Cork City Self-Guided Tour
Cork City Self-Guided Tour
Should you choose to cycle this route, we will email the map to you when you pick up your bike.
This route is 11km and we recommend 7 to 7.5 hours to visit all the attractions.
However you can pick and choose where you decide to spend time to shorten the trip if you wish.
Elizabeth Fort [30 minutes]
Elizabeth Fort was first built of timber and earth in 1601 on a hill to the south and outside the medieval walls of Cork. During the siege of Cork in 1690, artillery was brought to bear on the eastern walls of the city. In 1719 was put to use as a barracks. In 1817, it was re-purposed again – this time as a prison, with many prisoners being held at the fort prior to “penal transportation” to New South Wales and other British colonies. During the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921), Elizabeth Fort was used as a base by the “Black and Tans”. During the succeeding Irish Civil War the fort was burned by anti-treaty forces in August 1922.
St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral [30 minutes]
It’s a Gothic Revival three-spire Church of Ireland cathedral dedicated to Finbarr of Cork, patron saint of the city. 17th century Finbarr of Cork founded a monastery. The original building survived until the 12th century and was destroyed during the Norman invasion of Ireland. Saint Fin Barre’s is mostly built from local stone sourced from Little Island and Fermoy.
UCC & The Glucksman [30 minutes]
The university was founded in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges located in Belfast, Cork, and Galway. Opened in 1849 with 23 professors and 181 students. Now it’s over 21.000 students. 5 x Irish University of the Year by Sunday Times and named as top performing university by the European Commission in 2015.
The Glucksman is an art museum opened to the public by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese on 14 October 2004 and was named ‘Best Public Building in Ireland’ by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in June 2005. The museum has three floors of display spaces and the temporary exhibitions programme.
Cork Public Museum & Fitzgerald Park [30 minutes]
Museum building is a converted Georgian house built in 1845 by the Beamish brewing family. Exhibits focus on the archaeological record of the Cork area, including finds from excavations around the city’s medieval walls, as well as the economic and municipal history of the city.
The park was originally the site of the 1902 Cork International Exhibition, a world’s fair showcasing the city’s economy. The park was named for Edward Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor of Cork and proposer of the Cork International Exhibition.
Cork City Gaol [1 hour]
Cork City Gaol opened in 1824 and was reported as being “the finest in 3 kingdoms” and it housed both male and female prisoners whose crimes were committed within the city boundary. It became a women’s gaol for Cork City and Cork County in 1878. During the Irish War of Independence Republican women prisoners were imprisoned in the gaol, in October 1919 Constance Markievicz, the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament, was imprisoned at Cork Gaol for making a seditious speech.
Shandon Bells & The Butter Museum [1 hour]
The name Shandon comes from the Irish, Sean Dún, meaning “old fort”. Sta. Anne’s Church was built in 1722-1726 with two types of stone (red sandstone from the original Shandon Castle which stood nearby, and limestone taken from the derelict Franciscan Abbey which stood on the North Mall). The church is noted for its 8 bells, immortalised in the song “The Bells of Shandon” by Francis Sylvester Mahony. The clock of the tower is known to Corkonians as “The Four Faced Liar” because, depending on the angle of the viewer, and the effects of wind on the hands on a given face, the time may not appear to correspond perfectly on each face.
The Cork Butter Market building is situated in the Shandon area of the city, with the building dating from 1849. Shandon was the largest Shambles (open-air butcheries) in Ireland, and the Exchange was located within this commercial area. During the Exchange’s peak in the 19th century, Cork was the largest exporter of butter in the world, with butter exported as far as Australia and India.
St. Peter's [30 minutes]
St Peter’s Cork is situated in the heart of the Medieval city and is Cork’s oldest church with parts of the building dating back to 12th century. A historical building, a modern venue engages visitors through cultural exhibitions, events and public gatherings.
Crawford Art Gallery [1 hour]
A public art gallery and museum dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary. Building used to be the Cork Customs House, built in 1724. In the early 1880s, the Cork School of Design as renamed as the Crawford School of Art. You can watch collections from: Canova, Barr, Yeats and others.
English Market [30 minutes]
English Market is municipal food market regarded for both its mid-19th century architecture and locally produced artisan food. In 2011 was described as best covered market in the UK and Ireland. That was the time when Quenn Elizabeth II paid a visit here. Charles, then Prince of Wales, now the King, did it in 2018.
Why Cork Bike Hire
Cork Bike Hire at The Marina Market is your perfect start point to explore the recently reopened Cork City to Passage West Greenway linking the Marina on the Lee to Passage West on the lower harbour.