On the southern coast of Great Island, with extensive views of Cork Harbour, COBH (pronounced “cove”) makes a great escape from the city on a fine day. This historic and unpretentious resort, clinging onto a steep, south-facing slope, sports a stony beach, a promenade with a bandstand and gaily painted rows of Victorian hotels and houses. Much of the tourist traffic comes now from the dozens of huge cruise-liners that dock here every year, continuing a long tradition for this fine, natural harbour: Cobh was a port of call for the Sirius, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, in 1838, and for the Titanic on her disastrous maiden voyage in 1912. The port was also a major supply-depot during the American and Napoleonic wars, and became Ireland’s main point of emigration after the Great Famine. This long and often tragic seafaring history is vividly detailed at the Queenstown Story, a heritage centre in the former Victorian train station on the seafront (the town was renamed Queenstown after a visit by Queen Victoria in 1849, but its old name was restored after Independence). If your appetite for salty tales and memorabilia still hasn’t been sated, get along to the Cobh Museum, housed in a nineteenth-century Presbyterian church on the west side of the town centre.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Spring equinox at Loughcrew: waking up to Ireland’s secret rock art

Spring equinox at Loughcrew: waking up to Ireland’s secret rock art

The Loughcrew hills near the centre of Ireland are little-known – but at the spring equinox they take on a special magic. On this spring bank holiday, Paul C…

01 May 2017 • Paul Clements local_activity Special feature
6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

11 Apr 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month