As Ireland’s biggest county, Cork is home to a wide range of scenic attractions and beauty spots. From coastal villages to contemporary Irish city life, there’s a ton to see and do in Cork! Here’s four spots a little off the beaten track…
One of Cork’s most tranquil spots, just 3 miles from the town of Carrigaline. A looped walk of the forest trail is about 5k (just over 3 miles). They originally belonged to a private house, and there is a gazebo in the center which makes for a perfect picnic spot in summer. At the highest point in the woods is a pre-historic burial tomb – known locally as the Giant’s Cave. The woods are situated on a peninsula which looks across the water to Crosshaven, and Spike Island on the other side.
Beautiful harbor town, nestled at the foot of Mount Gabriel, a prehistoric mining site; the name of the village derives from Scoil Muire, an ancient monastic school of which no trace remains. Schull is an ideal spot for activity and leisure lovers alike; there’s plenty of scope for water sports and sailing down at the harbour, and also an array of top-notch pubs and restaurants in the lively town. Schull is also located near some of Ireland’s most beautiful sandy beaches, such as Barleycove and Cadogan’s Strand.
Accessible by ferry from Glengarriff harbour in Bantry Bay to visit this amazing island garden. The very sheltered ferry trip passes a tame seal colony – a delight to behold, but the real attraction here is the planned gardens on the island. The centrepiece of the is the Italian garde, boasting columns of beautiful veined marble from Carrara and Connemara. For history buffs, the Island also boasts a Martello tower on its southern shores which has been restored in recent years. There is an fantastic view of the bay from the battlements of the tower.
The Sky Garden
at Liss Ard Country House Estate is something of a living art installation; the giant earth and stone work, The Crater, by famed artist James Turrell, with its contemplative ‘Vault Purchase’ or plinth at its center, is a sight to behold. The estate is minutes from Skibbereen and also boasts acres of gardens and trails, woodland walks, an arboretum and a wildflower meadow.0