Cobh, Ireland: The Port Town with 1 Billion Dollar Views
Updated: Feb 2
Just a 20 minute bus ride from Cork City, Cobh, Ireland sits atop a large hill offering a spectacular view of the sea. Standing near the top of the hill, one looks down on small bars stuffed to the brim with locals slugging back stout and watching football matches together- all knowing each other's names. Colourful houses dot the landscape in steep rows down hill towards the shoreline. Gleaming midway down stands one of the most spectacular Catholic churches in Europe- St. Colman's Cathedral (keep reading).
Having visited on a spectacularly sunny day and looking down on this brightly painted town, it was hard to imagine that 2.5 million Irish people chose to leave Ireland from this very port between 1848 and 1950 to emigrate to North America. It was also the last departure point of the Titanic in 1912 so needless to say this itty bitty port town is steeped in seaport history.
The views though- that's the real draw. Irish citizens are encouraged to paint their houses brightly to improve mood in rainy weather but the residents of Cobh have taken it to a whole new level. According to Lonely Planet, Cobh is also home to the world's second-largest natural harbour (after Sydney).
As you can see from the photo above, St. Colman's Cathedral towers above the town in all its ornate glory. Built over a span of 47 years, the cathedral opened in 1911 and just a few years later, a large set of bells was added with the largest weighing over 3 tons (Cobh Cathedral Parish).
Finally, ending your day in a bar is a must. During the time of year we were travelling (March), there were very few tourists packing the city and so we were welcomed with open arms into a local pub. Grab a pint of Murphy's or Beamish (the local stouts made in Cork) and relax.
Peace, love & history.