served as a Municipal Office as well as an Air Raid Protection Office. It then received grants from Cork Corporation and the County Council and reopened in 1945, after the Emergency and was administered by University College. With Prof. M.J. O’Kelly as the Curator, the museum began its work of collecting materials and setting up exhibits. Successive curators and museum staff were successful in obtaining important archaeological finds from this region and exhibiting them. Certain objects in the exhibits date back to the medieval period. It also houses Civic Regalia from the 19th and 20th centuries. Of these, silver and glass works of Cork, along with Youghal needlepoint Lace deserve special mention.

Funding from the European Regional Development Fund and City Council enabled the museum to build an extension, which opened in the late 1990s. One can enjoy the view of the River Lee, enjoy a coffee or snack and admire the trip to this museum in the Riverview Café.

Why You Should Visit:
Provides a nice summary of Ireland's history since time immemorial.
Is located a little outside the city center but can easily be reached on foot or by bus.
Admission is free.

Tip:
Stop by the café behind the museum building for some top-rate baked goods, coffee, and some light food.
The surrounding grounds should not be overlooked, either.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 10am-4pm; Sat: 11am-4pm; Sun (May to September): 2pm-4pm, closed on Mondays
4
Fitzgerald Park

4) Fitzgerald Park (must see)

If you enjoy taking long strolls where you are surrounded by nature and get to encounter the works of prominent artists, then Fitzgerald Park is for you.

Just about 20 minutes by walk from the City Centre, the Fitzgerald Park offers its visitors a pleasant change from the city. Home to the Cork Public Museum, the park is a perfect destination for a sunny day or a bank holiday where children can run around, play and you can bask in its scenic beauty. Situated on the banks of the River Lee, the Fitzgerald Park offers a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Unwind with its picturesque beauty and relax by taking a long walk along the river. The Fitzgerald Park has long been a popular destination among both locals and visitors, who love to spend their time away from the busy city life.

The park was named after Edward Fitzgerald, who served as the Lord Mayor of Cork between 1901 and 1903. Spread over 18 acres of land, you get to see a beautifully planned park and also catch a glimpse of the works of some of the finest artists like Seamus Murphy, Edward Delaney, Marshal Hutson, Joseph Higgins, James Horan, and Oisin Kelly.

Why You Should Visit:
A very friendly place to have a picnic, read a book, attend performances and much more.

Tip:
Check locally for events and free gigs happening on the lawn.
5
University College Cork

5) University College Cork (must see)

Found as a college in 1845, Queen’s College Cork, became a university in 1908 and was renamed in 1998 as University College Cork, better known as UCC. With over 17,000 registered students, UCC is well known for its quality of education. What is surprising is that the University also serves as a famous tourist spot for visitors in Cork. The UCC Visitor’s Centre also runs guided tours of the University buildings on a daily basis. These tours are a useful insight into the history and culture of the college.

Overlooking the valley of Lee, Deane and Woodward built the Tudor Gothic Quadrangle and the university’s early buildings. The Stone Corridor of the Quadrangle is a collection of Ogham Stones. Believed to be gravestones of the renowned members of the Celtic tribe, these stones belong to at least the third century, if not earlier.

Set up in 1880, The Crawford Observatory has an equatorial telescope along with a siderostatic one. One can visit this site to get answers to some astronomical questions and gaze at some lighter stars in the sky. Later, one can stroll freely in the President’s garden, which was out of public limits until the 1960s. Some trees in this garden like the Redwoods, oaks and beeches date back to 1800 when the university was founded.

Like the city, the University too has fascinating buildings and stories associated with them. A guided tour on your visit has much more to tell.

Why You Should Visit:
Arguably the most particular campus culture you will see in Ireland.
Gardens and outdoor spaces are praiseworthy, making this a great location to get away from the traffic and tourist areas.

