Cork enters 'Lonely Planet' guide as top 10 place to visit

 

CORK HAS been listed alongside cities in the US, Canada and Italy in a new Lonely Planettravel guide for the top places to visit in 2010.

The Best in Travel 2010 published this week is the travel company’s fifth in its annual collection of the best places to go and best things to do in the year ahead.

Cork was listed as a “top city” alongside Abu Dhabi, Charleston (South Carolina, USA), Cuenca (Ecuador), Istanbul, Kyoto, Lecce in Italy, Sarajevo, Singapore and Vancouver. The guide said Cork was now “at the top of its game: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse”.

Tourism leaders in Cork have declared the inclusion of the city as being “a major boost”, particularly in recessionary times. Cork is the only Irish listing in the Lonely Planetfor 2010.

The news was welcomed on the People’s Republic of Cork website, a celebration of all things Leeside. One member reacted with the line, “Am glad that others are finally realising that we are special,” while another joked, “Heard the writer of the guide is from Knocknaheeny”. Another posted: “Cork is an excellent city. It’s small enough to navigate around, it has interesting shops, fine pubs and good restaurants. Far too many people diss our great city instead of being proud of it.”

The plunging pound has meant London has made it into the top 10 of the world’s best-value destinations compiled by Lonely Planet.Other best-value destinations in the guide’s top 10 included Iceland, South Africa, Las Vegas and Kenya.

Must-sees on the Lee

Cork City Gaol Heritage Centre/Radio Museum, Convent Avenue: the heritage centre allows visitors see 19th/early 20th century life in Cork.

Also has radio studios and exhibits on Marconi’s Irish connections.

Church of St Anne, Shandon:a prominent landmark built in 1726, on a hillside overlooking the River Lee.

St Finbarr’s Cathedral, Sharman Crawford Street:designed by William Burgess and consecrated in 1870, it lies on a site of ancient Christian worship.

Cork Butter Museum, Shandon:explains the importance of the 19th-century Butter Exchange, the craft of butter-making and the modern success of Kerrygold.

Crawford Municipal Art Gallery:welcomes more than 200,000 visitors a year.