Rising up in Cork, going for lengthy Sunday drives away from the town was at all times a deal with. I used to be at all times excited to assume the place we’d find yourself, be it a secret lake or waterfall, someplace alongside the west coast and even venturing so far as Kerry! From weekends spent down in Baltimore, to seaside journeys to Inchydoney or Youghal, days out at Fota Wildlife Park or lengthy walks across the prettiest seashores close to Kinsale, right here’s my decide of the perfect day journeys from Cork metropolis.
Whereas there are many nice tour corporations providing day excursions from Cork, a few of which I’ll point out when appropriate, I truthfully consider the easiest way to discover lovely Cork is by renting a automobile. As with in every single place in Eire, highway journeys are limitless enjoyable and having your individual automobile provides you the liberty to cease while you need, go to cute little cafes and eating places and keep past the sundown for dinner in a neighborhood restaurant ought to that tickle your fancy.
I’ve to begin with considered one of my favorite day journeys from Cork. Clonakilty has been listed yr and yr once more as one of many prettiest cities in Eire, and is commonly recognised as considered one of tidiest. The attraction of this vibrant West Cork city lies within the sense of neighborhood you’ll be able to really feel from the second you step foot on the road, to the gorgeous store facades coated in flower containers, cute cafes and satisfaction in “protecting issues native”.
It’s additionally an widespread vacation spot for reside music, with lots of the small pubs and reside music venues right here recognised as the highest in Cork county – typically drawing in large artists from round Eire or overseas.
For such a small city, there’s so much to do. A simply cease place is the Mannequin Railway Village – which has tiny mannequin replicas of all the primary cities in West Cork and is a very enjoyable place to go to with younger children. There’s additionally a small vacationer practice that may take guests round city so far as the mannequin railway village.
When you’ve stopped off on the vibrant Sticky Bun Cafe for a scrumptious Irish breakfast, and hopefully some Clonakilty Black Pudding in a toasted sandwich (for which this city is legendary for!), you’ll be able to hop again within the automobile and drive to lovely Inchydoney seaside.
Inchydoney Seaside is among the most lovely seashores in all of Eire, as voted by the individuals of Eire time and time once more! That is the seaside of your desires, and arriving right here on a summers day and getting a glimpse of the proper waves, the ice-cream van ready patiently for some prospects and other people sitting outdoors the resort with a chilly pint of Bulmers in hand places an enormous smile on my face and takes me proper again.
You may lease surf boards on the seaside, which have lifeguards on obligation a lot of the yr – look out for the flags – or just spend the afternoon braving the chilly Atlantic with no wetsuit and taking a drip – or simply enjoyable on the seaside for a nicely deserved nap or an extended stroll. The Inchydoney Island Lodge types a fantastic backdrop for the bay, and is a superb place to cease for lunch for a drink.
Clonakility is a few 45 minute drive from Cork metropolis, including on one other 15 minutes to get out to Inchydoney.
One other of my favorite day journeys from Cork as a younger little one was to Fota Wildlife Park, the one wildlife park of its form in Eire. As a lot as I adored coming right here as a child, I surprisingly nonetheless love coming right here with pals as an grownup – much more so if I can deliver my younger cousins alongside for the journey.
Suppose vast open plains with tall giraffe roaming round alongside stripes zebras. Suppose peacocks blocking your path as you stroll to the small restaurant or a cheeky kangaroo hopping alongside facet you as you gaze up on the monkeys swinging off timber and having the time of their life.
That is by far the highest factor on the checklist of you’re visiting Cork with children – and can assure their journey is one to recollect. This smartest thing about Fota is that you simply DON’T want a automobile to get right here, as there’s a direct practice service from Cork’s Kent Station that stops off right here en path to Cobh. One minute you’re strolling round Cork metropolis, 30 minutes later and also you’re strolling alongside giraffes! Whereas within the space, you too can try considered one of Cork’s finest castles.
