13 fantastic places to eat during your Ring of Cork 2020 staycation

In our previous staycation blog posts, we looked at where to stay and activities to do while you’re there, but now more importantly it’s time to look at where to eat!

The Ring of Cork has many fabulous restaurants and eateries that just can’t wait to welcome guests from June 29th onward.
1. The Castle Glanmire 

We are very excited to announce The Castle Glanmire will REOPEN on Monday June 29th at 4pm. They will be serving pizza and drinks Monday to Sunday.

They are really looking forward to welcoming you all back safely. Its important to book ahead, as space can be limited.

Book Table
2. La Trattoria Family Restaurant

La Trattoria Family Restaurant are delighted to let everyone know they are re opening the restaurant on Monday, June 29th from 7.45 a.m. They will be open 7 days until 9pm every night. Booking now is advisable and can be done by phoning restaurant 021 463 1341 message them via their Facebook page.
3 & 4. BiteSize – Ballincollig | BiteSize – Midleton

The staff at BiteSize in Ballincollig and Midleton are still getting up at 4am to ensure the most tantalising cakes and treats you’ve ever had are ready from Wednesdays to Sundays, 10am to 5pm in Ballincollig and Wednesdays to Saturdays, 9am to 5pm; Sundays, 10am to 6pm in Midleton. They have been open since June 25th, and they’ve also added seating outside the cafes for all of their guests.

You can also order online if you choose to grab and go.

Order Online
5. Ballymaloe House

Ballymaloe House is a must dine in experience within the Ring of Cork, and are reopening for guests for dinner from July 2nd and will continue to add more services as the summer goes by. Join them on the following dates:

Thursdays from 2nd July – Dinner only
Fridays from 3rd July – Dinner only
Saturdays from 4th July – Lunch & Dinner
Sundays from 5th July – Traditional Sunday Lunch only

Overnight guests will be welcome from Wednesday 22nd July, and from this date the restaurant will also be taking bookings as follows:

Lunch: Thursday to Sunday

Dinner: Wednesday to Saturday

Their 7 private dining rooms allow you to meet as a family, enjoying the Ballymaloe experience whilst complying with social distancing guidelines.

More Information
6. Cush

Overlooking beautiful Ballycotton Lighthouse and a stones throwaway from the Ballycotton Cliff Walk, Cush is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy the views of beautiful Ballycotton harbour.

They are only taking bookings for the moment through email which you can book a table.

More Information
7. Aherne’s Townhouse & Restaurant 

Ahernes Townhouse & Seafood Bar are reopening for guests to join them on July 1st in addition to their drive through takeaway service (the only drive through in Youghal).

They will continue to use the freshest local produce, especially seafood from that day’s catch in Youghal harbour or off the South Coast of Ireland, locally reared beef & lamb, seasonal vegetables and a delicious array of homemade desserts and breads.

Table reservations will be essential.

More Information
8. Ferrit & Lee

Ferrit & Lee, Midleton is located just off the main street, within 50 yards of the Midleton Heritage Centre and will re-open on Tuesday 30th June. Any booking enquiries can be made through email: info@ferritandlee.ie.

When they re-open, they plan on providing takeaways alongside regular service for those of you that may not yet feel comfortable eating out!

More Information

9. The Granary Foodstore, Midleton

The Granary have been open since April 30th for takeaway only, however there is plenty of outdoor space where you can sit and enjoy a coffee, a lovely granary sandwich, salad or slice of quiche . They won’t be able to provide table service so just pop up to the counter order and takeaway your food . They will also continue with their very popular click and collect and with their current opening hours of Tuesday – Saturday 9.30 – 4.30.

Order Online
10. Tradehouse Central

Tradehouse Central are delighted to announce that they are re-opening on Thursday, July 2nd and customers can look forward to enjoying the Tradehouse experience that they know and love. Booking is essential!

They will reopen initially from Thursday to Sunday at the following times:

Thursday: 12pm – 11:30pm
Friday: 9am – 00:30am
Saturday: 9am – 00.30am
Sunday: 12pm – 3:00pm

Book Table
11. The Old Thatch in Killeagh

The Old Thatch in Killeagh is reopening from June 29th. They have used the recent forced closure to make some renovations without losing the unique charm and appeal of the pub.

They are taking bookings now all you have to do is phone us (024) 21859 or email us at theoldthatchbarandrestaurant@gmail.com. They will also be taking walk ins but to avoid disappointment, bookings for large numbers would be advised.
12. The Elm Tree, Glounthaune

The Elm Tree, Glounthaune have been operating their Elm Tree at home service for a few weeks now. The Elm Tree’s success is very much based upon their team, who enjoy providing quality and service in all areas of the business, and this is something they can not wait for you to join them again

The Elm Tree Glounthaune will reopen from Monday, June 29th. And of course will still offer their Elm Tree at home service every day from 4pm.

Book Table
13. Colins Bar at the Carrigaline Court Hotel

If you are looking for a first class Cork restaurant & bar, look no further than Collins Bar!

In line with current Government restrictions, the bar will only be able to host guests that wish to avail of food offerings on a table service basis.

