Cobh, pronounced Cove is situated on Great Island and is the largest island in Cork Harbour. The island has a history which dates back to pre-Christian times but the town itself is comparatively new, dating from the 17th century. Some of its early place names are believed to derive from battles held with Phoenician Invaders. In the 7th century it was visited by religious monks who settled and contemplated all things spiritual. When Queen Victoria visited Ireland for the first time in 1849 it was at Cove she first stepped ashore. The town was renamed Queenstown from then. However following Irish Independence from Britain in 1920, it was renamed Cobh which is an Irish language word for Cove and is pronounced the same.
Famous for its colourful exteriors Cobh and magnificent Admiralty buildings, the town is one of the prettiest in the country and of course overlooked by the world famous Cobh Cathedral.
It’s history is entwined with great ships, majestic liners and adventurous tales of the sea and was the last port of call for the Titanic on its first and last voyage. It is also renowned as the main departure point for the many emigrants of the great famine of 1846 – 1848 whose story is told in The Queenstown Story Heritage Centre. Follow the Titanic Trail or visit the memorial to the victims of the Lusitania, which sank off the coast nearby, to understand these important pieces of maritime history.
The town is host to many sailing schools and is an important watersports centre. Activities include deep-sea angling, shore angling and bird watching in nearby Cuskinny Marsh and Cork Harbour. Fota Wildlife Park, House & Gardens are located a few kilometres from the centre of town as are a number of golf courses. Cobh is easily accessible by a regular train service from Cork City.