Lifetime Lab at Old Cork Waterworks, Cork

3.9
#6 of 9 in Theme Parks in Province of Munster
It is curious to reflect that Cork, a merchant city surrounded by water, might once have thirsted for fresh water to drink. And that the solution came from a “little republic”, to be found just a short walk from the city centre.

For this is a lesser told story, a behind-the-scenes secret: yet an essential ingredient to the prosperity of Cork City’s rapidly growing population in Victorian times.

Arriving at the Old Cork Waterworks on the banks of the River Lee, you find handsome red sandstone and limestone buildings and a towering chimney: monuments to that same Victorian civic pride that left architectural legacies across Cork City.

Inside, exploring interactive exhibits and touring the Steam Centre, Boiler and Engine Rooms where giant restored machinery gleams, you discover three centuries of industrial heritage: in particular, the Victorian steam-powered scheme masterminded by architect/engineer Sir John Benson, much needed to update the city’s antiquated water supply.

And so the story keeps flowing, as does the Old Cork Waterworks with exhibits looking to the future in a city built on water in more ways than one.

The Old Cork Waterworks Experience is a 5 minute drive from Cork City Centre and a short walk from Fitzgerald Park, Cork City Gaol , University College Cork and local bus routes.
Use our Cork driving holiday planning tool to visit Lifetime Lab at Old Cork Waterworks on your trip to Cork, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Lifetime Lab at Old Cork Waterworks Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
38 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Highly recommend a visit. Beautiful machinery, well preserved and presented. Lovely Victorian building, lovely design, lovely engineering. We had a great guide in Shazia, who was informative, helpful ...  more »
  • Loved the fact that old machinery in today's terms helped shape what we do today. The guide was he Paul and intuitive to what we were interested in  more »
  • It's fun and interesting. I went there on multiple school tours, but sometimes it can get a little boring.  more »
Google
  • Attended the open day on 27 Aug 2017. Very good set of exhibitions and STEM-focused activities for children run by very knowledgeable scientists. Really good experience. Will definitely check out the centre in the future for other events trips.
  • It's a very interesting place. Perfect for kids, too. The staff is really nice and qualified. We learnt here a lot.
  • Not as good as I hoped, but killed a few hours, was very quiet.
  • Cool but can be Boring
  • Good for young kids.

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Where to stay in Cork

A destination in and of itself, Cork City has a dense center with plenty of hotels and hostels. Head north of the city center for affordable options like mid-range hotels and guesthouses. From here, you can walk or bike to all of the sights in the heart of the city. If everything is booked, or if you've simply come to explore the city's surrounding nature, check out the campgrounds about ten minutes from the center of town by car. There are also a number of charming bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and other pensions in the outskirts, which can be a good option if you're using the city as a base for exploring the sights of Cork County.
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