Visitors to the hotel will also need to follow a one-way walking system to manage the flow of customers when visiting the bar and restaurant; please arrive at Collins Bar by entering only through the main Hotel entrance.

The hotel will also be implementing a ‘Meet, Greet & Seat’ dining approach where guests will be greeted on arrival to the Bar and Restaurant, and then will be shown to their seats.

There will be a capacity restriction due to social distancing measures, and Customers are encouraged to make reservations in advance due to limited table availability. A reasonable timeframe will also be allocated for each sitting to ensure everyone enjoys their visit.

For table reservations, please dial 021 4852100.

Book Table

Tourism accounts for one in every ten jobs in Ireland, so now is the best time to enjoy what’s on offer locally and enjoy your perfect staycation staying local during the COVID-19 pandemic. Share your Ring of Cork staycation images with #rocstaycation #ringofcork on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Something missing? Let us know by contacting us.

Your Summer guide on where to Staycation 2020 in the breathtaking Ring of Cork

Summer is here and we’re looking to Staycation Summer 2020 within the Ring of Cork within East Cork and Cork Harbour. Obviously 2020 is an exceptional year so far, but there are still plenty of places to relax and enjoy right here at home.

We’ll look at the re-openings as they happen, where to stay, things to do over the next few days, so let’s start with where to stay!
Where to Staycation
There are so many places to Staycation at home and escape from it all. Let’s take a look at a few of our favourites. There are a wide variety of choices for families, romantic getaways, or just escaping the world.
Family Escapes
If you’re looking for the perfect staycation idea for the family, our guide to family escapes will help you decide:
Retreat to the beach Quality Hotel Youghal

Quality Hotel Youghal are opening their Holiday Homes for rental from the 29th June. Guests will have their own front door to the wide-open spaces and fresh sea air of Redbarn’s Blue Flag Beach to enjoy for a great family staycation. Three, five and weekly deals available.

It will be good old-fashioned fun, like building sandcastles, going for walks on the beach, scampering through Glenbower Woods, trekking at Knockadoon Cliff Walk, visiting Fota Wildlife Park  or other attractions, such as Leahy’s Open Farm.

The Hotel and Leisure Centre will not be opening this year for the health and safety of guests.  With just Holiday Homes on offer, footfall will be reduced by 50%, so we feel that parents will have a much more relaxing holiday break and manageable social distancing. There are also a number of take-away options locally and a brilliant new Pop Up, Happy Grillmores, right outside the door to ensure that everyone gets a holiday!

Our Holiday Homes will be deep cleaned and sanitised before arrival and best practice will be observed in relation to all contact with members of the   team. Our primary focus is the health and well-being of your family and our staff and we will take every action possible to ensure your safety.

Call 024 93050 or visit www.qualityhotelyoughal.com
Immerse in relaxation in the Carrigaline Court Hotel & Spa

The Carrigaline Court Hotel has announced that it will reopen its doors to the public on Monday 29th June in line with Government recommendations.

The hotel is already accepting bookings for accommodation stays from June 29th, and are delighted to be opening Collins Bar for food service on the same date, both for residents and non-residents. Locals will be able to visit the hotel for breakfast, morning pastries, lunch and dinner.

In line with current Government restrictions, the bar will only be able to host guests that wish to avail of food offerings on a table service basis. Visitors will be encouraged to book in advance by contacting 021 4852100, and menu’s will be available to view on the hotel website www.carrigalinecourt.com

The hotel’s Bistro restaurant will also be opening for dinner service on Saturday evenings from 6pm.
The Great Family Escape at Radisson Hotel & Spa Cork

Treat the whole family to what will be your greatest escape ever, at the Radisson Blu Cork this summer from €179 per night. Opening July 2nd.

Let the fun begin on arrival with a Global Explorers Gift Pack for each mini guest. With pictures to colour, games and treats included, the kids are guaranteed to be kept entertained for hours.

Enjoy a stay in one of our spacious Family bedrooms which cater for up to 2 adults and 4 children sharing. Choose from either one room with a double and a single bed or two interconnecting rooms, each of which can be kitted out with microwaves and cots upon request.

Whatever the weather, family fun is guaranteed, be it in our spacious gardens or in our indoor Swimming Pool where you can avail of our special children’s swimming hours (8am–7pm daily) so that they have a chance to run, splash and swim to their heart’s content. We also offer a special Kids Turn Down Service of cookies and milk delivered to your room before bedtime!

During your stay make the most of your location, with a visit to our neighbouring Fota Wildlife Park, Blarney Castle, Blackrock Castle or take in the many cultural attractions in Cork city. Knowing holiday time with the kids can be more stressful than it sounds, our team have compiled their favourite Nearby Family Attractions to help you out.

Given the current climate, we would also like to reassure you that our new Caring For You policy here at the Radisson Blu Hotel Cork will ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and safety throughout your stay. These will be regularly updated on the below link, and a member of our team will also be in touch in advance of your visit, to ensure total peace of mind.

More Information
An Stór Townhouse

An Stór Townhouse is offering accommodation in Midleton Town Centre. They offer a range of room types, including a self-catering apartment. Which is an ideal base for exploring the sights of the Ring of Cork.

