Day Trips from Cork City:


The fishing village of Ballycotton is situated 25 miles (about 40 km) from Cork City and has a population of less than 500 people. It is set on a rocky-ledge overlooking Ballycotton Bay and its sandy beach that stretches for about 25 km east to Knockadoon Head. The village has a lighthouse (completely in black) and a world-famous lifeboat station (famous for many historic rescues since it was established in 1858). The area itself has pure air, clean seawater, incomparably beautiful views and peaceful beaches like Shanagarry in the vicinity.

Ballycotton pier, on the right you can see the distinctive orange colour of the lifeboat

The long Shanagarry Beach, viewed from the fishing town of Ballycotton

Ballycotton lighthouse, photo taken from Shanagarry Beach

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Traditional thatched cottage in Ballycotton (left) and the small but always busy pier (right)

The Ballycotton Cliff Walk is a perfect choice for a nice coastal walk in the middle of a beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife. Perfect for any time in the year, the Cliff Walk starts just at the car park located at the westerly end of the fishing town, turning right uphill before the road to the pier, and extends over 5 miles, going until Ballyandreen Bay. The whole route is a narrow foot-worn track along the cliff top, rising to 200 feet above sea level, with the atlantic sea far below and stunning sea views.

Ballycotton lighthouse viewed from the car park where the cliff walk starts

The wildflowers along the whole path are luxuriant and changing with the season. In the next pictures you will appreciate the beauty of this fantastic coastal walk...






A notice board in the car park will let you know about the 300 species of bird life that can be viewed from this stunning habitat making from Ballycotton one of the most famous bird-watching sites in Europe, often visited by extremely rare seabirds during stormy weather.


One of the main attractions during the walk is the view of the black painted lighthouse of Ballycotton. The lighthouse is situated on the top of the Ballycotton Island almost 2 km from the village and was commissioned in 1851 when the keeper lived with his family on the small island and their children rowed to the school in the village when the weather permitted. Finally in 1975 the lighthouse was converted to electricity, being automated in 1992.


For fans of deep sea angling (that Ballycotton gave birth as a sport! taking place here since 1900) this is a fantastic place. Angling marks can be reached in only 20-40 minutes from the non-tidal harbour. Ballycotton claims to be the nicest unspoilt fishing village in the South of Ireland. The water is free from pollution and haven of numerous fishing vessels. Books going back to 1909 attest to the magnificent catches which have been available and still are! Fish that you can catch in this area is Pollock, Conger, Ling, Cod, Blue Shark, Hake, Coalfish... From the pier you could also catch Mackerel, Sole, Conger or Flounder Ray.

And if you prefer golf, Ballycotton has a choice of 10 golf courses located within 10 miles of the village.

There are also a variety of cosy pubs (around 7) some of them well known for their SingSong-Evenings!

By the way, Ballycotton was the film location for a movie called "Divine Rapture", in summer 1995, starring Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, Deborah Winger and John Hurt. Unfortunately, after two weeks, with Marlon Brando living already in the Shanagarry House close to the fishing village, the production team went bankrupt and the movie was never made.


Ideal for a short break before starting the long cliff walk at Ballycotton and just on your way after having passed Cloyne, on the road R629 from Midleton, you will see on your left the magnificent Ballymaloe House, a renowned Irish country house hotel and restaurant.


It is really worth the visit to this place, specially to the Ballymaloe Shop and Café, situated in a charming old farm building in the picturesque grounds of Ballymaloe House. The Café at the end of the shop offers a great selection of teas (some herb teas freshly picked from the gardens around the house) and a full range of coffees, from espresso to latte, together with light lunches and delicious cakes between 12:30 and 4pm every day.

Ballymaloe House, near Shanagarry and Ballycotton

I hope you enjoyed with this article. More to come soon in
Day Trips from Cork!

Text and pictures copyright © 2009 by Raúl Corral