West Cork/Wild Atlantic Way
Hope you're all well.
Jumping right in, a few weeks ago I visited Cork and some of the surrounding beautiful coastal towns on the Wild Atlantic Way. I am Irish born and bred however this is an area I had never visited.
We drove from Belfast, 5 hours drive in almost a straight line. There are a number of great stops on the way down but we decided to hit it so to speak. First stop Cork City, Ireland's second biggest city with a buzzing student population (lots of universities and colleges) and the most wonderful fun atmosphere. The city is situated on the River Lee, which splits into two channels as it flows through the city centre. Cork is a popular destination for tourists due to its blend of historic and modern attractions, as well as its proximity to the stunning coastline of West Cork.
We stayed in Kinsale, a historic port town in County Cork, Ireland. It is located on the south coast of the country and is known for its picturesque setting and well-preserved old-world charm. We stayed at The Trident Hotel https://www.tridenthotel.com situated on the harbours edge with the most beautiful views over still waters and bobbing fishing boats. The hotel lacked a little atmosphere however was so so clean, comfortable, the staff were gorgeous and the Irish Breakfast, excellent. My first choice hotel would have been my parents favourite hotel, Perryville House but sadly it was closed off season. https://www.perryvillehouse.com
Kinsale is often referred to as the "gourmet capital" of Ireland, due to its reputation for fine dining and its many high-end restaurants. The town is also known for its colorful streets and historic architecture, which includes many well-preserved examples of medieval and Georgian buildings.
We ate so well. The Bulman https://www.thebulman.ie Delicious fish and seafood. Fishy Fishy https://fishyfishy.ie as the name would suggest the best fish and chips ever! My fav however was the charming Brunos Pizzeria. No website but you can view on Facebook. Situated in a traditional cottage like house, the sourdough pizza dough home made and toppings all locally sourced and organic. The mixed leave salad, maybe the best I've ever had and the best was the fact that the restaurant was totally candle lit.
So many pubs with live music (less in February obviously). My fav Kitty O' Se and Tap and Tavern Inn or otherwise known as Mary's I believe.
A few good walks and lots of sailing. Take a walk up to Charles Fort seeped in History going back to Cromwell and in incredible repair.
As one of the country’s largest military installations, Charles Fort has been part of some of the most momentous events of Irish history. During the Williamite Wars, for example, it withstood a 13-day siege before it fell. Later, in the Civil War of the early 1920s, anti-Treaty forces on the retreat burned it out.
The next 2 days were spent exploring. I was planning lots of cliff walks but sadly many were closed due to adverse weather conditions. We drove past beautiful white sandy beaches reminiscent of the stored image I will hold forever of the bay in Ryan's Daughter. If you have not watched the movie, do! The scenery is stunning.
We visited Schull, a village located in West Cork, Ireland. It is situated on the coast and is part of the Wild Atlantic Way scenic driving route. Schull is a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful scenery, charming streets, and proximity to the sea. The village has a range of shops, pubs, and restaurants, as well as several galleries showcasing local art. In addition there is massive sailing fraternity in Schull so in summer I can imagine it being enormous fun.
Bantry, another must. Its doesn't get more Irish. Bantry is a town in the civil parish of Kilmocomoge in the barony of Bantry on the southwest coast of County Cork, Ireland. It lies in West Cork at the head of Bantry Bay, a deep-water gulf extending for 30 km to the west. The Beara Peninsula is to the northwest, with Sheep's Head peninsula to the southwest.
We happened upon perhaps one of the best pubs I have ever been in, O'Sullivans in Crookhaven. The Irish v France match was showing and the atmosphere truly magical. Food and Guiness pretty great too. Real home cooking served with such lovely charm and warmth. It is situated on the water edge and I can imagine in summer it being so very special.
If you have time I would suggest you drive the entire Wild Atlantic Way. It's definitely on my bucket list. If you need help there is the most wonderful book called The Blue Book, a romantic collection of Irish Country House Hotels, Manor Houses, Castles and Restaurants. https://www.irelands-blue-book.ie
Being Irish I am biased however I could not recommend this trip highly enough. It's wholesome, rich and great for the soul.
Any questions please just ask. Enjoy!!!
Lots of love