Head to University College Cork (UCC) which is located on College Road. Founded in 1845, UCC is one of the oldest institutes of learning in Ireland and was first established as Queen’s College. The UCC Campus is famous for its mature wooded grounds and contains several Californian Trees. These form a splendid setting for the Gothic revival-style main quadrangle buildings, modelled on a typical Oxford college by the renowned Cork architect of the mid century- Sir Thomas Deane.
While on campus, visit the Glucksman Art Gallery which is Cork’s newest contemporary art museum. Clad in Carlow limestone and Cedar boarding, the buildings architecture succeeds in blending in with the national environment of the river bank. Follow the road from UCC to St Finbarre's Cathedral and be mesmerised by the size of the Gothic Protestant Cathedral which tradition says is where St Finbarr founded Cork in the 7th Century.
From the Cathedral make your way down Barrack’s Street, passing the Elizabeth Fort, which played a major role in the Siege of Cork in 1690 and is now home to a Garda (Police) Station in Cork. At the bottom of Barrack’s Street cross the road and walk along the South Gate Bridge which marks the beginning of Medieval Cork. Stop and admire the beautiful Beamish and Crawford Building, where beer has been brewed in Cork for centuries before turning up Tuckey Street and onto the Grand Parade.
Enter the English Market at its Grand Parade entrance and wander around the market enjoying the aroma and colour of the food on display. Have a coffee in one of its quirky cafes or if you want lunch head upstairs to the Farmgate Restaurant.
Walk around the centre of the city admiring its numerous shops and cafes before heading to the Coal Quay Market. Cross the River Lee and gaze at Shandon Steeple, one of the landmarks of Cork city with each of its four sides bearing a clock face. At St Anne’s Church, ring its famous bells and admire excellent views of the city from an open parapet near the top of the tower.
Visit the Cork Butter Museum which is located in the heart of the historic Shandon area of Cork City. The museum tells the story of the internationally important Butter Exchange in 19th Century Cork, the traditional craft of home butter making and the modern success of the Kerrygold brand.
From Shandon head to the historic Cork Gaol (Jail) which is located in Sunday’s Well. It may be advisable to get a taxi or a bus as the walk is all uphill. Cork Gaol is really well preserved and you get a great insight into life in Cork in the 19th and 20th century both inside and outside the prison walls.
Round the day off by relaxing in the beautiful Fitzgerald’s Park which is located five minutes walk from the Cork Gaol. The number 8 bus passes near the park and will take you back into the centre of the city.