All their rooms are ensuite and linked to WiFi. They come in a wide range of accommodation. The family rooms can accommodate up to six, using double beds and the ever-popular bunks for the children.

For smaller groupings, many of our rooms have a double bed and two singles, a versatile arrangement which caters for twin, double or triple groupings. Breakfast is served in our dining room, but we also have the bonus of a self-catering dining area where guests are free to make tea, bring in or prepare their own food in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. This is ideal for families.

The large sitting room is comfortably furnished, with TV and piano.

Book direct, on their site www.anstortownhouse.com for best prices.
Something for the whole family in Midleton Park Hotel
[caption id="attachment_352104" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Midleton Park Hotel, shot by keewi[/caption]

Midleton Park Hotel is located in the town of Midleton. And right now they have discounted rates on family packages throughout July including Kids Stay Free and their Fota Family package from €199 for a family of 4 for one night, which includes breakfast and a 3 course dinner.

More Information
Escape to a Romantic Getaway
Now more than ever escape is extremely important for your perfect staycation. Here are some of our favourite romantic getaways:
Relax in style at Ballymaloe House

Ballymaloe House is situated near Shanagarry and reopens for bookings from July 22nd 2020. Ballymaloe House is a family run country house hotel and restaurant on 300 acres of farmland located in beautiful East Cork countryside. Internationally recognised as the birthplace of Modern Irish Cuisine, Ballymaloe House offers you the very best of Irish hospitality and food and a unique Irish Country House experience.

Voted Ireland’s Favourite Food Experience by Independent readers and World Restaurant Award winners for the world’s best Trolley of the Year for their unique dessert trolley offering and experience. Luckily you don’t have to wait until July 22nd to enjoy Ballymaloe as the restaurant can take limited bookings from July 2nd.

More Information
Staycation in luxury at Castlemartyr Resort & Golf Club

Castlemartyr Resort & Golf Club will be reopening to guests to stay from July 16th and are excited to welcome guests after recently winning overall 5 Star Hotel of the Year, Wedding Hotel of the Year and Luxury Hotel of the Year from the Irish Hotel Awards 2020. The safety of guests and the Castlemartyr Resort team is of paramount importance at Castlemartyr Resort, with this in mind, they will continue to ensure that your stay is as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Castlemartyr Links Golf Club is now taking visitor bookings for June 29th and beyond. Click here for more information, or to place your booking, contact 021 421 9001, or email golf@castlemartyrresort.ie.

More information 
Garryvoe Beach Homes

Garryvoe Beach Homes are new contemporary and modern self-catering accommodation in Garryvoe right on the Atlantic Ocean. Its only a two minute walk to the blue flag beach.

Garryvoe is located in picturesque East Cork. It offers an unspoilt sandy 5 km beach, with incomparably beautiful views of Ballycotton Bay and its lighthouse. Just a 10 minute drive to Ballymaloe Cookery School, Castlemartyr Resort and Golf Club, Ballycotton Fishing Village; all of which have an abundance of famous restaurants such as Ballymaloe House

Booked up for summer, but will have places in September.

More Information
Knockeven House

Knockeven House is an 1840 Victorian House which offers luxury accommodation in spacious bedrooms and will be following all HSE recommendations They look forward to welcoming all their guests back. Knockeven House is steeped in history and heritage that you will find it easy to step back in time and savour the experiences of bygone eras.
Tailor made for peace and quiet, this 1840 period house offers respite from the hectic pace of everyday life, in the finest traditions of Country House hospitality.

At Knockeven house Bed & Breakfast, splendid oversized guestrooms are individually decorated with impeccable taste and style. Gracious living is evident throughout with authentic fabrics and exquisitely detailed furniture.

 

Tourism accounts for one in every ten jobs in Ireland, so now is the best time to enjoy what’s on offer locally and enjoy your perfect staycation staying local during the COVID-19 pandemic. Share your Ring of Cork staycation images with #rocstaycation #ringofcork on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Look out for our next post about What to do while on your staycation, and where to eat on your staycation.

Something missing? Let us know by contacting us.

22 Amazing Activities for your Staycation 2020 in the Ring of Cork

In our last staycation post we looked at where to staycation in the Ring of Cork. There are plenty of activities and things to do along the Ring of Cork that you can still socially distance while enjoying the family.
Outdoors
Outdoor activities are going to be the easiest and safest for your 2020 Ring of Cork staycation. Here are some of the most amazing activities available on your doorstep:
1. Lose yourself in another world with Ballycotton Sea Adventures

Are you ready for an exhilarating, unique and magical experience? Ballycotton Sea Adventures is one of the best things to do in East Cork!

Enjoy the fresh Ballycotton sea air and be mesmerised by the natural beauty and stunning views that Ballycotton Island has to offer. Ballycotton Sea Adventures offers a truly magical memory-making excursion.

The Ballycotton Lighthouse lantern was first lit in 1851 and 141 years later the last lighthouse keeper was taken off the island due to the automation of the light. Now, for the first time ever, you can step foot onto the wild, natural and unspoiled island, climb the original iron staircase and enjoy the same incredible views from the lantern balcony that up until now only resident lighthouse keepers could have enjoyed.
2. Captain a harbour adventure with Cork Harbour Boat Hire

Cork Harbour Boat Hire have been open since June 8th, at a reduced capacity. They are offering 1 hour Self Drive Boat Tours of Cork Harbour and also 1 hour High Speed Rib Tours of the harbour. These staycation tours are ideal Social Distance days out. All their boats and life jackets are cleaned and disinfected between each tour.

