Distance from Dublin to Cork
- Distance from Dublin to Cork
It's 314km from the Port of Dublin to Cork city.
Thousands of years of history have played out against the stunning backdrop of Ireland’s Ancient East. From Celts to Christians and Vikings to Victorians, each have left their mark. This Irish road trip from Dublin to Cork will take you through some of the country’s most significant sites and spectacular landscapes, as you peel back the layers of history in this welcoming country.
Many visits to Ireland begin and end in this great city, simply because it has so much to do. From the Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin to the Guinness Storehouse, tourists can fill up on Ireland’s rich culture. EPIC - the Irish Emigration Musuem - is a good starting point if you’re tracing your ancestors’ journeys, and the National Museum of Ireland will shine a light on Ireland’s archaeology and history. Meeting locals is easily done on a food tour, pub tour or literary tour but try not to linger too long – a road trip is all about putting miles on the clock to discover what else is out there.
An hour north of Dublin city, Newgrange is one of the world’s most impressive neolithic sites. A 5,200-year-old passage tomb in the Boyne Valley, it was built by Stone Age farmers who made sure the passage and inner chambers perfectly aligned with the rising sun at winter solstice. Jump forward several thousand years and you’ll find the largest Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland down the road at Trim Castle. It’s so impressive that Mel Gibson chose it as a filming location for the movie Braveheart. It is not hard to see why.
Known as the garden of Ireland because so much local produce is grown here, Wicklow also has a wild side. Glendalough National Park is a great place to get away from it all, with walking trails meandering past 6th century monastic towers, glistening lakes and pounding waterfalls. For more manicured beauty, the Powerscourt Estate is one of the world’s top three gardens according to National Geographic. And to get a different view altogether, Beyond the Trees Avondale is a tree-top walk that circles high above the canopy to give a bird’s eye view of the county. And the added bonus? You can slide all the way back down.
There are six blue flag beaches in County Wexford, making it a haven for holiday makers. But perhaps the most famous is Curracloe beach where Steven Spielberg filmed the Normandy landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan. Once you’ve cleaned the sand from your feet, enjoy the coastal charm of Wexford, as well as picture perfect towns such as Enniscorthy. For history, nowhere packs it all in like the Irish National Heritage Park – it covers 9,000 years of Irish history in 16 recreated historical sites, including ring forts, crannogs, Viking houses and more.
Heading further south to the Copper Coast, Hook Lighthouse is the world’s oldest working lighthouse - there’s been a beacon here to guide sailors since the 6th century. These days, visitors can enjoy the local treats on offer in the café after they’ve climbed the tower. Once you’ve had your fill of fresh food and ocean views, continue west to the popular seaside town of Tramore, where a 5km-long strand attracts surfers and windsurfers. The Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark is also worth a stop if you’re interested in geology and wildlife.
An hour from Hook Head, Waterford is considered Ireland’s first city, settled by Vikings who saw the attraction of this riverside spot in the 10th century. More than one thousand years later, you can still walk in Viking footsteps through their cobbled streets and climb Reginald’s Tower – originally a Viking fort. In the group of museums known as Waterford Treasures, discover everything from medieval history to the history of time and even the history of the Irish wake. And it would simply be bad manners to leave without visiting the home of Waterford Crystal.
It’s time to head inland to perhaps the most significant hill in Ireland. From ancient kings to patron saints, the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary has seen them all. Originally the seat of the kings of Munster, it is a magnificent collection of medieval structures that brings together many chapters of Ireland’s history. There are many other castles worth visiting in County Tipperary too, including Cahir Castle – one of Ireland’s best preserved medieval fortresses.
The coastal town of Cobh packs a punch with its colourful houses and its role in history. It was the last port of call for the Titanic, and the Titanic Experience Cobh tells the story of the 120 passengers who boarded the ill-fated ship here. Just offshore, Spike Island has been home to saints and sinners alike. Once a monastery before it became a prison, catch a boat across to Ireland’s own Alcatraz. And if you’re hungry, there’s no better place to find yourself on a Friday than the Cobh Farmers’ Market. Need something to cap it all off? A dram of Irish whiskey may be just the thing – head to the nearby town of Midleton for a tour of the world-famous Jameson Distillery.
Ireland’s second largest city is where Ireland’s Ancient East ends and the Wild Atlantic Way begins. A maritime haven and multi-cultural city, discover food markets, art galleries and museums as well as the affable Corkonian charm. Two kilometres upriver, Blackrock Castle was built in the 16th century to guard the harbour from pirates and enemy attacks. Now it’s an award-winning interactive astronomy exhibition – not a bad spot to travel back in time and space.
For a final experience on Ireland’s Ancient East, visit Blarney Castle just twenty minutes from Cork. Kiss the famous Stone of Eloquence and it may just turn your road trip tales into a modern day epic in time for heading home...unless of course you can’t resist the roar of the Wild Atlantic Way!
It's 314km from the Port of Dublin to Cork city.
It's 192km from Rosslare to Cork.
It’s 565km from Dublin to Cork, taking in all the stops mentioned in this guide.
The blaa - an especially soft bap that is only found in Waterford. Try it buttered and served with hot bacon for the perfect road trip breakfast.
Cork prefers its own pint – locally brewed Murphy’s Irish stout. It is more chocolatey than Guinness, but which one will you like best?