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14 Invigorating Walks In And Around Cork

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What’s that? The tantalising feel of sunshine on our skin? No point sitting around the house…

Make this the summer that you get out and explore as many corners of this beaut island that you possibly can. Get the bus, train, or tiny little plane to wherever it is that takes your fancy for a weekend and see the sights.

There’s no better place to start than Cork. Seaside towns, rugged cliff walks and green overgrown paths make the Rebel County the perfect spot to stretch your legs.

Leave the car at home (or, y’know, somewhere nearby the walking trail), pack a raincoat and attempt one – or ALL – of these walks in and around Cork over the next few months.

Here’s the ones on our strolling list…

1. The Sheep’s Head Way

Beginning in the town of Bantry, this 88km circular walking route leads you to the north coast of the cliff before passing through the pretty villages of Kilcrohane, Ahakista and Durrus.

You can join at any part along the route but FYI, dogs aren’t allowed. Our top tip? Stop off for bites to eat in each village you pass through on your way.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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2. The Ballycotton Cliff Walk

It’ll take you about two hours to walk this 8km route, with lush meadows on one side and dramatic coastline on the other.

Bring your four-legged friend and stumble upon the secluded Ballytrasna beach and sensational views of a lighthouse and deep blue ocean.

Check out more info here.

 

3. The Beara Way

Now, to walk the entire trail would involve 200k and an estimated nine days of your time.

Presuming you don’t have that sort of time to spare jumping in for a 10-20k section of the walk is the best way to approach it. Healy’s Pass at the Ring of Beara boasts some of the best views.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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4. Big Meadow Walk at Glengarrif

This trail starts at the car park in the nature reserve, follows the river to the big meadow and returns via the public road.

Pack a picnic and saunter off on this relatively easy walk of just under 4km.

Check out more info here.

 

5. The Gleann Loop

Take the ferry to Cape Clear Island for a spot of dolphin and whale watching while you walk. How can you beat that?

Spectacular views to the Fastnet Rock and the West Cork coastline will have you working up an appetite for some local grub on this 7km walk that you’ll fly through in just a couple of hours.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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6. Gougane Barra Forest park

There’s six walking trails to choose from in this forest park tucked in a lush valley at the edge of the Sheehy mountains.

Slí Sleibhe (2.5kms of tough uphill hiking) is the most majestic of all the trails in the park – high into the mountains with spectacular views.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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7. Old Head of Kinsale loop

A seriously lovely ramble, this is an easy 1.5 hour (6 km) loop walking route on the famous Old Head of Kinsale that finishes up in the village.

Keep an eye out for the Old Head Lighthouse built in the 17th century and the remains of the Lusitania passenger ship, which was torpedoed by a German U-Boat during WW2.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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8. Seven Heads walk

Birdwatcher? This one’s for you. The Seven Heads walk passes through the Courtmacsherry Estuary, which is a conservation area full of wildlife. It’s 42km so would take a few days but you can dip in and out at several points.

Make your way from Timoleague village through Courtmacsherry, around the rugged cliffs and shoreline towards Dunworley Bay and on to Barryscove, Ardgehane and Ballinglanna.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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9. Courtmacsherry Coastal Loop

Part of the longer Seven Head’s walk, this trail begins in a bluebell covered wood and leads you along to coast to hidden cliffs and views of the sea.

You can either wander down to the deserted Broad Strand beach for a longer stroll or take a turn back to the village to refuel.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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10. Blackrock Castle Loop

One of Cork city’s most popular walking and running routes, this 8km loop takes you by Blackrock Castle and Mahon.

It’s largely flat with nice scenic views out over the river and harbour areas and provides plenty of opportunity for a coffee stop off. Ideal.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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11. Claragh Loop

This gets pretttty muddy, so bring your hiking boots, but it’s one of the loveliest walks there is in Cork.

10km of walking up and over Claragh mountain, through fields and waving to sheep leads back down along the trail to Millstreet town.

Check out more info here.

 

12. Blackwater Way

The Blackwater Way consists or two walking routes – the Avondhu Route and the Dunhallow Route, which covers from Clogheen (Tipperary) right across to Muckross (Kerry).

With the Knockmealdown Mountains to your back leaving Clogheen, passing the well known scenic area called The Vee, the route will take you along roads, hills and forest tracks. Best to space it out over a few days!

Check out more info here.

 

 

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13. Foreshore Walk

A gentle meander from Schull village in East Cork brings you to a ruined church and graveyard, as well as several little sheltered rocky coves. The very last one is the ‘Dogs Hole’, a favourite swimming spot in summer – so pray for some sun.

It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so and you’ll be rewarded with a nice ocean dip.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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14. Bere Island Slí na Sláinte

Hop on a ferry to this rugged island off the coast of West Cork for several walks with views of Hungry Hill, Berehaven Harbour and Castletownbere.

Walkers are spoilt for choice on Bere Island, the 6km Rerrin Loop takes in views of Martello towers, Ardaragh Wedge tomb, and a Viking shipyard.

Check out more info here.

 

 

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You’ll be a pro hiker in no time!

READ NEXT: The Most Special Restaurant In Ireland Lies Behind A Darkened Door In Cork City

 

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