Cobh Heritage Centre: The Queenstown Story
This permanent exhibition at Cobh Heritage Centre is situated within Cobh’s restored Victorian railway station. The Queenstown Story will engage the visitor in a journey through time, recalling Irish emigration with real stories about real people; from the indentured servants of Virginia and the West Indies’ plantations of the 17th century, the early settlers in Upper Canada, the famine victims of the 1840s, to the large-scale emigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries. The present town of Cobh has its origins as a small village nestled in the hillside on the southern shores. The village was initially known as ‘Cove’, being situated in the harbour of Cork. The town did not begin to grow until the early 19th century but its strategic importance was realised in the late 18th century during the American War of Independence. Vital shiploads of troops and supplies were needed by the British forces fighting in America between 1775 and 1781. The entry of France into the war in 1778 heightened the danger of these ships being attacked at sea. This large and safe harbour provided ideal conditions in which the ships could assemble and be protected. The wars against France from the 1790s to 1815 were to prove the catalyst which led to the future prosperity of the town as the harbour played an important role in this war at sea. Cobh went on to become a major port with both naval and merchant shipping, and was one of the major ports of emigration. Oueenstown as it was known at the time, has very close connections with the two great liners of the 20th century; The Titanic and The Lusitania. Discover the human stories behind these tragic events at our exhibition. Audio tours are available in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Polish and Chinese. This thought-provoking and emotive exhibition is shaped as a self-guided tour which is both interesting and educational…and not to be missed!
For more information, please visit www.cobhheritage.com or call 021 4 813591.
Perks Entertainment Centre, Youghal
Welcome to a world of entertainment all under one roof, at Perks Entertainment Centre, Youghal. Specialising in the ‘art of fun-making’ and boasting one of the largest indoor funfair entertainment centres in Ireland, a visit to Perks is a perfect way to spend a family day out – or in! With over 70,000 square feet of indoor entertainment, not even the weather can spoil the fun. Perks caters for all ages, is wheelchair friendly, has complimentary parking and no admission fee. There’s a huge selection of rides, games and attractions to be enjoyed, as well as the famous Showboat Casino – and don’t be surprised if Perkie Bear pops in for a visit too! For more information, visit www.perksfunfair.com or call 024 92438.
Whether spending a day, a night or a week in East Cork, a family trip to Trabolgan Holiday Centre is highly recommended. Renowned for its daytime and night-time entertainment, its magical surroundings, excellent facilities and range of indoor and outdoor activities, Trabolgan – located near Whitegate, a ten minute drive from Midleton – is guaranteed to please adults and children alike. There’s family entertainment with the Trabolgan Team Stars, plus quizzes, karaoke and bingo, with plenty of laughter along the way. You can make a splash at Trabolgan’s sub-tropical pool paradise with special climate control and consistent balmy temperatures – enjoy the tropical heat all year round! There’s a range of adventure sports, as well as Combat Laser, an 18 Hole Par 3 Clifftop Golf Course, and Crazy Golf too. And don’t forget the Indoor Sports Complex and Strike Bowling Alley to top everything off. For more information, visit www.trabolgan.com or call 021 4661551.
In the last 1300 years Spike Island has been host to a 6th century Monastery, a 24 acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of island homes. The island’s rich history has included monks and monasteries, rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints. Today the island is dominated by the 200 year old Fort Mitchel, the star shaped Fortress which became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners. Take the scenic ferry ride from Kennedy Pier, Cobh, and enjoy a fully guided tour of the island and fortress, and relax in the cafe and picnic areas. Spike Island has been voted winner of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the 2017 World Travel Awards. For further information, visit www.spikeislandcork.ie or call 085 851 8818.
The Titanic Experience, Cobh
The Titanic Experience Cobh is located in Casement Square in the heart of the own. It’s home is the original White Star Line Ticket Office, a building steeped in history dating back to the early 19th century and the departure point for many thousands of White Star Line passengers. When you arrive, you’ll check-in at reception and learn the story of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic on that fateful day in April. A personal tour guide takes you on a virtual journey to board the tenders and join Titanic for her maiden voyage to New York. Take the time to view the original pier, also known as the Heartbreak Pier, which was the last point of land contact for the Queenstown (Cobh) passengers. When disaster strikes, you will experience the chill of the sinking, through a unique cinematographic experience. For more information, please visit www.titanicexperiencecobh.ie or 021 4814412.
Fota Wildlife Park
For a walk on the wild side, there’s nowhere finer than Fota Wildlife Park. A ten minute drive from Midleton will see you in the impressive surrounds of Fota Wildlife Park, as well as Fota House & Gardens, just next door. Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities for children in the summer, holiday camps for Easter or you simply want to take advantage of some sunny weekend weather, Fota Wildlife Park has a variety of activities for children and parents alike. Located on 100 acres, the park has an annual attendance of 440,000 visitors – so why not add to their numbers? Fota Wildlife Park’s vision is to inspire people to understand and conserve the biodiversity of our natural world. The Park’s core values of conservation, education, research and entertainment have ensured that we are uniquely placed to foster greater public understanding of the threats to plant and animal habitats and decreasing global biodiversity. So, whether meeting the King of Jungle in an African adventure, monkeying around, seeing stripes with the zebras, saying hello to the Indian Rhinoceroses, making friends with the meerkats or spending time with the Sumatran tigers, Fota Wildlife Park will truly show you the full Circle of Life in style. For more information, visit www.fotawildlife.ie or call 021 4812678.