You can visit  for more information or to book online.
3. Wow your family at Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park is not like an ordinary zoo and is perfect for a staycation visit. Set on 100 acres of land, wherever possible animals are chosen that thrive in a free-range environment, allowing them to roam free, mixing with other species and human visitors! Visit the Asian Sanctuary which houses Sumatran Tigers, Warty Pigs, Visayan Spotted Deer, Lion-Tailed Macaques and Indian Rhino. Don’t forget your camera, you won’t be disappointed.

Fota Wildlife Park is currently operating a pre-booking essential system, visit www.fotawildlife.ie for the most up to date booking information.
4. Experience the Titanic Trail

The Titanic Trail Guided Walking Tour of Cobh is open and operating daily from June 9th.

Only online or phone bookings accepted.  For everybody’s health and safety, participants are expected to bring and wear their own facemasks. Social distancing will be operated during the tour.

The fascinating content of the tour itself is not diminished in any way.

Booking direct on www.titanic.ie
5. Cycle at sunsets with Youghal Bike Hire

Youghal Bike Hire is open now. This allows you to set your own pace and experience the fun & freedom cycling offers to explore Youghal and its surrounding areas. Collect route maps for all abilities and distances for you to explore and discover the historic town, local beaches, villages, cliff walks and woodlands, or take the opportunity to cycle a section of The Ironman bike route. We recommend nearby natural beauty attractions like Redbarn Strand,

With a new fleet of light-framed Ammaco, 21 gear bikes, they will help you pick a bike that suits you and provide the friendly advice you need to plan and enjoy your trip. Helmets, hi vis vests, locks and breakdown service are included in the price of hire. They also offer a drop off / collection service once arranged in advance. We can provide competitive rates for group bookings, team building events or longer duration rentals;

Call us on 087 092 1225 or Book Online.

More Information
6. Fly through the treetops at Zipit Farran

Zipit is a treetop high ropes forest adventure park with a difference. A place for young and old, where children can let their imagination run wild and where adults can embrace their inner child.

You can climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets, even ride a BMX across a bridge, before zipping down one of the many ziplines.

Children from age 7 to adults can enjoy up to 3 hours of excitement and adventure.

Zipit is reopening from June 29th.

Book online www.zipit.ie
7. Sail Cork Harbour with SailCork, Cobh

SailCork has been involved in watersports training and holidays for over 50 years in Cobh and on the south coast of Ireland and is run by Eddie English. The English family has been involved in seafaring in Cobh for 4 generations. Eddie has been teaching sailing since 1969 and is one of the most experienced instructors in the sport. He is an ISA/RYA sailing and powerboat trainer/examiner. Eddie is also a yachtmaster instructor/examiner and races dinghies and cruisers.

They will begin with Junior Adventure courses for all ages from June 29th. Junior dinghy courses cannot be run currently. Junior boat owners can book Time on the Water sessions where they will provide safety boat. Adult Dinghy, Powerboating & Yachting + VHF courses run with reduced numbers to allow for social distancing.

More Information (9 – 12 years old)

More Information (13 – 16 years old)
Walk the beaches of East Cork
If you’re looking for something more relaxing activities staycation break, grab a 99 ice-cream and walk some of Ireland’s best blue flag beaches.
1. Claycastle Beach

Claycastle Beach is located near Youghal and is an ideal spot for walking, swimming and relaxing. It is very popular with residents and visitors alike.

It is a great beach for walking, swimming and relaxing and there are lifeguards on duty during the bathing season.
2. Ballycrenane Beach

Ballycrenane Beach is located near Shanagarry. It is located on the long stretch of sandy beach from Garryvoe to Ballywilling. There is a car park with good access.

This is also a good spot for beach fishing.
3. White Bay Beach

This is a secluded little surf strand situated on the east side of Cork Harbour Inlet near Roches Point.

There are rocks either side, but a long cast out at low water puts you close to the main deep shipping channel, which is capable of producing some excellent fishing.
4. Front Strand Beach Youghal

Front Strand Beach is a sandy beach beside Youghal town.

It is most suitable for families, picnics and walking as there are plenty of amenities close by. There is also a public car park and toilet facilities are provided.
Relax in the Woods
Studies have shown time and time again that surrounding yourself in trees and nature is good for your health. And the Ring of Cork has plenty of nature and natural beauty around. Here are some of our favourites for your perfect staycation:
1. Ballyannan Woods

Ballyannan Wood is a beautiful mature mixed woodland of close to 25 hectares. There are a number of bygone features such as old stone walls and banks, stone gate pillars, ruined cottages and boathouses that are visible as you explore the wood.
2. Castlemartyr Woods

Castlemartyr Woods is a stones throw away from Castlemartyr Resort. This woodland was once part of a larger demesne that originated around the latter end of the 17th century. If you consider the wood along with the wider grounds of the Hotel you can imagine times past when landscape architects such as Lancelot ‘Capability‘ Brown were engaged to style the countryside. The old names of Mitchells’ Wood, Barn Wood and Pigeon Wood refer back to this era.
3. Explore Ballincollig Regional Park

Ballincollig Regional Park is Cork’s largest park. With walks and trails around the historic grounds of the old gunpowder mills, Ballincollig Regional Park has something for the whole family, history, playing pitches, a real life Fairy Trail, a skate park, canals, bird spotting all enclosed within 140 acres of parkland. Easily accessible with lots of wide open spaces and enough to explore for hours and still not see it all. Perfect for young families.

