This February acts like April. Snow – frost – rain – sun. Every day a bit different but it tends to be a bit warmer some days. And once the sun comes out, you can feel the power. However, the piercing wind finally seems to turn north rather than south and now we have the opportunity to walk at the beaches and the cliffs. And County Cork has a few nice walks along the coasts.
Ballycotton Cliff Walk…
…invites to enjoy the first sunny days. Let’s enjoy a few days and feel again the freedom.
This walk is not a loop! It ends in Ballyandreen (or it starts there and ends in Ballycotton). The whole distance is about 3,5 km each way, means there and back is about 7 km. Good shoes are recommended all time of the year. It is a very popular walk and if you have time to walk during the week, take the chance!
Let’s start at the parking right in front of the entrance at to the walk. You reach the parking once you turn right uphill just before the pier. The street to the left goes down to the pier. If you want to take a trip to the lighthouse, feel free to get all the necessary information using the following website Ballycotton Island Tours.
Ready to walk?
Once you have your car parked, simply follow the path behind the barrier. It is not really suitable for buggies and dogs should be kept on leads.
The walk is comfortable to walk until Ballytrasna. On some point, there is the possibility to tell stories about a nearby sunken ship. Children are always keen to hear stories, if they are true or not, doesn’t really matter. Leave it open to their fantasy to end the story. At least they are occupied and possibly thrilled to find out the truth about what really happened. The next rainy day you might spend at the library 🙂
The gorse bushes seem to blossom all year round along that trail. They smell like coconut and you have the feeling spring is almost here, although it’s very early in the year. Along the trail to Ballytrasna are a few benches provided which invite to spend a bit a time to relax and enjoy the sun which is already powerful.
Later that year you might use a few of the more difficult side paths down to the rocks, as well. But be careful. The signposting isn’t in vain, but for a good reason.
In Ballytrasna the walk leads downhill and you’ll come to a tiny stream. Cross it by using the small rocks. Be careful, a few of them are a bit loose. From here you will go up again and then follow the path to the end in Ballyandreen. It’s a bit an up and down, but wonderful views. The walk isn’t really difficult, but when you have small children with you, they might complain after a while. Older people might have that problem as well. However, you might love that varied walk, because the view along is stunning. Feel free to turn and walk back at any point. It is always up to you how far you want to go.
In Ballyandreen there is a small beach and a tiny parking area. The small beach invites to make a break before you return. It is a good idea to have something to drink and a snack in your rucksack.
You can start from here as well. This path is very small and can get really muddy at certain times of the year.
On the way back, I made a stop in Cloyne at Harty’s Bar & Restaurant. It is without a doubt one of my favorites. The food (absolutely fresh and tasty), the prices (so reasonable) and the atmosphere makes it easy to love this place. When I think about it, the following sentence becomes important:
There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t met yet.
Harty’s Bar & Restaurant often presents local musicians, too. Enjoy your time there and tell them lovely greetings.
From Dunkettle Roundabout take the N25 towards Midleton. At Midleton Roundabout take the 3rd exit towards Whitegate and Cloyne, R629. From here you have 2 options to go to Ballycotton:
- After having left the Midleton Roundabout, you can follow the R629, passing Cloyne, and further to Shanagarry and Ballycotton.
- You can also follow the R630 to Whitegate for a while and turn a left after Saleen using the R631 to Cloyne.
From Cloyne, you follow the main street to Shanagarry, turn right at the petrol station in Shanagarry and follow the road to Ballycotton. The parking area is at:
51°49′29″ N 8°0′31″ W
The GPS data for the Ballynadreen beach and parking area:
All people who are dependent on public traffic have it a bit easier. They simply take the Bus No. 240 and drop off at the terminus. The bus passes Cloyne if you want to take the chance to go to Harty’s Bar & Restaurant. It’s well worth.