TheJournal.ie has been chatting to heritage officers in every part of the country to compile their top five picks that they think you might enjoy visiting this summer.
Heritage includes monuments, archaeological or architectural objects, seascapes, wrecks, geology, inland waterways, gardens and parks. We are publishing recommendations for every local authority area over the course of a fortnight, along with the details you need to know to plan your visit.
1. Shandon bell tower and church
Experience a full view of the city from the tower believed to have given inspiration to the sporting colours of Cork. The clock here is locally known as the Four Faced Liar because the faces on each side never tell the same time.
St Anne’s church at Shandon is one of the oldest churches in Cork still in use and it has been a site of worship since the medieval times.
Amenities: Wheelchair access to church is available on request but as there are 132 steps up to the tower, the climb is not suitable for visitors with mobility issues or a heart condition. Parking at €1.80 per hour or €6.40 per day is available at St Mary’s North Cathedral.
Opening hours and costs: Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday/bank holidays 11.30am-4.30pm. Entry for adults €5 seniors/students €4, children over five €2.50, family €12 (two adults and up to four children under 16 years).
2. Elizabeth Fort
This star-shaped fort was built in the 17th century in the aftermath of the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. Its purpose then was to protect the walls of the city during British dominance.
For 400 years the fort has been in continuous use, most recently as a garda station up to 2013.
Opening hours and costs: The park and museum are open to the public FREE of charge. The museum is closed on Mondays, but opens weekdays 1am-4pm, Saturdays 11am-pm and Sundays 2-4pm. The park is open daily from 8.30am-10pm.
4. Crawford Art Gallery
This collection of almost 4,000 artworks ranges from painting, print and drawing to sculpture, with 12 exhibition spaces spread across three floors.
Artists featured include Seán Keating, John Lavery, Jack B Yeats, Norah McGuinness, Harry Clarke, Eilish O’Connell, Dorothy Cross, Maud Cotter and Hughie O’Donoghue.
Crawford Art Gallery
5. Blackrock Castle Observatory
Blackrock Castle is the oldest surviving structure still in use in the city of Cork today and the observatory seeks to foster interest in astronomy, engineering and technology.
Opening hours and costs: The observatory is open daily from 10am-5pm and the last entry is 4pm. Children under 15 years have free admission and the entry price for adults is €6.50, seniors/students/children €4.50, while a family ticket for two adults and two children is €18. Group tickets for 10 or more people are available at €5.50 per person.
Thanks to Cork City Council heritage officer Niamh Twomey for her recommendations.
TOMORROW: Top 5 must-sees in Kerry and Longford.