5 Must See Places in Cork, Ireland

April 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

A Photographer’s Guide.

As a self-proclaimed multipotentialite rather than a specialist. Like so many others I appreciate an area that provides a wide range of photographic opportunities. So here is a local’s guide to my home city, Cork which is located in the southern area of Ireland. Here is what you should photograph on your next visit.


The English Market

The world famous English Market is located in the heart of the city. The market is home to a wide range of culinary opportunities of meats, cheeses and much more. The located enjoyed by many including the Queen Of England who visited in 2011 is a great spot for all street photographers. Especially on Saturdays, the market is buzzing with many people purchasing goods and services.  This leads to a wonderful variety of emotions and people.

Approx time needed 1.5 – 2 hours. A bonus stop about a 20 – 25-minute walk from the market is Shandon Tower. A great spot to photograph the city from an aerial standpoint.


Aurial Shot of Cork City taken from Shandon Tower. 

Myrtivile Beach

The people of Cork are very fortunate to claim beaches such as Kinsale, Garretstown, Myrtivile and so on. Myrtivile is a great spot for sunrises for a number of reasons. The last thing you want when taking a photo of a beach sunrise/sunset is a lot of people getting in your way. This will not be a problem at Myrtivile beach. Only a few swimmers regularly appear in the mornings and this is usually long after the best colours of the sky have passed. The car park is located within 30 seconds of the beach but because of barriers, it is impossible to get a car on the beach. This makes the possibility of cars getting in the way of shots an impossibility. A great quite spot, brilliant for sunrises, yet only a 30-minute drive from the city centre if you avoid the early morning rush hour. Approx time needed 1.5 – 2 hours.

Myrtivile Beach sunrse



The small coastal town formally known as Queenstown is located on the south coast of the county. The harbour town is not only beautiful but it also holds a deep and interesting history. Cobh was the final part of Ireland some 2 – 2.5 million Irish people saw before emigrating to the USA between 1848 and 1950 especially. The height of this coming during the now world famous potato famine. The town is also understood to be the final stop of the RMS Titanic before it crashed at sea. Despite the dark history, the town is filled will many colourful houses and other buildings. Saint Colman Cathedral is a photographer’s dream both due to its wonderful design and location. The building itself is blessed with a fantastic detailed outer while it is located at a high point within the town so you don’t usually have to wait too long to get a clear shot of it. An interesting spot all round but prepare yourself to be walking up hills. Approx time needed. 4-5 hours. A further recommendation would be to visit Spike Island and Kinsale both located nearby should you have the time.


Saint Colman's Cathedral Cobh

Nohoval Cove

A small rocky cove off the coast of west Cork near Nohoval. Nohoval Cove is a small inlet surrounded by stunning cliffs and gleaming dark caves. This spot is not the easiest drive as the last few hundred meters of the road are very narrow. While the drive comes with its complications, once you arrive, you will be glad you made the effort. There are two main locations to photograph from. The first of these is to walk near the rocky bay and to photograph from a ground level. But many would tell you the magic begins after you make the small climb up to cliff on your left-hand side (when you are facing the water) and shooting the water and the rugged green landscape from above. While it is lovely during the day and at sunset, sunrise is the best time to visit the quite location as the sun rises above the cliffs and sea below.


Nohoval Cove in the summer

City at Night

As a harbour city, it is expected that Cork will be the home of a river. This river is known as the River Lee. This brings lots of great opportunities for nightscapes photographers and those who love reflections in general,  will enjoy greatly. Buildings that reflect along the river include the main bus station along Parnell Place, the City Hall which varies in colour. This includes green, white and orange the colours of the Irish flag. Cork, like the capital Dublin, is the home of many bridges that are colourful at night and lead to some nice nightscape photography.


Should the weather go your way Cork city itself can be photographed intensively in 2-3 days. The same can’t be said for the landscape. With so many splendid beaches, mountains and so on, one could photograph Cork for a lifetime. But here are my suggestions if you are stuck for time. I have tried to pick a wide range of located so there is something for everybody.



Field in which Kilkrea Castle is located. 

Honorary mentions to:

Baltimore Beacon

Drombeg Stone Circle

Kilkrea Castle

Fota Wildlife Park

Mizen Head


University College Cork

Gougane Barra

Ballincollig Regional Park


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