More Information
Walk the Ring of Cork Cliffs
There are many cliff walks around the Ring of Cork for your perfect staycation, the most famous of which is Ballycotton Cliff Walk steeped in history such as the Mary Stanford Daunt Rock rescue and one of the best known cliff walks in Ireland.
1. Ballycotton Cliff Walk

Ballycotton Cliff Walk is the hidden gem of East Cork. It is located near a small picturesque fishing village which sits on a rocky-ledge overlooking Ballycotton Bay and is surrounded by sandy beaches. You can gain stunning views of Ballycotton Lighthouse (one of only two black lighthouses in Ireland) which was painted black in 1902 to distinguish it from the beacon at Capel. There are plenty of activities around Ballycotton to enjoy as well.

More Information
2. Knockadoon Cliff Walk

Knockadoon Head Looped Walk is a mixture of cliff, track and road walks.

Knockadoon Pier is a favourite with locals especially during the summer time when people want to cool down with a dip in the ocean!

More Information
Indoors
The weather may not always be the best, but that’s okay as there are many indoor activities that you can enjoy while on your staycation and which comply with social distancing rules. Here are six of our favourites:
1. Explore the island fortress built to defend an empire that became the largest prison in the world

In the last 1300 years Spike Island has been an Island Monastery, Fortress, Prison and Home. Today the island can be visited by a short and scenic ferry journey from heritage town Cobh. Discover 200 year old Fort Mitchel, the 24 acre star shaped Fortress built to defend an empire. This same Fortress became the largest prison in the world in the 1850’s, and there has never been a larger prison in Ireland or Britain before or since. For tens of thousands of Irish men and women Spike Island was the last Irish soil they set foot on, as prison ships transported them to America, Australia and the Caribbean.

Join Ireland’s best storytellers for a mesmerising insight into the personal stories of this unique corner of the Ancient East, winner of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2017. Entry includes return ferry, guided tour, free map and app and  access to the island activities such as the children’s fairy trail, access to all exhibitions and scenic island walks, cafe and gift shop on site.

Daily sailings to the island from June 29th and pre-booking is required. Boats will depart at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm to Corks international award winning island attraction.

More Information
2. Something for grown ups at Jameson Distillery Midleton

Today, every drop of Jameson is produced here in Midleton, amid the lush fields of southern Ireland. Life is full of simple pleasures, and there’s not much more simple or more pleasurable than enjoying the world’s best Irish whiskey at source. Take a tour of the Jameson distillery and enjoy a host of unique experiences, from a Jameson Experience Tour or a Behind the Scenes Tour to develop a new appreciation of Irish whiskey, from grain to glass.

In line with the Irish Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, we are happy to confirm that Jameson Distillery Midleton, Co. Cork will re-open on July 13th 2020. The team are currently putting thorough measures in place to ensure all guests and staff will have a safe, comfortable & enjoyable experience for your indoor activities.

Online booking is now re-open here for experiences dated July 13th onwards, with pre-booking is strongly advised. Sláinte!
3. Step into the past in the Titanic Experience Cobh

Titanic Experience Cobh is re-opening on June 29th 2020. They will now offer our fully guided tours in smaller group numbers. All staff will wear appropriate PPE and new sanitation procedures will be implemented in line with government guidelines. PRE BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Experience what it was like to board the ill fated Titanic by stepping back into time to 1912 in one of the must do activities in your lifetime.

More Information
4. Indulge in 800 years of history at Saint Mary’s Collegiate Church Youghal

When you enter the church keep in mind that you are walking in the footsteps of some of the most prominent people of Youghal, such as Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Richard Boyle, world renowned poet Edmund Spencer and hundreds of years of Mayors, Alderman, Merchants and assorted influential figures. St. Mary’s Collegiate Church has been in use for nearly 800 years.

The beautiful St. Mary’s is the medieval parish church of the historic walled town of Youghal, and the second largest of its type on the island of Ireland. It sits imposingly at the top of Church Street, just west of the town’s medieval marketplace. From its thirteenth century foundation, Youghal became one of the most prosperous towns in Medieval Ireland, and the building of Saint Mary’s in the fashionable Gothic style, through the support of its citizens, reflected the status of this new Anglo-Norman seaport town that had wide-ranging trade contacts across Europe.

The church is built to a mid-thirteenth century cruciform plan, meaning the church is built in the shape of a crucifix. It has a detached bell tower and is surrounded by a hillside graveyard. Walking around it, the Gothic church layout of a nave, chancel and transepts to the north and south can easily be seen.  The nave is aisled and divided into five bays by the pillars of the nave arcade, maximising the space available for worship by the townspeople. The exposed oak timbers of the roof are constructed in an original scissors braced design and one of the oldest church roof structures in Ireland.

