Cork: An insider’s guide to the best beaches, activities, food and drink

Enjoy beautiful food, coastal walks and historical landmarks in Ireland’s largest county

The Sheep’s Head Peninsula, southwest of Bantry, is all about the rugged landscapes. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

The Sheep’s Head Peninsula, southwest of Bantry, is all about the rugged landscapes. Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

Ireland’s largest county is not easily summarised in one – or 10 – articles. But any Cork primer should start in Cork city itself, and highly recommended is a visit to Cork City Gaol (corkcitygaol.com), a fascinating museum that lays out in moving terms just how stark the 19th-century penal system was (the Governor’s House is now a museum dedicated to the history of radio).

You might have to wear face masks and stick to limited numbers, but the English Market (englishmarket.ie) is every bit as interesting as any museum, its ornate vaulted ceiling the ideal cover for some of the best food producers in the country. Take your al fresco picnic to nearby Bishop Lucey Park.

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