How to Get That Photograph of the Deck of Cards Houses in Cobh

By beyondthebay | Aug 10, 2022
Europe > Ireland > Cobh

If you've seen a photo of the town of Cobh in Ireland, it'll most likely be a picture of colourful houses, known as the Deck of Cards houses, lined along a street with the impressive St Colman's Cathedral in the background. Here's how you take the shot.

The “Deck of Cards” Houses are a series of residential houses located on 1-23 West View, Kilgarvan, Cobh, situated on a slanted uphill street. It got its name because when you look at the shape of the houses, it resembles a deck of cards that's been made into the shape of house (known as a ‘House of Cards').

As pretty as they are, please bear in mind that people live in these houses – so don't go obnoxiously taking photos from too up close, or knocking on their doors or anything like that. Just appreciate from afar.

From Spy Hill

Alright – this is what you came for. To get that iconic picture, the first thing you need to do is get to Spy Hill. You can find street parking here, so access is easy.

Then, you'll need to walk in the direction of the Deck of Cards houses (just put in ‘Deck of Cards houses' in your GPS if you're lost) along the stone wall on the street, on the side closest to St Colman's Cathedral. You'll be able to see about 75% of the Cathedral from Spy Hill (the rest will be obstructed by the stone wall).

Walk along the stone wall, and once you're in position, you'll need to reach your camera or phone above the stone wall, which overlooks West View park. Ta-dah! You've found the perfect vantage point for your shot. Please be careful not to climb the stone wall – just don't do it. You shouldn't have to, as reaching over the stone wall just a little is enough to get the shot.

If you're confused, we'll show you in detail with some visual help (courtesy of Google Maps). Spy Hill should look like this, with a stone wall to your right.

It might take some fiddling around to get the right angle and height, but you'll get it after a few tries.

From West View

For a different kind of view, you can head to the park in West View for another vantage point. The vantage point here is a lot closer to the houses – you won't get as many houses in the shot, but it'll still be nice. The park is also just an enjoyable place to relax and take in the scenery.

To find the Park, type in “West View Park” in your GPS. It should come up with this.

What to do after visiting Cobh?

Took the shot and ready to visit another place? The small town of Kinsale is another really interesting town with colourful houses. There's also a lot of ghost stories about the town if you're into that sort of thing!

It takes about 45 minutes by car to get to Kinsale from Cobh.

Cobh Photography Ireland Europe Architecture

Share this tip:

Written by beyondthebay
Hi - we’re Asher and Ralph! We’ve created Beyond The Bay to help travelers who are short on time. Our purpose is to inspire adventure in every busy traveler. Leave the planning to us, as we provide essential travel tips, reviews and itineraries to ensure your trip is as time efficient as it can be. Happy travels!

Thoughts? Questions?

See also


Tours and activities

Trekking Montepertuso Hole in the Rock

Walking itinerary: Montepertuso / Hole in the rock (2-3 hours) ➢ Starting point from Montepertuso at 9:00 a.m. ➢ Fontana Vecchia ➢ Pineta ➢ Monte Gambera ➢ Hole in the rock ➢ Montepertuso

Sofia evening tour and folklore dinner

This excursion starts with panoramic tour around the main sights of Sofia. You will pass by Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which is the biggest cathedral in Bulgaria and the second on the Balkans. After that you will continue the tour with a visit of The Square “Narodno Sabranie”.