Join St Mary’s which is opening from June 29th at 9:30am in what we can only describe as the Ring of Cork’s unmissable historical activities.
5. Drop the little ones off at the Monkey Maze

Monkey Maze is the Ring of Cork’s largest indoor adventure play area which includes five amazing slides, two indoor ball courts, and a dedicated area for toddlers under 5 years. This is perfect for you to relax while the kids enjoy their monkey activities.
They have a café serving teas, freshly ground coffee, scones, muffins, sandwiches and hot food all freshly prepared each day.
More Information
6. Enjoy the arcades at Perks Entertainment Centre

Perks Entertainment Centre are hoping to open in early July 2020 for a return to indoor activities. While they may not be open just yet they have introduced new interactive prize redemption machines into the arcade…. play the games… win your tickets. (Up to 500 to be won on some machines)… Collect a prize from their new PRIZE SHOP or save your tickets for even more fantastic prizes….. test your skills and luck.

If you are missing Perks, check out their Facebook page for a trip down memory lane with some of their old photos.

Tourism accounts for one in every ten jobs in Ireland, so now is the best time to enjoy what’s on offer locally and enjoying the activities for your perfect staycation staying local during the COVID-19 pandemic. Share your Ring of Cork staycation images with #rocstaycation #ringofcork on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Something missing? Let us know by contacting us.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Business Supports

A comprehensive resource for businesses trying to manage their way through this current situation. This Guide contains detailed information on a huge range of supports from this Department and other Government Departments and Agencies and advice on other practical steps businesses can take at this time.

The Guide is divided into 5 sections and also includes an Appendix which contains a COVID-19 Business Continuity Checklist which outlines some of the key risks to businesses as well as preparatory actions that can be taken to respond.

Part 1 highlights a number of practical steps that businesses can initially take such as talking to your bank and checking your insurance details.

Part 2 sets out in detail the business supports that are available, ranging from loans to grants to vouchers to mentoring. These include the €450m Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland (SBCI)COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme, Enterprise Ireland supports including the €2,500 Lean Business Continuity Voucher and the €5,000 Business Financial Planning Grant as well as supports from the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) like the Trading Online Voucher and the Mentor Programme.

Part 3 of the Guide outlines other Government supports that are available to businesses. Details are provided on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and short time work supports. In addition, links are provided to other important resources like the NSAI Workplace and Retail Protection and Improvement Guides, details on commercial rates deferral and amendments to planning and development regulations to temporarily allow restaurants to operateas takeaways, etc.

Part 4 provides information on the COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding Call which was developed by the Government’s research and innovation agencies to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.This Call is an agile and adaptive initiative to support development of innovative solutions (including STEM-based, social/behavioural science) that can have rapid demonstrable impact on the current COVID-19 crisis in Ireland.

As the COVID-19 situation changes, Government supports also change to address new difficulties and provide solutions and guidance.

Part 5 of the Guide highlights those websites where up-to-date official information is available.

Download the Guide HERE.

Support Local along the Ring of Cork

 
Support Local
 

It is a hard time we are all going through at the moment but if we can, we should try and support local businesses in our community during these tough times. Whether that is supporting local by buying local produce, taking an online course or sending an encouraging message online to a business you love. This blog post is all about how you can support our fabulous Ring of Cork members during this hard time. That can be supporting a business still open for deliveries, a shop open online or even by showing support on social media. Here is a list of fabulous things being offered along the Ring of Cork at the moment.

 

Stay safe everybody and stay home.

 

Leahy’s Open Farm have a fun, creative idea for Easter. Leahy’s Open Farm are delivering Easter Egg Making kits to do at home for the Easter holidays. You can place your order with Leahy’s Open Farm via Facebook message or ring them with the number of kits you would like and your phone number. They cost €10.50 without an apron and €12 with an apron. Additional charge of €5 for delivery. To make sure your kit arrives in time for Easter, order before the end of the day on Tuesday the 7th of April. Chocolate is always a good idea so this would be a fabulous project to do with the kids even after Easter too. A little treat from school work. For more information you can check out their Facebook page here. Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages too for some interactive posts and fun for the kids.

Sail Cork are offering fabulous online classes on the theory of planning a trip or voyage at sea in any kind of boat, motor, sail, kayak, fishing etc. They use books like an Almanac which give tidal information and cruising guides which will give local information and charts (maps) of the area. Charts are marked with depts and if there are any rocks and the type of sea bottom near land which will help us to decide on anchoring. Sail Cork have developed these live classes to include information on what you will see ashore from the sea, some history and aerial and ground pics so that you can create a better picture of these coastal places. We enjoyed a live interactive class last week which was full of local knowledge. The classes suit boaters, those interested in history, geography, maritime, students, anyone who likes to look at the sea and explore the coastline. Sail Cork run the courses for Cork Harbour, Cork coast, Kerry coast,  The Scilly isles and Cornwall,  Majorca, The Caribbean, Croatia, Brittany, Galicia. For more information and a list of upcoming courses online, check out their website here.

