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County Cork is Ireland's largest county and hosts Ireland’s second largest city. Cork city, a major port on the estuary of the River Lee and the south's self-proclaimed cultural capital, manages to be at one and the same time a relaxed and a lively place. Cork City is a major Irish seaport, with quays and docks sited along the broad waterway of the Lee on the city's East side, while Cork port is known to be the World's second largest natural harbour, after Sydney, Australia. Below are some of the main visitor attractions in Cork.

The Blarney Stone
Blarney Castle, just outside the city limits and set in superb parkland. The Blarney Stone which is famously said to confer "the gift of the gab" on all who salute it, is located on the top storey of the castle, just below the battlements on the parapet. To obtain this rare gift, it is necessary to hang backwards over a steep drop, your legs held firmly by willing attendants. You won't stop talking afterwards, if only from relief.

The Butter Museum
From the late 18th century onwards, Cork's prosperity was founded on butter, which was exported from the city to all corners of the world. The rich green lands of the south were and still are particularly suited to butter production, and folk would trudge with their heavy loads from as far away as Kerry along the old Butter Road to Cork city and the Butter Exchange. At the museum you can discover an industry that made Cork the largest butter market in the world. You will also find that Cork butter is more salted than usual, which is a direct result of that export business - salt was a very effective way of preserving the product on long voyages.

Murphys Brewery
With a history dating from 1856, Murphy's Irish Stout encompasses the brewing techniques of the famous Cork brewery. Two world wars, the Irish civil war and many decades later, Murphy's is still brewed here and is now consumed in over 70 countries worldwide.

The Old City Gaol
The Old City Gaol has an atmosphere you could cut with a knife. From the moment you step through the forbiddingly high gateway and see furtive twisted figures half-hidden in the dim gloom, you seem to have returned to Victorian times. Founded in the 1840s, the gaol is preserved exactly as it would have looked in the 19th century, with stark corridors, iron staircases, barred windows, and cells with the original graffiti still on the walls, scratched by hands long since laid to rest. Many thousands were transported from here on convict ships to America and Australia.

Beamish & Crawford Brewery
The Beamish & Crawford Brewery was founded by Richard Henrick Beamish and Arthur Frederick Sharman Crawford in 1792 in Cork, the famous port in the south of Ireland. The very first Irish stouts are said to have been brewed in the brewery in the 17th century. The brewery is now part of the Scottish & Newcastle group.

St. Ann's, Shandon
There can be no better way to introduce yourself to Cork than to ascend the tower and play the superb carillion of bells hanging there. Very often throughout the day you can hear melodies carried on the breeze across the city as each individual bell gives out its distinctive note.

Lifetime Lab
Lifetime Lab, on the banks of the River Lee, is a unique attraction for visitors of all ages with its modern interactive exhibition, themed playground, beautifully restored buildings and equipment and scenic views over the River Lee. Located at the old Cork City Waterworks which was responsible for supplying water to the city of Cork over the past 3 centuries, it is 5 minutes drive of the City Centre and within easy walking distance of Fitzgeralds Park, Cork City Gaol and Cork City Centre and local bus routes. It has a coffee dock, picnic area, ample car parking and is fully wheelchair accessible.

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