Spike Island

Spike Island, Cobh: Hours, Address, Spike Island Reviews: 5/5

11:00 - 14:30
Monday
11:00 - 14:30
Tuesday
11:00 - 14:30
Wednesday
11:00 - 14:30
Thursday
11:00 - 14:30
Friday
11:00 - 14:30
Saturday
11:00 - 14:30
Sunday
11:00 - 14:30
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About
Discover Ireland's Captains & Convicts and Sinners and Saints at Spike Island Cork, Ireland's historic island. Voted Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction of 2017! The Island is located off the coast of Cobh in Cork harbour & has over 1300 years of Irish history. From an island monastery & fortress to the world's largest prison in the 1850's and centuries of island homes. Your journey starts with a ferry ride before Ireland's best storytellers take you on a guided tour of the outer island and fortress. You can then self explore our prison cells, fortress, beautiful island walks and also use our on-site cafe. Attractions include the 1850's punishment block, the 1980's prison cells and riot exhibition, Ireland's largest artillery gun park and several penal, military and social history museums. With activities for children and families and guided and self-guided tours, Spike Island has something for everyone. Audio guides available, cafe and gift shop on site.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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5.0
2,976 reviews
Excellent
2,427
Very good
458
Average
49
Poor
12
Terrible
30

mikeder
Dublin, Ireland27 contributions
Short boat trip out to island where a guide gave us a concise history the fort and it's various uses over the years. Well worth the visit.
Written 13 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Annie Roche
County Cork, Ireland36 contributions
Family
I’ve had this on my list of places to visit for a few years & it was well worth the trip. We parked at five foot way car park as advised in emails. It had plenty of spaces, it’s free & my son was fascinated by the cruise ship docked at the quay. The walk to Kennedy pier is lovely. Cobh is easily the most lovely town in Cork.
The short boat trip was lovely & smooth.
We were greeted at the island by a lovely tour guide & given a wonderful talk about the expansive history of the island.
It’s often hard to find activities suitable for everyone in a family. This was someplace everyone wants to go back too! I have a 9 yr old son & two daughters aged 13 & 17. Teenagers usually get bored after half an hr but spike island has more than enough for everyone to explore. I personally loved the old cork in colour exhibition. It really helps bring the history to life. I also loved the photos & info about the families of spike island.
3 & half hrs sounds like a lot of time but it really isn’t enough to explore everything the island has to offer. A return visit is definitely on the cards!
The only thing I would critique is the cafe. I would advise to take your own food. It’s fine for a tea/coffee/soft drink but not much else.
Written 12 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stephen H
10 contributions
Family
Excellent. John G gave a great tour at the beginning with great advice on where to go.
The boat gives you 3.5 hours on the island and it’s just enough to see everything.
We’ll be back.
Written 9 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dagi
Jenbach, Austria9 contributions
Couples
Despite the cold, windy and rainy weather, our trip to Spike Island was just wonderful. First of all, the trip there by boat went smoothly. Once we arrived on the island, our excellent tour guide Elsbeth greeted us and led us on to an exciting trip to the past around the island. The self-guided walk through the prison area offered insight into the most various topics as well as picturesque photo opportunities. The allotted time until the departure back to Cobh at first seemed long, but it was needed to see all the island could offer. Strong recommendation!
Written 9 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

P H
5 contributions
Family
Just returned home from a lovely trip to Spike Island today. The sun shine and the tour guide John G (!) was very informative. Had never heard of the island before so we learnt a lot. Great to get the info and then have the chance to wander on our own. 3 and half hours suggested was nowhere near enough to visit the buildings and enjoy the walks, we'll just have to go again! The facilities are adequate but the cafe was disappointing, the ice cream freezer was empty on a hot day in August....given that they know exactly how many people to expect this isn't good enough. I guess if we go again we'll bring a picnic too. The views of the surrounding area are spectacular. I would suggest we were very lucky with the weather though as it potentially could be quite bleak in usual Irish August weather so go prepared. Parking in the cathedral car park as recommended was easily accessible and free which was nice! Cobh was a beautiful town and lots of interesting Titanic and Lusitania memorabilia. Make the effort to climb the hill for the cathedral.Plenty of choice for places to eat for all pockets. Only downside is the satnav let us down! Overall the place is very well organised.
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

whatifwefly
4 contributions
The ride with the ferry is quick. Once you are on the island you can join a tour which lasts around 45 min. I would definitely recommend the tour. The tourguide John J. provided an excellent introduction. You learn about the history and important facts about the island, you also get tips. It is interesting. On spike island you get an excellent view of Cobh and the colourful houses. Besides that there are exhibitions, which are worth to see. You can take a walk around the island. The ferry departs after 3,5 hours. There is enough to see on the island.
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karen O
1 contribution
Family
Great family day out our group had kids adults and oaps and we all had a ball. Our tour guide John g was amazing Great way to spe d few hours so much to see
Written 7 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mary C
Donabate, Ireland24 contributions
Great value trip costing 20 euro per head. This includes to and from ferry and the price of admission. Nice café and good toilets on site. It is a bit of a climb up the hill to the compound and is not for the faint hearted or those with poor mobility but once you get up there the views are amazing. Lots to see and it is nicely laid out. Not suitable for younger children.
Written 6 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brian O'Halloran
6 contributions
Family
Went to visit with my sister and my partner and our 4 kids combined, the kids age ranged from 2yrs to 11years and I can say they all throughly enjoy it!! We were lucky to have nice weather as the views from the island of the cove are simply divine.
Once on the island we were greeted by John G, now this is where the expirence really started. This man is simply a legend!! Mixing great historical knowledge with good sense of humour carry off with typical Cork carisma. If you are lucky enough to have john G you will truely enjoy the tour. Its only 40 minutes of your time on the island but very worth while.
Once inside the Fort there are many interesting buildings, we thought 3 hours would be too long but frankly it wasn't long enough. The kids loved the viewing galleries, guns and old war vehicles, while us adults were amazed by how recent some of the events actually are and how untouched some of the buildings were.
I would highly recommend this as a place of interest and would definitely like to go again perhaps at night without the kids.
Written 4 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NIGEL D
Cork, Ireland2 contributions
Family
Myself and my 9 year old daughter really enjoyed the whole visit. Our guide Rob's history of the island was a great introduction. We we enjoyed all the exhibits and stories of past inhabitants, the views from the bastions., the coffee and snack, and the walk around the island. Would recommend to others
Written 3 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Spike Island

Spike Island is open:
  • Sun - Sat 11:00 - 14:30