Cork is the biggest county in Ireland and home to the nation’s second city, Cork City. Set on an island in the River Lee, the city is bursting with quaint alleys, Georgian avenues, Irish pubs, friendly locals and an incredible foodie scene.
Cork also boasts over 1000km of stunning coastline and is part of both Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, making it the ideal location for a fascinating road trip. Over the years, it has been the inspiration for poets, writers and artists alike, thanks to the welcoming and wonderful nature of this great county.
Once there, you can walk the beautiful beaches, go surfing and even go whale watching if you’re lucky enough. Plus, you can visit the city centre, explore the countryside, and stop by the many local historic sites, including Blarney Castle.
Planning your road trip
Whether you’re going for a week or a weekend, in order to get the most from your Cork road trip, you need to plan ahead. Firstly, you need to choose the right campervan for your trip, making sure it is going to be big and comfortable enough for you and your friends, family or anyone you’re travelling with.
If you’re short on time, it’s also a good idea to start putting an itinerary together so that you can make the most of every day. Below, we’re going to share with you some of the best things to see and do in Cork, so you can begin planning your route and choosing where you want to stop and stay along the way.
Finally, as well as booking the right campervan, you also need to make sure that you pack everything you need for the perfect road trip. Luckily enough, we’ve put together a helpful guide to campervan holiday essentials, so you can make sure you’re organised and have everything you need for a great time.
You can check the full list out here.
Things to see and do in Cork
Cork offers the perfect mixture of settings and scenery, from a city break to coastal retreats; there is so much to see and do there. Best of all, you can plan your road trip accordingly so that you stop at all the different points along the way. We can’t cover everything that Cork has to offer, but some of the top ideas include the following:
- Stop by the Titanic Experience in Cobh, followed by a walk around the town
- Discover Charles Fort in Kinsale Town
- Go to Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney stone
- Check out the wildlife in Fota Safari Park, located on Fota Island just outside the city of Cork
- Drive to Ireland’s most southwesterly point, Mizen Head
- Go into Cork City centre, check out the food market and stop for a drink
- Marvel at Finn Bares Cathedral, also in Cork City
- Pop by Castletownbere (Bere Island)
- Check out the coastal views at The Allihies on the Ring Of Beara
So before you head off on your trip, we suggest that you get out your map or travel book and mark all the sites you’d most like to visit. That way, you can plan your route accordingly to ensure you don’t miss anything you really want to see.
Best places to stay
Ireland as a whole is a great destination for campervan holidays, which means there are plenty of great campsites across the nation for you to choose from. This is particularly true for County Cork and the surrounding areas.
You may not want to book up somewhere to stay for every night of your trip, particularly if you’re not sure where you’re going to end up. However, it’s worth noting that in this case, you might need to call ahead to some campsites to get a pitch.
As such, we suggest that you book your pitch before you set off. Some of the best spots to stop in Cork include:
- Blarney Caravan & Camping Park, Stoneview
- Top of the Rock Pod Pairc and Walking Centre, Drimoleague
- Hungry Hill Lodge and Campsite, Adrigole
- The Hideaway Camping & Caravan Park, Skibbereen
- Eagle Point Camping, Reendesert
Of course, when you choose a fully equipped campervan like ours, you can also try your hand at wild camping, though you need to be careful about where you stop for the night.
You also need to make sure that you leave no trace if you’re going to free camp for a night or two to experience the Irish wilderness in all its glory. Though we accept this is not for everyone. So if in doubt, book yourself a spot on a great nearby campsite.