When you’ve walked across the complete park and seeing the attractive Fota Home and Gardens close by, you’ll be able to hop again on the practice to Cobh to take a look at the Titanic Expertise – telling the story of the Titanic and the how the final passengers to ever board the ship did so proper right here in Cobh then generally known as Queenstown, earlier than setting sail for the primary and final time.
Cobh can also be residence to the attractive St Coleman’s Cathedral, the “deck of playing cards” homes which make for some enjoyable pictures and can also be the place you’ll be able to take a ship to go to the historic Spike Island – however you would possibly want one other complete day journey for that!
Gougane Barra has at all times held a particular place in my coronary heart because it’s the place my Dad took my Mother proper after they acquired married, earlier than whisking her off in honeymoon. The small Gougane Barra Lodge, trying throughout on the image good church within the lake, can also be the place my grandparents used to come back for romantic weekends away and I nonetheless consider it’s one of many prettiest hidden gems in Eire.
You may go for lengthy walks across the lake and up via the close by forest and hills, earlier than stopping off within the resort for a sizzling cup of tea and possibly some cake.
Subsequent, hope again in your automobile and drive on via the winding roads, previous fields stuffed with blissful sheep and low mendacity mist to the west Cork gem that’s Glengarriff. Right here yay can try the bamboo park, go for a stroll via the woods and possibly take a dip within the beautiful blue pool. For extra enjoyable issues to do on this area, you’ll be able to verify our publish on West Cork.
This city may be very picturesque, with fairly cafes and pubs, nice for memento procuring and can also be the place you’ll be able to take boat rides out to the attractive Garnish Island – the place you would possibly even see wild seals and plenty of distinctive birds alongside the way in which.
On the lookout for a spot to remain? Test into the historic Eccles Lodge – courting again to 1745, it’s stated to be one of many oldest motels in Eire.
Baltimore is a not-so-hidden gem, a really fairly fishing and crusing village in West Cork that’s the gateway to many is the islands.
It’s quiet and peaceable a lot of the yr, however the inhabitants in the summertime months explodes with individuals from the remainder of cork, Dublin and round Eire deciding on Baltimore for week-long crusing programs, summer season staycations or to spend a while in fairly summer season properties.
My grandparents constructed a vacation residence right here many moons in the past which meant I used to be fortunate sufficient to spend virtually the primary 18 summers o my life down right here, studying to swim, studying to row, studying to sail – and possibly even studying to drink at one of many many home events I attended!
Standing outdoors Bushes Pub within the centre of the village, with a pint of Guinness and toasted sandwich, was just about normal – and the place you’ll stumble upon nearly everybody you knew. Adopted my an off-the-cuff stroll as much as the beacon, with panoramic views of the harbour or a visit out to Sherkin Island, Cape Clear or Hare Island – with common ferries operating to all three.
The environment on summers day right here is solely unbeatable – typically with reside music taking part in outdoors the Waterfront Bar, everybody ready for a few of Cork’s tastiest pizzas, and searching ahead to a different epic West Cork sundown.
Baltimore is about an hour and 20 minutes drive from Cork metropolis – so of potential attempt to ebook in for the night time and make a 2 day journey out of it.
I don’t assume “Cork’s Southern Coastal Route” is it’s official identify, however greater than identify I’ve assigned to considered one of my favorite drives. Formally, the Wild Atlantic Manner is claimed to finish in Kinsale – which is a bit unfair as one of many nicest drives is following the Cork shoreline South (or East) so far as Crosshaven – passing many lovely fishing villages, coastal cities and spectacular cliffs, bays, seaside and peninsulas.
Begin your drive rom Cork and head to Carrigaline and the on to Crosshaven, residence to the oldest Yacht Membership on this planet and host to an enormous crusing completion each 2 years known as “Cork Week”. From right here, try Camden Fort, trying our over cork harbour and throughout at Cobh, earlier than driving on to the gorgeous seashores of Fountainstown and Roberts Cove – the place there are some fairly coastal cliff walks.