Ballymaloe Cookery School is hosting a temporary East Cork Neighbourfood market to continue the supply of the wonderful Midleton producers. You can choose from a wide range of local produce including fruit, vegetables, bread, pastries, cheese, meat, beers and many more. Collection takes place Ballymaloe Cookery School each Saturday from 1pm – 3pm for the foreseeable future. All you have to do is sign up here. You will receive an email with a link to the online shop and you can shop each week anytime up to Thursday night at Midnight. The shop will then close and your orders will be prepped for collection on Saturdays between 1pm – 3pm in Ballymaloe Cookery School. Note that they will be vigilant in allowing only a few people in to collect at a time to adhere to social distancing.

La Tratoria in Midleton are giving back to the community by serving up hot dinners to those who need it. La Tratoria is a family owned restaurant in Midleton and during these challenging times have decided to give back to their community by providing a roast dinner free of charge. This kind gesture by La Tratoria took place on lots of different dates so far. It has now continued on with the help of generous donations from people and businesses such as East Ferry Free range chickens, Frank Murphy Butchers, Roche’s Point Farm shop, Joe Hartnett Farm and Martha from Walsh’s pharmacy along with their own produce at La Tratoria. Now, La Tratoria are roughly serving 200 meals on dedicated days to the elderly and vulnerable people. They also have generous offers from people to deliver the food which has been a great help to them. Well done to all in La Tratoria restaurant and all the people who are making this happen in the community.

Fota Wildlife Park are updating their followers very regularly on social media with live updates from their rangers. It is great to get inside knowledge from the rangers and a great way for kids to learn more about all the different animals. If you would like to support Fota Wildlife Park and the animals at this time, just visit their website here to buy web tickets that are valid for 12 months after purchase or you could even sponsor an animal. Two great ways to support Fota Wildlife Park at this time.

BiteSize is open for business if you order your delights online. The cafes are currently closed but the bakery in Midleton is still baking their BiteSize goodies you all love so much. You can order online here and collect them from the bakery itself. All you have to do is order your treats before 12 noon and collect them the following day to enjoy! You can create your own boxed selection of your favourite BiteSize treats, order your tarts, wholemeal health loaves, quiches and even bags of BiteSize el Salvador Coffee Beans to keep you going at home. You can also note that you will be the only customer collecting your treats at your collection time to ensure social distancing is adhered to.

The Village Green Grocer & Food Hall in Castlemartyr are currently open for business. They are fully stocked with fresh salads, hot meals, sandwiches, rolls, wraps, fresh baking, lots of fruit and vegetables and much more. A good idea is to either ring ahead to order or order online and arrange to collect freshly baked goods in store. To order just simply contact them via phone on 0214667655 or online here. They are also offer a deliver service to your home if needed. They are open 7:30am – 5pm from Monday to Saturday. Be sure to order the day before you need it for collection or delivery.

Hurley’s Supervalu in Midleton is also fully stocked for friendly and efficient service. Always remember to practice social distancing while shopping. They are open from 7am – 8pm. Another option is to do click and collect with your shopping at supervalue.ie.

If you have any more ways to support local in the Ring of Cork community at this time, please do let us know and we will help spread the world.

 

Stay safe everybody and stay home.

Accessing Government Funding and Supports during Covid-19

Accessing Government Funding and Supports during Covid-19
As this is a stressful time for businesses it’s important to know what support and funding are available for businesses within the Ring of Cork and elsewhere in Ireland during the Covid-19 outbreak. Failte Ireland has prepared some guidelines. Last updated March 25th 2020. Original document provided by Fáilte Ireland  

Mother’s Day Celebrations

Mother’s Day is coming up and we will all be celebrating a little differently this year. One thing is certain though, we need to celebrate all the wonderful mothers in Ireland. In this blog post, we are going to give you a taste of some experiences, activities and ideas you can do to treat your mother in a safe way this Mother’s Day. Always remember to keep hand washing / hand sanitising and note that social distancing is key in everything we mention below.
SUPPORT LOCAL WITH A DELICIOUS TREAT

Bitesize in Midleton are inviting people to order online this Mother’s Day. Treat your mother to a delicious chocolate cake. You can collect your treats from their store under strict social distancing procedures. To order your delights, pop over to their website here.
Another option for ordering a treat for your mother this Mother’s Day is the Village Greengrocer & Food Hall in Castlemartyr. They are currently open for business however you also have the option to order online and arrange to collect freshly baked goods in store. To order just simply contact them via the contact details here

BUY AN ONLINE PRESENT

Why not order a treat online for your mother? Lots of wonderful ideas for gifts online with The Jameson Distillery. Check out their website here.
Another fabulous option for gifts this Mother’s Day is to buy online at Shanagarry design centre through the Kilkenny Shops. You can order online here.
Another great idea for gifts this Mother’s Day is the Tregan Craft Centre, which is located next door to Titanic Experience. Although it is currently closed, you can order your gifts online and get them delivered to your door. Happy shopping here.

