Cork is located in the South West of Ireland, the largest of all the Irish counties and in many ways the most varied. Rich farmlands and river valleys contrast with the wild sandstone hills of the west, and above all there is the magnificent coastline scooped and fretted by the Atlantic into great bays and secret coves, strewn with rocky headlands and long soft golden sands. West Cork is renowned the world over for its wild, rugged beauty and is favoured by walkers, climbers and artists alike. East Cork has a truly unique variety of attractions to offer the visitor. The area is steeped in a rich historical legacy with ancient castles, churches, historic houses, museums, gardens and award winning heritage centres in Cobh and Midleton.