There’s nowhere quite like Cork for the chance to combine great activities, stunning landscapes and incredible food experiences.
Here’s five fabulous ideas for making the most of your summer and Cork’s incredible food culture.
So what are you waiting for?
The Ballycotton Cliff Walk & Fish N’Chips at the Blackbird
If you haven’t done the Ballycotton Cliff Walk yet – this is the summer to change that. This much-loved cliff-top trail goes from the scenic East Cork fishing village of Ballycotton to the beach at Ballyandreen – it’s 7km there and back, with the wild Atlantic on one side of you and wind-blown meadows on the other. Do the whole walk or just go halfway – it’s stunning from the moment you step onto the trail.
Our tip is to make this a Saturday trip – start your day early at the famous Midleton Farmer's Market, sample and buy the best of artisan producers and then travel on 18kms or so to Ballycotton. The trail starts right in the village above the charming harbour - do the walk and then reward yourself with Fish n’ Chips at the famous Blackbird Harbour Pub (you won’t find better in Ireland). It’s a fabulous foodie day out for all the family.
Walk The Sheep’s Head Way – Fine Fine Pub Dining In Ahakista
The celebrated Sheep's Head Way has become one of the best loved places to walk in Ireland – a stunning headland in far West Cork with many kilometres of trails that hug the coast and cliffs. It’s around an hour and 50 minutes’ drive from Cork City – and one of the great places to eat nearby is the award winning Arundels By The Pier pub. Spend a few hours walking the trails up on Sheep’s Head, then head for this most charming of seaside pubs for great gastropub fare. And if you fancy a sun-downer afterwards, walk five minutes to the legendary Tin Pub – one of the quirkiest pubs in Ireland with a stunning beer-garden that reaches right down to the sea.
Watch Whales and & Sample Seafood in Union Hall & Glandore
Spend a morning or afternoon out at sea looking for Minke, Humpback and Fin whales (along with dolphins and huge basking sharks) with Cork Whale Watch, who run daily trips seven days a week out of the fishing harbour village of Union Hall in West Cork. While there, you can visit the famous Union Hall Smoked Fish store to sample or stock up on the very best in smoked salmon, tuna, kippers, crab & trout. And for lunch or an evening meal, make the short trip around the bay to the stunning seaside village of Glandore and try the amazing food from chef David Wine at Hayes Bar & Kitchen (his curries are famous). The dishes are fab, the views are stunning. You couldn’t ask for a better day out.
Enjoy Romantic Urban Kayaking, Cocktails & Tapas In Cork City
Romantic, exciting and very different – you can watch the sun go down from the water as you paddle your way under the historic bridges of Cork City and down to the mouth of our vast harbour.
Atlantic Sea Kayaking run trips (and can take total novices) from the landing pier alongside the Clayton Hotel in the city centre, every evening in the summer. You can take to the water in a double canoe, paddle with an expert guide down to Blackrock Castle and then return to the same spot to continue your evening with cocktails & tapas at nearby Cask or at Arthur Mayne's Pharmacy.
Brunch By Blarney Castle – Pizza at Toons Bridge Dairy
It’s Cork’s most iconic landmark – the famous Blarney Castle, just ten miles outside the city. And close by the castle, you’ll find the tiny but charming Old Post Office Cafe, a lovely spot for breakfast or brunch in what was the village post office. After brunch and a visit to the castle, you could drive on (40 minutes) to Toons Bridge Dairy, the delightful deli, dairy and café that is one of the shining stars of North Cork’s thriving food culture.
Toons Bridge are famous for their home-made cheeses & cured meats, their incredible selection of Irish and Italian delicacies and their famous pizzas.
This is a fab road trip that takes in a quirky café, a stunning historic castle and grounds and one of the shining gems of Cork’s food scene. What’s not to love?