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Day Trip Diaries – West Cork and Kerry

Time to head to West Cork & Kerry

We spoke to our Deputy General Manager, Eoghan Murphy, as he tells us what is not to be missed when heading for a day trip out in West Cork…

As everyone knows Cork is the best county in Ireland. We are forever shouting about it, just in case anyone forgets about us. Cork is the largest county in Ireland and we border Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. So, in case you did want to leave Cork on a day trip you have plenty of options. Our location at Cork international Hotel is ideal as we are located just off the main roas heading to West Cork & Kerry.

Nothing beats heading West and enjoying the natural beauty of West Cork & Kerry for a day, especially in sunny weather.

Stay at Cork International Hotel and enjoy being located right at the start of the Wild Atlantic Way.

West Cork is almost a county in its own right. It can take as long to get some parts from Cork as it would to get to Dublin, except the scenery is far better (I may be slightly biased!). As the saying goes ‘West is Best’ and when you venture in that direction you will see why. During the restrictions and having to stay in our own county, I found myself taking day trips with the family and we headed west on a number of occasions. There are many different route and options to take as well as places to visit, Bantry, Clonakilty to name but a few.

Here are some ideas for day trips in the West!


1. The Marvellous Mizen Head

Mizen Head is the most southerly point of mainland Ireland, the only place further south is the beautiful Cape Clear Island. It is a bit of a drive but the views along the way are breath-taking and definitely worth the journey. I tend to bring a picnic for the afternoon and have a pit stop in Schull to take a break from the road. There is an abundance of coffee shops and bars that do pub grub so treat yourself to some of the freshly caught fish & chips in one of the many restaurants. You can walk along Schull harbour and take in the breath-taking views looking out at the islands of Roaringwater Bay.

Mizen Head

Once lunch is done head on to Mizen Head. As you drive along the winding road you will see Barleycove to your left, but enjoy that on your way back. Park up the car and go through the Mizen centre. Wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking along the headland. Words truly do not justify the natural beauty of this area, you will see the famous Fastnet Rock and lighthouse in the distance. It really provides some of the most stunning views and scenery. It simply is a must for your Cork bucket list!

When you have gotten your breath back from the views head back to the car and take the short spin to Barley Cove. This is a beautiful sandy beach, very popular with tourists and locals alike. Throw the towels down and take a dip in the crystal clear Atlantic water, it is good for the soul! Enjoy the picnic on the beach and take your time as you meander along the coast back to Cork.


2. Explore The Towns of West Cork

Another fantastic way to spend a day is visiting the Beara Peninsula and all the towns it encompasses. This is unique in so far as the peninsula is in both Cork and Kerry. You can either head for Glengarriff or Kenmare to start your journey. Personally, I love Kenmare for the starting point. It is about an hour and a half drive from Cork International Hotel! I suggest heading down the Kerry side of the peninsula for Tousist and Bunaw and into Lauragh. At this point you can opt to go over the famous Healy Pass for some photos over the county bounds and drop down into Adrigole. After this, keep on going on the north side of the peninsula enjoying the rustic landscape and beautiful villages of Argroom, Eyries and Allihies, on the way to the tip of the peninsula and taking Irelands only cable car out to Dursey Island.

Castletown Bearhaven Harbour

Another option is to come round the south of the peninsula and stop in the picturesque fishing village of Castletownbere. Take a boat trip out to Bere Island or have some lunch in the famous McCarthy’s bar in the square or take a picnic and look out the harbour. You can also head along the coast to Glengarriff, as you drive you can enjoy the view and catch a glimpse of Whiddy Island across the bay. In Glengarriff you can choose to go to Garnish Island and enjoy their fantastic local produce of Garnish Island Gin or wander the Glengarriff Wood Nature Reserve as you head back towards Kenmare. Half way up this narrow road is the Ewe Experience which is Ireland’s only interactive and interpretative sculpture garden in a spectacular waterfall oasis. After you enjoy this, head on up & through the mountain, yes the road goes directly through the mountain at the Caha Pass! Stop and take some photos at what feels like the top of the world. Drop back down into Kenmare and head back home!


3. Kenmare & Killarney

The Ring of Kerry is a journey that is must be made at some stage. However it does take 3 hours to drive the ring. As well as getting to and from there, so you could spend a lot of time in car if you do. So why not do a mini version of it and take some time in two of Kerry’s famous towns, Killarney and Kenmare. Both are about an hour and a half away from Cork International Hotel.

Muckross House Killarney

Start your day by heading to Kenmare. Enjoy the lovely town and head up the mountain to Molls Gap. Stop here and look back over Kenmare and the Beara Peninsula and down towards Killarney. Drive on down through and stop in the Killarney National Park and spend some time in Muckross house before hitting Killarney itself and enjoying the vibrant town. Don’t be afraid to drive out and enjoy the lakes, the locals are friendly and will have no shortage of suggestions.

There is an abundance of options for food and drink but a place to stop for any GAA fan is Tatler Jack. The bar is a treasure throve of Memorabilia with jerseys from every era and county adorning the walls. It is a place for locals and visitors alike and there are no shortage of famous faces enjoying the craic. When you are finished in Killarney head for the county bounds and back to Cork for another night.

I hope this has given you plenty of inspiration for a day trip. While the Cork International Hotel has plenty to do & see on our doorstep, getting to explore the Wild Atlantic Way is an absolute must. Myself & the team here at Cork International Hotel would be delighted to offer you some advice on places to go!



Thinking of a getaway to Cork?

Choosing the Cork International Hotel means you are only a drive away from gorgeous spots such as West Cork & Kinsale. We have lots of special offers for families as well!

See all offers here!

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