St. Anne's Church Clock Tower with the Shandon Bells
Enjoying Ireland's second city or the Real capital
You are going to Cork, great choice! The self-proclaimed "Real Capital" shows the fierce pride Cork people have for their city. It's your turn to enjoy what makes the people of Cork so proud!
An easy walk from the city centre are the Shandon Bells in their home in the Church of St. Anne, with associated clock tower or "The Four Faced Liar". Look to the North, find the clock tower with the golden fish on top and off you go. It picked up the nickname due to the four different clocks on the tower showing less than consistent time keeping. Looking at the pretty clock tower alone mightn't be your idea of fun, but pay the entry fee of €5 and make your way skyward. The first fun thing to do is to ring the bells. If you are any way musically inclined you can produce a tune using the helpfully provided song books. These are mostly of a religious nature and not much fun, so see if you can use the set of church bells to play music to your own taste!
Next put on the provided ear protection and ascend the narrow passageway, past the bells you rang moments ago and squeeze up to the viewing area. This gives you a panoramic view of Cork in all its glory.
A lunch and sightseeing suggestion in the city itself is the English Market, the home of the finest local produce. Dine in the restaurant or coffee shops or pick up high quality ingredients to eat in the nearby Peace Park.
Those of a shopping nature will find ample opportunity in the city's main streets, with Patrick Street being the home of the big name shops and smaller boutique shops off in side streets. Opera Lane, roughly in the middle of Patrick Street, is the home to some of the multinational shops.
Opera Lane naturally leads to the Opera House, Corks premier artistic venue, with shows, plays or music on offer so see local press or listings closer to your visit. Right next door is the Crawford Art Gallery, so culture vultures can get a double fix in the space of a few steps!
Once night falls, then the fun starts! Pubs are Cork's speciality and the city has pubs to suit every fancy. Those seeking a beer garden on a sunny day should see out Tom Barry's or the Franciscan Well. For live traditional music seek out An Spailpin Fanach or An Bodhran. For classy cocktails the Long Island is the place. A really old school, rural style pub is the Castle Inn and for a place to sip a pint in nice atmosphere choose Mutton Lane or Sin E. To see the locals mingling, mixing and dancing, you might have to endure queues for Rearden's or the Bodega. These are only suggestions and even greater fun is available in more establishments, seek them out and enjoy what Cork has to offer.
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