Cobh – A Storybook Town

posted in: Europe, Ireland | 25

Once a fishing village which began to develop as an important port base when British established their naval fortifications, Cobh (pronounced as Cove) in Ireland, later became Ireland’s largest port of emigration moving out in search of new life, mostly to North America.

This pretty storybook town is soaked in history, and has sunk in the hearts of millions of people.  Out of 6 million Irish population, about 2.5 million people emigrated between 1848 and 1950, departing from Cobh harbour.  And two famous ships that carried those millions of people had sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean, and claimed millions of life – RMS Titanic and RMS Lusitania.

Formerly known as Queensland, Cobh is located in Southern Ireland, just about 20 minutes from the city Cork. I spent about 3 hours roaming around here, and cherish the time I spent in this charming seaside town.  See for yourself, why I say so.


Cobh Promenade
I parked the car, and took a long stroll getting chill breeze on a sunny, yet windy winter afternoon.  This is the promenade that leads to the Cobh harbour. While walking, I noticed the little colorful houses, busy coffee shops and the happy residents giving a warm smile.  It is said, in Summer, there would be boat trips, fishing, and lots of festival.

After savoring the walk, I crossed the road, walking past the coffee shops.  The road began to elevate and I walked towards the small hilly place, that led to a Cathedral.   A couple of steps to climb, and this is what I saw, a masterpiece architecture in front of me.


St.Colman’s Cathedral dominates the skyline with it’s grand Roman Catholic architecture, sitting on the hill that overlooks Cobh harbour.   It was looking like a beautiful grey building from the harbour, and near I went and raised my head, the cathedral was hugging the clouds. The Sunday mass had just got over, and the caretaker standing outside had amiably allowed me to visit inside and take photos.

"Deck of Cards"


Enjoying the view of the harbour and the town from the cathedral was altogether a great experience.  I started to walk again towards the board that pointed arrow marks to town centre.  After crossing various local shops and houses, the road turned and voila! I saw this striking street – A colorful row of houses in it’s West View Street famously known as “Deck of Cards”.  How beautifully they’ve built these houses, and how tastefully colored!  I grabbed my “photographer’s opportunity”.

This was like a round trip. The road was now leading downwards towards the harbour, probably.  At the end of the road, there were plenty of coffee shops, where I decided to refresh myself.  There’s so much history and beauty hidden in this village, and they can be best explored by walk.

Other things among the local attractions are Titanic Experience (a audio-visual museum), Cobh Museum, Heritage Centre, a wildlife park.  There’s also a Road Train that takes you around the town in 45 minutes which costs 8 Euros.

If you want to explore Southern Ireland / Cork Region, Cobh can be an perfect base.  Ain’t this a beautiful town?


25 Responses

  1. That 'deck of cards' is a wonderful shot! I wonder how all the residents agreed to have similar-styled houses? Except the red, all other colours look good! Titanic started its journey from here? What language do they speak in Ireland? English?

    Destination Infinity

    • Yeah, I liked the idea of descending row houses. Actually there were more red, blue color houses at the end of the row, which is not clearly seen. Titanic started from Belfast, then collected people from France, UK and then came to Cobh, before leaving to New York. They speak Irish, and English.

  2. Saw these beautiful pictures in Flickr. Somehow although these houses look good styled in the same way, i am sure internally also the layout must be the same, but I would get bored living like this. In London too, I have seen whole streets with houses that all look so similar and boring, though inside they have been altered to suit each families needs/ style. In India too such row houses and villas are very popular, but having lived independently, for so many years, I don't think I can easily fit into a community living.
    But if I were to live in a place like Cobh, maybe i would have to adjust and like it too eventually. I love living by the sea side.
    Very pretty, like the colorful houses in San Francisco. You are lucky you have travelled a lot.

    • Yeah..that may require a lot of co-operation with neighbours if something happened on the common wall, I guess. But, as you said, if we have to live in such a cute town beside a sea, ofcourse, we can adjust a lot.

  3. Beautiful it is. I'm sure the fact that it lies close to the sea, lends it a lot of charm.
    Deck of cards? Aptly named and very, very attractive. I'm happy for you; happy that you got to capture that. I'm glad I got to see it. I thought the colours make it a very 'happy picture.'
    It does remind me of The Seven Sisters in SF.

  4. This is a very beautiful town and looks quite quaint too. All your pictures gave me a feel as if I was there all along! The deck of cards is a wonderful idea in itself, it looks as if it will collapse any moment!

  5. Definitely a beautiful and serene place. Lovely post on it.

  6. Wow! Absolutely brilliant!!

  7. What a great place to visit!

  8. Sure, it is a beautiful town with breath taking views. I will use your posts while planning a trip to Ireland.

  9. Very serene place! That walk on the seas-side must be awesome!

  10. Beautiful Indeed 🙂 And I promise, after reading all your blogs, that I would settle down somewhere in the countryside 😀

  11. Ah..that's nice Ashwini. I would love to live in a countryside too – such a laidback life!

  12. Anu lovely clicks sply the house in row stole my heart

  13. Thanks for the virtual tour of Cobh. Seems like quite a picturesque seaside town. You take lovely pictures. But do consider spending some time of post processing. You will get amazing results. The inside view of the Cathedral and the shot with the row of colourful houses are perfect candidates for HDRs.

    • Thanks for the feedback Ramakant. I do very minimal pp work, but never laid my hands on HDR so far. I will keep it in mind for the next pictures and try them for sure. Thanks again.

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