Since moving here with my family nearly two years ago, we have been exploring the beauty and attraction’s of County Cork. From beaches to playgrounds, towns to small villages, to finding the hidden gems of the south of Ireland. We would have never known about, if it wasn’t for our enthusiastic sense of getting out and about, travelling from coast to coast.
Always heard great things about Kinsale which is situated in the south coast. We took a day trip during the Summer and there was lots to see and do. There is a beautiful playground for the kids where we let them run around and afterwards we sat down on the benches to have our packed lunch with the most amazing view of the harbour.
We walked around the town and down small alleyways which have the most authentic coffee and ice cream shops. What really stood out for me was how each house was unique with colours so bright it would still look fabulous on a dull day. I would definitely recommend a trip to Kinsale.
When my sister and her partner came to visit in March of 2018, they recommended Barley Cove beach. Remember it being a beautiful spring day and wasn’t too windy as we walked along the coast. Not a cloud in the sky and the sunshine was glorious. It was my son Ivans first time walking on the sand which made it even more special.
I can’t wait to take the kids back again this year and spend a full day on the beach in the Sun. Just up along the coast from Barley Cove is a good place called Mizen Head, Ireland’s most south-westerly point. Apart of the Wild Atlantic Way, the signal station has a cafe, playground and an iconic bridge which was closed off on the day, maybe because of the time of year. Definitely recommend that you visit here, even the roads leading to this beautiful spot will leave you with a smile.
In the heart of West Cork, the most friendliest seaside town named Clonakilty or Clon for short. We visited the Model Railway Village. A fully scaled handmade model of the old Cork railway system. This is a must see! The kids really enjoyed it, just as much as we (the parents) did.
There is an indoor and outdoor play area, a cafe, a road train tour and a small gift shop in one of the old train carriages facing the car park. We went at the beginning of June where the weather was pretty good so we could enjoy walking around this beautiful setting.
We brought a packed lunch with us and sat at the benches beside the outdoor play area and behind us was the sea and a field full of happy campers. Highy recommend you check out the model railway and the town with your family.
Fota Wildlife Park
East of Cork City is the beautiful Fota Island Resort where the Fota Wildlife park lays over 100 acres and has the second most largest visitor attraction outside leinster.
Again this is a place you will hear of often. Most families travel to Cork for a holiday just to see this special park. We really enjoyed our day here and we were extremely lucky to be there on one of the hottest days of the year.
Plenty of animals to see, staff were friendly and again we had our packed lunch full of fresh fruits, crisps and Tuna wraps at one of the benches. Park was very clean, with beautiful scenery and lots of shops to get drinks and ice cream. Our favourite was the train, which we left til the very end. We went and put the buggy and all our belongings back in the car so we could go on the train to really relax and enjoy it. And that we did. You can’t miss out on a visit if you are on holiday in Cork. Just remember to have change for the car park when your leaving, we didn’t know.
Last but not least Pedros favourite spot in Cork. Baltimore is in the South West of Cork, where it meets the Wild Atlantic way and is surrounded with the islands of Cape clear, Sherkin and Heir.
We were there at the end of September so weather permitted, the wellies and rain coats made an appearance. We parked at the harbour and walked up the stairs , it was very quiet with not many people around. Everyone we did come across seemed like tourists too. The playground looked amazing but unfortunately it was just after raining so that was a big miss for the kids.
We then headed towards the castle where Ava was greeting everyone with a “hello”. We decided we would pop in to have a look. It’s called Baltimore Castle or also known as Dún na Séad. Built in 1215, it was the residence of the O’ Driscoll clan for 300 years. They were attacked by pirates and it soon became into ruins. In 1997 a married couple started their restoration project.
We met with the lovely owner Bernie Mccarthy and she explained everything to us in such great detail. She is also an author and lives in the castle along with her partner.
This was a great trip for us, even on a rainy day it was a nice place to visit and will definitely be taking a trip back there this Summer. I’m sure Pedro is already getting excited.
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