Cork

As it was recently ranked one of the world's Top Ten Best-In-Travel cities, there's good reason to stop by Cork while on your Irish travels. This university town on the Lee River is great not only for its wide-open sidewalks, good variety of restaurants, and fun nightlife. It's also the perfect place to make your base while you explore the rolling hills, the fishing villages, and other scenes that make up storybook Ireland. Among easy day trips from this town are the Blarney Castle and Dingle Peninsula.

For active travelers, there's another good reason to stay in Cork: the city features several great routes by which the avid runner can start or end their travel day. Whether you're cruising along the riverbank for a great run out to Blackrock Castle, or skipping out for a quick jaunt along the Lee, you'll be able to stretch your legs and enjoy the sites of Ireland's second-largest city. And, because Cork's running population is on the rise itself - up 40% in the last few years, according to local experts - chances are you'll be among city residents doing the same thing.

Watch Out For: 
  • Uneven Pavement: Particularly in getting to the Blackrock Castle route (Run #1). Just make sure you don't trip and fall.
  • Traffic along the Lee: At BTG we like to say that where there's water, there's a way. Well, there is water in Cork - the Lee River - and there is a way to run along it. But it probably won't be the most scenic route you've ever run.
  • Signs written only in Irish Gaelic: These are not quite helpful when it comes to navigation. 

Did you know? Take the time out of your running to do some reading - Cork is the hometown of Frank O'Connor, author of Angela's Ashes.