Ireland as an island is known for its ancient castles, stone walls and rolling green fields and cork city is no different.

In these photos some of our English language students can be seen braving the stone fortifications of Cork city where once pirates, invaders and prisoners roamed.

Blackrock Castle on the banks of the River Lee is under 2km from the immediate city centre. Originally developed as a coastal defense fortification in the 16th century the site now houses an observatory, visitor centre and restaurant.

As with many of Cork’s attractions the castle is a great example of where old meets new.

Opened in 2007, the “Cosmos at the Castle” observatory houses an interactive astronomy center which is open to the public, and has exhibits including a “tour of the universe”. 

Another city centre tourist attraction is that of Cork City Gaol, now a museum. A magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th century prisoners.

Visitors get a fascinating insight into day-to-day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape. Cork City Gaol is one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage.

The foundation for the indoor market was formally laid on September 29th, 1786. This was before the United Sates had its first president!

With such a long tradition of selling fresh produce in one place it is no wonder that today the English Market in Cork City is still a place for people to meet up, chat and shop.

The market is one of Cork’s most visted tourist attractions and in 2011 the people of Cork welcomed the Queen of England to walk through its prized market.

The Cork English Academy English language students love to visit the market in the centre of the city. Students can get a real sense of Cork with the colourful stalls and talkative locals.

The current mix of traders in the English Market represents a diversity as broad as at any time over the centuries of it’s existence.

Small stalls sit alongside larger businesses. Fledgling traders beside long established family businesses passed down from one generation to the next.

Meats and fish, herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, sauces and oils, chocolates and cakes, cheeses and pastas – the Market caters for all culinary tastes and all eating occasions.

You’ll also find crockery, t-shirts, novelty items, clothes alterations and art – an eclectic mix itself creating a diversity of customers, adding further to the unique atmosphere of the English Market.

Having experienced the sights, sounds and smells of the Market, customers can unwind and sample it’s tastes and enjoy the banter from the various café’s and deli’s or get some take away food and sit and enjoy in nearby Bishop Lucy Park.