The area comprises a number of towns such as Midleton, Cobh (pronounced “Cove”) and Youghal (pronounced “Yawl”). Midleton has recently been re-connected with Cork city by train and now is an even easier target to stay and use as a base for visiting the city. It is home to the Jameson Distillery which produces 19 million litres of whiskey each year and has a fascinating visitor centre which tells the story of whiskey in Ireland and its unique way of distilling one of our most famous exports. Cobh is the town cascading down the hillside across from the ferry port at Ringaskiddy with its St. Colman’s Cathedral dominating the skyline as you sail past. Its heritage is of course steeped in that of the sea having been an important naval base of strategic importance from Napoleonic times, to being the departure point for 2.5 million emigrants who left Ireland primarily for the US between 1848 and 1950 and of course it will always be remembered for its association with the Titanic being the last port of call for that ill-fated ship in 1912. The Cobh Heritage centre tells these stories movingly and in detail. Youghal was the setting for the film Moby Dick and it has that unmistakable air of the sea about it. Fine sandy beaches and rugged coastline make it an ideal location for a holiday.
Further down the coast the fishing village of Ballycotton with its iconic lighthouse has been a favourite destination for Cork city families for generations. Nearby Garryvoe with its long inviting beach has similarly captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike and Shanagarry home to the world famous Ballymaloe House cookery school and restaurant is a must visit for foodies.