Leahy’s Open Farm, Dungourney
For a walk on the (semi)wild side, Leahy’s Open Farm is a fantastic, friendly, fun-filled family day out. Located just outside the village of Dungourney, approximately a 15 minute drive from Midleton, Leahy’s Open Farm allows children to get up close and personal with plenty of animals, with special petting and feeding times. There’s also adventure trails, climbing frames, a maze, Go Karts, digger rides, crazy golf, a museum, indoor play area and boat rides. And, once you’re done with all that excitement, there’s time to sit back and relax in the Leahy’s Open Farm Cafe. For more information, visit www.leahysopenfarm.ie or call 021 4668461.
Jungle World, Midleton
Jungle World, at Market Green has been designed with both parents and children in mind, with a passion for excellence and – just as importantly – an emphasis on fun! With a 9,000 square foot play structure and seating area, a large basketball area / soccer pitch, not one, but two Bungee Trampolines, a Bouncy Castle, slides (including two spirals and a four-lane slide) and a Mini Climbing Wall, there’s plenty for the kids to enjoy, while their parents, grandparents, guardians and, in short, the grown-ups, can head over to Jungle World’s shop, which boasts hot drinks, hot food, newspapers & magazines, and a warm welcome. For more information, visit www.jungleworldmidleton.ie or call 021 4637055.
Go Safari, Children’s Activity Centre, Carrigtwohill
Go Safari, in Fota Retail Park, Carrigtwohill, is a family-run centre which has enjoyed providing fun and activity for Cork’s children since 2009. Let the kids run wild on all Go Safari’s great indoor children’s activity attractions including a 20 metre aerial zip-wire over the safari café (the only one in Ireland!), multi-lane vertical rock climbing wall challenge, safari-themed electric go-karts, scramble nets, high-level balance beams and even a Giant Spider’s Web Maze! While the kids keep themselves busy, parents & guardians can relax at the Safari Hut Café. For more information, visit www.gosafari.ie or call 021 438 9222.
Aura Leisure Centre, Claycastle, Youghal
Aura Leisure Centre is your one-stop fitness hub in the town of Youghal, with a 25m swimming pool, sauna, fitness gym, steam room, water slide, kiddies pool and fitness class studio. Pay as you go options are available for all activities. Aura Leisure Centre is open seven days a week, where friendly, knowledgeable staff will ensure that getting fit can also be fun. For more information, please call 024 91614 or visit www.auraleisure.ie
Youghal Clock Gate Tower
Welcome to the Youghal Clock Gate Tower – a unique building in Ireland’s Ancient East that holds many stories – stories of pain, tragedy and rebellion, but also stories of love, friendship and generosity. Stories that are universal and timeless. On a visit to the iconic tower our storytellers will help you see Youghal Clock Gate Tower in a new and true light. The visit will give you an understanding of its significance in Youghal and the wider area over the centuries. All this under the watchful eye of the clock. Youghal Clock Gate Tower is the iconic building straddling North & South Main Street and is the most visible landmark in Youghal town. A trip to Youghal is incomplete without a visit to this unique historic structure. Visits to Youghal Clock Gate Tower are by way of pre-booked Guided Tour. Admission tickets are available online or from Youghal Tourist Office on Market Square, with adjacent Free Parking. A tour will take approximately 1 hour – you choose the tour time that best suits your itinerary.
The Raleigh Quarter at St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, Youghal
A short stroll from the main street in Youghal will bring you into the heart of the beautiful medieval Raleigh Quarter. There, nestled between the historical St. Mary’s Collegiate Church – a mediaeval national monument, with guided tours available – and the magnificent walled gardens you will find The Raleigh Quarter Studios. This hidden gem, housed in converted stables, is the home to 5 very diverse artists.
Youghal native, Andrea Cashel, is a landscape artist specialising in chalk pastels. Growing up beside the sea has been an enduring sours of inspiration. She revisits the same stretch of beach everyday and never ceases to be fascinated by it. Her most recent work has focused on capturing light on water and the reflective surface of wet sand at low tide. Whimsical Wool Creations artist Deirdre Morris, a Youghal native, blends the beauty and simplicity of waldorf style needle felting with her own family inspired wool portraits. Her art studios in the Raleigh Quarter Studios are the perfect setting for inspiration and motivation surrounded by history, beauty and fellow artists.
Orginally from Monaghan, Martina Cassidy, moved into the heart of the country, just outside Youghal in 2000, just for “a wee while” but never left! Martina enjoys watching life, especially as the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh puts it, “wherever life pours ordinary plenty”. An illustrator, printmaker, storyteller and mixed media artist, her work also draws inspiration from the town of Youghal and its rich historical past.
French artist and illustrator Sophie Heloise-Cousin has been living in Youghal and made it her home for a few years now. Using pen and ink Sophie creates line drawings, taking her inspirataion from Youghal and its particular light and aspect. Another native Youghal artist creating her works from The Raleigh Quarter Artist Studios is Diane Magee. Born in Youghal, Co. Cork, Diane lives, works and breaths as a full time artist. Much of Diane’s work explores and records the landscape, the subject within the landscape, warm and cool colours and light and dark. The views which surround Diane daily are her direct source of inspiration which she finds endlessly fascinating and challenging.