Winter Staycation Ideas Cork

Looking for a little escape this winter? With increased uncertainty surrounding foreign travel, there is no better time to have a winter staycation. Where to go I hear you ask? Look no further than Cork, one of the finest counties across the country.

The Rebel County is a place with just about everything you’d need from a holiday destination. As the locals are more than happy to tell you, its coastline can compare to any in the world, its food scene is internationally renowned, and its city is coming down with fine pubs and restaurants.

Where to Stay:

Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork is the ideal base for your winter staycation in Cork. This newly refurbished 4-star hotel is located at the heart of Cork City, just a few minutes’ walk from Cork City’s main shopping street, Opera Lane, and many of Cork’s finest restaurants, bars and attractions.

Our comfortable, affordable accommodation, delicious Grain & Grill Restaurant and fully equipped Club Vitae Leisure Centre with swimming pool and gym make us the best place to stay while exploring Ireland’s real capital.

What to Do:

There is so much to do and see in Cork, ensuring you have an amazing staycation in the Rebel County. Read on below to discover some of the must dos during your visit.

Fota Wildlife Park

25-minute drive from hotel

Visit Ireland’s largest wildlife park set on over 100 acres on Fota Island, a short drive from Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork. The park is unlike any ordinary zoo, with a wide range of wild animals roaming free whenever possible, mixing with other species and us humans!

The park has a daily schedule of feeding demos and wildlife talks where you can learn about the animals and the work done at the park.

Blarney Castle

14-minute drive from hotel

You simply can’t go to Cork without taking the time to visit Blarney Castle. Just a 14-minute drive from Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork, Blarney Castle is home to the famous Blarney Stone which is said to give the gift of the gab. The castle grounds are also home to beautiful gardens, wonderful walks and lovely views of the surrounding countryside.

Blackrock Castle Observatory

15-minute drive from hotel

Known as ‘the Space for Science’, Blackrock Castle Observatory is home to exciting, educational, interactive exhibits and activities that are based around the wonderful world of science. Visitors will learn about the universe, life on earth and life in space as well as taking a tour of the castle itself and hearing about its rich history.

City Shopping

Within 10-minutes’ walk from hotel

Cork City is well known for its shopping with areas such as Opera Lane, Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre, Oliver Plunkett Street, and Patrick’s Street being the most popular amongst visitors and locals. What makes Cork the perfect place to shop is just how compact and easy to navigate the city centre is – and Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork is based in the ideal location so you can shop till you drop!

Cobh, The Titanic Experience and Spike Island

28-minute drive from hotel

This historical Cork attraction is situated in the original ticket office for the white star line where the final passengers for the Titanic’s maiden voyage would have boarded. Steeped in history the fantastic Titanic Experience is just 30 minutes’ drive from Cork City.

Voted one of Europe’s leading tourist attractions, this former prison is now the perfect day trip! Take a boat to Spike Island to see how the prisoners used to live and enjoy the beauty of the Island. Or for the very brave, take the evening “Ghost Tour” but warning, this is not for the faint of heart!

City Sightseeing

Within minutes’ walk from the hotel

A short 2-minute walk from Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork lies the Shandon Bells and St Anne’s Church. Scale the building to discover some pretty spectacular views of the city, while you can also ring the famous Shandon bells while you are there.

Afterwards, take a quick stroll towards the Butter Museum, where you can explore the history of butter making.

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral is also a 15-minute walk away across the River Lee. St Fin Barre’s is a Gothic Revival-style cathedral on the same site where the city’s patron saint established his 7th century monastery. The building contains over a thousand sculptures, elaborate mosaics and is home to Ireland’s largest church organ.


30-minute drive from hotel

Just a 30-minute drive from Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork is one of Ireland’s most beautiful and picturesque towns. Kinsale is a vibrant coastal town, well known for its colourful winding streets and stunning scenic harbour. The town is also known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, making it the ideal spot for a tasty bite to eat.

Crawford Art Gallery

5-minute walk from hotel

If you hold an interest in art, Crawford Art Gallery is a must see during your visit to Cork. A 5-minute walk across the River Lee, the gallery is home to over 2,000 works of art by eighteenth and nineteenth century Irish and European artists right through to contemporary pieces so there is bound to be something for everyone.

Where to Eat & Drink:

Cork is home to some of the best bars and restaurants around, there is a reason it is widely considered as the food capital of Ireland.

The English Market

9-minute walk from hotel

There is no better place to get a true taste of Cork than The English Market. Reached in under 10-minutes’ walk from Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork, The English Market is at the heart of Cork City and is Cork’s only covered market. This 18th century market is a great place to find some artisan foods and try some exciting new dishes. You can find some locally produced foods and many a food from afar. Open Monday to Sunday all year round, it is a must-see for visitors.

Good Day Deli

15-minute walk from hotel

Good Day Deli is a sustainable café located in the hidden sanctuary of Nano Nagle Place. The café serves a mix of healthy, local, seasonal, organic and fair-trade foods with a commitment to sustainability throughout their food chain. Good Day Deli takes inspiration from New Zealand and the Cook Islands and serves breakfast, brunch and lunch Tuesday to Sunday.

Café Paradiso

14-minute walk from hotel

Café Paradiso is an award-winning and iconic vegetarian restaurant that was one of the first of its kind when it opened in 1993. Paradiso has a clear emphasis on rich, complex flavours, with each dish being made up entirely of seasonal ingredients. This intimate café puts high quality food and wine at the forefront providing customers with an exceptional dining experience.

Cornstore Restaurant

7-minute walk from hotel

Located on Cornmarket St, is Cornstore Restaurant, which offers visitors a casual, warm and lively dining experience. Cornstore Market specialise in great steaks, quality seafood, and award-winning cocktails.

Grain & Grill Restaurant


We serve contemporary gourmet menus that combine locally sourced ingredients to create signature Maldron dishes along with craft beers to compliment them. With plenty of healthy eating options along with a range of seafood and vegetarian dishes, Grain & Grill restaurant at Maldron Hotel Shandon Cork City offers great quality food at reasonable prices.


7-minute walk from hotel

Cask is located on MacCurtain St in a stunning old building in the Victorian Quarter. Cask has built a reputation for producing the most creative and innovative drinks menu in Ireland. The seasonal cocktail menu changes every 12 weeks and is based on what wild ingredients are available to access at that time of year. Trust us their cocktails are amazing and well worth the visit!


4-minute walk from hotel

Best Brewery Tours in Ireland

SIN É is one of the best places in cork for an entertaining night out. SIN É is considered to be the home of traditional Irish music in Cork City. Music and drink are the focus here in this lively venue, with non-stop traditional music being played 7-days a week.

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