Tip:
The Glucksman Gallery on campus is listed among the '1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die'...
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Lewis Glucksman Gallery

6) Lewis Glucksman Gallery

The Lewis Glucksman Gallery (Irish: Áiléar Lewis Glucksman) is an award-winning art gallery in University College, Cork, Ireland. Opened to the public by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese on 14 October 2004, the Glucksman gallery was named Best Public Building in Ireland by the RIAI in June 2005. The gallery building occupies a landmark site at the main entrance to this campus. The gallery has three floors of display spaces and the temporary exhibitions programme focuses on on thematic shows which have included Through the Looking Glass: Childhood in Contemporary Photography, Cooling Out: on the paradox of feminism and Overtake: the reinterpretation of modern art. The gallery is named for its benefactor, Wall St. financier and chairman of Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc., Lewis Glucksman. The inaugural director, Fiona Kearney, is a fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme and an alumnus of the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm; Sunday: 2 pm - 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Mardyke Bridge

7) Mardyke Bridge

The North Mall to Mardyke section of the Lee Walk was dedicated by the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Deirdre Clune, on 1st February 2006. The bridge is a single span construction made of steel, stretching some 57 metres in length and having a 3 metre-wide footpath cantilevered from the bottom chord of the arch. Integral to the design is a circular viewing platform built into cantilever retaining walls, adjoining the north bank seat. The bank seats are of reinforced concrete and have architecturally shaped parapets resting on precast concrete piles, driven 10-15 metres into the ground. The bridge is stiffened by the steel deck top plate which helps control its deflections and dampen its dynamics. The plate prevents the arch member from deflecting too much out of plane. Mardyke bridge was manufactured off site with the finishing touches and assembly done on site, upon which it was lifted into position in a single operation.

Walking Tours in Cork, Ireland

Create Your Own Walk in Cork

Create Your Own Walk in Cork

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cork is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cork Nightlife Tour

Cork Nightlife Tour

A good time is never hard to find in the city of Cork. The densely packed city center offers a variety of entertainment to suit any tastes, and all of them within a reasonable walking distance from one another. Whether it be a traditional pub setting with patrons singing Irish songs over a pint of Guinness, a hot night of dancing to live DJ sets, or a live rock band bringing down the house, Cork...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Cork Galleries and Museums Tour

Cork Galleries and Museums Tour

As one of the biggest cities in modern Ireland, Cork has gained much cultural diversity in recent years. You can see some of the fruits of this diversity at some of the city’s top art galleries, and learn about Cork’s rich heritage at several fascinating museums. Take our tour to get a cultural overview of the city of Cork, both past and present.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Christian Sights in Cork

Christian Sights in Cork

The "Rebel City" of Cork is most famous for its religious landmarks, a great combination of history and architecture. The local churches where built mainly in the 17th-18th centuries. In the center of the city you can find one of the best-known churches in Ireland. Grab the opportunity to tour the famous churches of Cork City.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Walking Down the Eastern Part of Cork Tour

Walking Down the Eastern Part of Cork Tour

The Eastern Part of Cork City is characterized by a mixture of old and new. Cork is the city that aims to evolve continuously while retaining its traditions. The upper side of of the city is a quiet sleeping area that wakes up only around the St. Patrick's Day. Walking down south you will notice the picture change to a more contemporary look. The suggested tour is to help you explore the East...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
Cork Pubs and Bars Tour

Cork Pubs and Bars Tour

Being the second largest city in Ireland, Cork is a cultural hub that offers guests a diverse selection of pubs and bars to let off some steam. On this tour you will find cozy traditional style pubs filled with friendly locals having a roaring good time, live rock and blues and cheap beer, a bar dedicated to the band Thin Lizzy, and much more. Be sure to absorb the rich culture of Cork when taking...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Cork is one of the biggest city in Ireland,also called “The Rebel City”. The cultural diversity of the city attracts thousand tourists every year. Find out what can you visit if you decided to go there by browsing this list of top tourist attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Cork for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Cork has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Cork, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.