From right here, drive onwards to Oysterhaven – residence to a big exercise centre the place they train children methods to sail, windsurf and kayak – in addition to a spread of different enjoyable group constructing actions. Oysterhaven can also be residence to considered one of my favorite cafes in Cork – the Courtyard Cafe – good spot or lunch.
From right here, observe the coast all the way in which to Kinsale, stopping off at Charles Fort and James Fort and driving all the way in which to the spectacular Previous Head of Kinsale and Garretstown Seaside for spectacular coastal views. That is considered one of my favorite drives in Cork – and by far top-of-the-line day excursions in Cork if in case you have your individual automobile.
You may’t journey to Cork and never go to Blarney Citadel, one of the crucial well-known points of interest within the metropolis if not one of the crucial well-known locations to go to in all of Eire. Situated within the city of Blarney, about 15 minutes outdoors the town centre, you truly don’t want a complete day to see Blarney Citadel so it’s good to mix with a go to to about city outdoors the town, reminiscent of Kinsale and even Cobh.
You may both take a bus from the town to Blarney, do an organised tour, or drive, then make the doorway charge to go contained in the fortress and gardens and naturally kiss the well-known Blarney Stone!
In the event you decide to go to Kinsale, you’ll be able to both drive or take a bus again to the town then take one other bus from the station all the way down to Kinsale. Kinsale is a big foodie vacation spot in Eire, with quite a lot of superb pubs, cafe and seafood eating places – in addition to conventional fish and chip retailers. It’s additionally nice for memento procuring, with plenty of lovely artwork galleries, boutiques and cute ebook shops to maintain you occupied for a couple of hours.
The gorgeous Dingle Peninsula is one o essentially the most lovely components of Eire a should go to on any Eire highway journey. Whereas the drive from Cork is kind of lengthy, it’s a really doable day tour from Cork should you rise shiny and early. There are additionally plenty of nice organised bus excursions to make the day journey rather less disturbing.
Well-known for its pleasant dolphin, vibrant store fronts and energetic bar scene – Dingle is among the most cherished cities in Eire with vacationers from everywhere in the world flocking right here, particularly throughout summer season.
From Dingle city, the drive across the Dingle Peninsula – stopping off at hidden seashores and dramatic cliff views – is a memorable one – particularly on a transparent day when you’ll be able to see so far as the Blasket Islands. Thinks rolling inexperienced fields stuffed with fluffy sheep, quiet, winding nation roads with grass within the center, pleasant locals, lengthy white sandy seashores and nice waves should you fancy attempting a little bit of browsing.
One of many best journeys from Cork is to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Midleton adopted by a go to to the city of Youghal and an extended stroll on the Japanese seashores.
The Jameson Distillery is an excellent enjoyable place to cease off, the place you get a tour behind closed excursions of the historic brewery in addition to doing a little whiskey tasting. The city of Midelton is at all times very fairly and price strolling round for an hour.
Youghal is among the most well-known seaside cities in County Cork, with individuals from everywhere in the nation coming right here through the summer season holidays to sit back on the seaside go swimming or go to the enjoyable truthful, or what we name “the merries”.
Final however not least, one of the crucial widespread day journeys from Cork might be to the very well-known Lakes of Killarney. Simply over an hours drive from Cork metropolis lies one of many most-loved and most-visited vacationer cities in Eire.
Pubs line the streets, all with reside trad music day and night time, conventional horse and jaunting carts pull blissful vacationers alongside the streets on to Muckross Park and Gardens. You may take a ship out throughout the lakes, or spend you day strolling across the gardens, lakes and as much as lovely waterfalls just like the well-known Torc Waterfall.
Whereas it IS very touristy, Killarney is a really fairly and vibrant city nicely price a go to. The encircling surroundings is breathtaking and you are able to do many nice drives across the Ring of Kerry departing from right here.