Spike Island is situated in Cork harbour off the coast of Cobh, a beautiful Irish town most famous for being the final departure point of Titanic and the place from which 2.5 million Irish people emigrated from 1850 to 1950. The island was home to a monastery in the 6th century and a huge 24 acre star shaped Fortress was built here in the late 1700's to defend the British empire from attack. But most famously that Fortress was converted to a prison in the 1850's during the famine years and its numbers swelled until it became the largest prison in the World, with 2300 inmates. The island would be used as a prison on 4 occasions, in the 1600's, 1800's, 1920's and as recently the 1980's. It was used as a British and Irish army and navy base during the year in between.
Today the island is home to the Fortress Spike experience. A scenic ferry ride is followed by a guided tour of the outer island to the Fortress. After the tour visitors can self explore the prison cells, military fortifications and beautiful island walks. There is also a cafe on site with full facilities. All in all it makes for Ireland's number one day out, at the site voted Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction 2017 at the World Travel Awards. Starring daring escapes, desperate criminals, captain and convicts and sinners and saints, will you escape from Fortress Spike.