This Was My First Visit To Blackrock Castle - I Was Somewhat Disappointed


    Blackrock Castle is described as castellated fortification located at Blackrock, about 2 km [I suspect that it is closer to 6 km] from the centre of Cork city on the banks of the River Lee in Ireland. Originally developed as a coastal defence fortification in the 16th century to protect upper Cork Harbour and port, the site now houses an observatory, visitor centre and restaurant.

    I have visited Cork every year since 2006 and almost ever visit it rained thus limiting the scope of my exploration of the city and nearby. This year I took a gamble and visited in September rather than May or June and this time I was luck because the weather was beautiful on the second day. I had decided that I would visit the Blackrock area of the city and initially I had planned to walk there but when I was passing the bus station I decided that it would make more sense to get a bus to Blackrock Castle and walk back to the City centre. I got on the 202A bus as the driver told me that he would leave me within walking distance of the castle. After a while I was beginning to get a bit worried because the bus had travelled a long way and there was no sign of the castle. We arrived at a shopping centre [I believe that it was Mahon Point Shopping Centre] and then the driver told me to transfer the the bus in front, a 202, and to explain to the driver that I needed to get to Blackrock Castle. The driver of the 202 brought me to Ferney Road at St. Luke’s Home and when I asked the frequency of the return service he told me once every two hours and that struck me as being odd as my understanding was that the 202 was a frequent bus service [once every ten minutes during the day]. Note: not all 202 buses visit the stop at Saint Lukes and according to the timetable there is one per hour.

    Anyway I was at Saint Lukes Home which was very close to the Castle. When I arrived at the castle I had a cup of coffee and scone and when I asked the waiter if it was practical to walk to the city centre he told me that it would take about thirty minutes [tip: when in Ireland assume that half-a-hour actually means an hour]. I took the riverside route and making a guess I would say that you would need to allow at least ninety minutes to walk from the Castle to the City Centre.

    To be honest, I did not find the castle to be of great interest but I did not investigate the castle’s observatory which houses an interactive astronomy center and has exhibits including a “tour of the universe” and a radio telescope that beams messages composed by school groups towards nearby stars.


    • ‘Expression’ or Urban Expression is a Street Photography programme by William Murphy who operates under the name ‘Infomatique’ or ‘White-Cat’. Most kinds of portable camera are used for street photography but William has, over the years, switched from using large heavy DSLR cameras to light Mirrorless Cameras such as the Sony Alpha E-Mount range of cameras.

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