Explore the history and beauty of Cork during a memorable walking tour through this wonderful old city.
Historic Cork is a city of steeples and bridges and was truly made for walking. Although its compact size makes it entirely visible from many vantage-points, this charming city offers an abundance of lovely Old World sites for you to discover. Cork extends out through the hills that rise up on both sides of the Lee River, and its quays stretch all the way into the heart of the city. Cork's city center is actually a small island situated between two channels of the river and a plethora of bridges, and features streets lined with numerous shops, arcades and boutiques.
Depart the pier for a brief drive through the rolling countryside, then continue on to the Imperial Hotel and begin your walking tour. Take a leisurely stroll down the South Mall, one of the most gracious streets in the city, then cross the Parnell Bridge. A stop will be made here to enjoy spectacular views and photo opportunities of City Hall, the bank, College of Commerce and Morrison's Island. As your walk continues along the quays, the slender spire of the Holy Trinity Church can be seen across the river. A stop will then be made at the Parliament Bridge to admire its gracious arch and gleaming limestone. As you approach the South Gate Bridge, the three spires of St. Finbarr's Cathedral, part of the city's skyline, suddenly come into view. A stop will be made for a visit and photos at this ornate church, designed and built by William Burgess.
Next, you will stroll down Sharman-Crawford to Clarke's Bridge, a beautiful stone structure dating back to 1776, and then continue on to Cork's bustling main thoroughfare. The classical limestone façade of the Courthouse, located in a street full of red brick buildings, is one of Cork's most enduring sights. From here, you will proceed down North Main Street and Castle Street into the heart of this cosmopolitan city filled with pedestrian lanes, cafes, bookshops and antique shops.
Your tour concludes with a visit to the nearly 400-year-old English Market. A popular location that is home to restaurants, cafes, residents and visitors, the English Market offers a unique shopping experience that should not be missed. During your visit, you can browse the traditional Cork food, fruit and vegetable stands, along with the butcher shops, fishmongers, Italian, French and Irish cheese stalls, fresh bread stands, and more.
Following your tour, some time will be made available to explore the area independently and perhaps do a bit of shopping before rejoining your coach for the return drive to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of significant walking - at times on uneven ground. There are also steps to be negotiated. The tour is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair or those guests with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition. Weather appropriate clothing, including a windbreaker or light jacket, and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of the sights viewed or visited may vary.