MAKE A HOMEMADE GIFT
If you are looking for some inspiration to make a Mother’ Day gift, check out Kilkenny at Shanagarry Design Centres Facebook page. Ann O Riordan of Eco Paisti Crafts is one of the many artists who operate out of Shanagarry Design Centre and she has posted fabulous arts and crafts videos for kids to make their mother something very special this Mother’s Day.
SHARE GOOD NEWS

Irish Distillers who are the makers of Jameson Whiskey are branching out into hand sanitising gel. The company is going to supply the gel for free to the Health Service Executive, in partnership with Cork firm Mervue Laboratories. Irish Distillers said it will use its expertise to help the national response to Covid-19. Well done Irish Distillers, we are very proud of you here at the Ring of Cork.
EXPLORE IN THE FRESH AIR
At the moment being out in the fresh air is one of the safest things to do. Always keep in mind social distancing while walking, running or sitting. Below are a few gems which you can visit to get a spot of fresh air this Mother’s Day.
BEACH WALKS

We are very lucky to be known along the Ring of Cork for our breath-taking coastline. We have lots of beach walks to enjoy. Some of the most spectacular spots for walks are Redbarn and Claycastle in Youghal, Rocky Bay near Crosshaven and the secluded White Bay beach near Whitegate. Other local favourites include Youghal Front Strand, Myrtleville Beach near Crosshaven and the very popular Fountainstown which has a direct bus service from the city.

And that’s not all, you also have Inch Beach near Aghada, Garryvoe Beach, Ardnahinch beach, Ballynamona in Shanagarry, Ballycroneen Beach near Cloyne and the quieterBallywilling Beach near Garryvoe.
FARRAN WOODS

If you are looking for an escape from the city, Farran Wood is exactly what you are looking for. It is located just off Inniscarra Lake and is surrounded by views of the lake, forest and countryside. You can enjoy a walk throughout the forest and pick from lots of different paths, some which offer a relaxed walk while others offer a more challenging walk.
BALLYCOTTON CLIFF WALK

Ballycotton is around 45 minutes from Cork City. A fishing village in East Cork overlooking Ballycotton Bay. The Ballycotton cliff walk is known for its spectacular scenery and wildlife.  The coastal cliff walk is one of the most beautiful walks in Ireland. It consists of 5 miles of cliff to the beach in Ballytrasna. Breathe in the fresh sea air and enjoy this natural beauty.
BALLINCOLLIG REGIONAL PARK

The Ballincollig regional park is located on the South bank of the River Lee. People are drawn to the parks natural landscape and peaceful walks. There are lots of walking trails to explore, all twisting and turning back and forth from the water, so you can make your walk as long or as short as you like. Each walk allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the park.
YOUGHAL BOARDWALK

The boardwalk in Youghal offers a beautiful walk into Youghal town. The Eco-Boardwalk is a 400 metre hardwood panelled beach walkway, stretching from Front Strand Beach to Claycastle Beach. A lovely way to get some sea air with a beautiful walk and spectacular views.
GLENBOWER WOODS

If you are looking for a woodland walk in East Cork, Glenbower Wood won’t disappoint. It is located in the friendly town of Killeagh as you take the turn off by the Old Thatch pub in the village. You can walk through the forest trail and enjoy the surroundings in this picturesque gem. As you enter the park, you can take one of the beautiful trails on offer. Go for a walk in this peaceful destination, enjoy the fresh autumn air and admire the vibrant leaves changing colour. The perfect walk this Autumn.
CROSSHAVEN GRASSY AND CLIFF WALK
The Grassy and Cliff Walk in Crosshaven is always a great walk with spectacular views of the harbour from start to finish. The walk takes you along the Point Road until you reach the grassy walk at the end of the road. You can climb up the path to the most sensational viewing area. You have breathtaking views of Spike Island, Haulbowline and Cobh. You can continue the walk or return to the village along Camden road. If you continue the walk you will be brought along the cliff on a well-worn path which will bring you down to Graball Bay.
CROSSHAVEN RAILWAY WALK

A very popular walk is from Kilnagleary, near Carrigaline, which brings you right into Crosshaven. This walk runs along the old Cork to Crosshaven railway line which was in use from 1904 to 1932. As you walk along the path, you have the Owenabue River by your side all the way to Crosshaven. A walk with a beautiful view.
KNOCKADOON CLIFF WALK

Another fabulous cliff walk is the Knockadoon Head Looped Walk. This walk is a mixture of cliff, track and road walks. Nothing beats a walk with the fresh sea air.
CURRAGHBINNY WOODS

Another fabulous wood to explore in the winter months is Curraghbinny Wood which is located on a prominent hill overlooking Cork Harbour. It is a compact wood, covering just 35 hectares but its beauty punches way about its size. It has an old world feel largely due to the amount of carriage paths running through the wood and its location close to the stunning architecture of the Terrace and the Villas at Curraghbinny Pier.
MARLOGUE WOOD

Marlogue wood is located on the south east of Great Island and bounds the Ballynacorra River and Cork harbour. It is a hidden gem with an old world feel that has much to offer including a variety of mature trees and tracks suitable for walking.
EXPLORE BY BIKE

The Ring of Cork is full of places to explore by bike. Some of our favourite places to cycle is the Ballincollig Regional Park, Rostellan Peoples Path, the Crosshaven Railway Walk or the Cork city to Passage West trail.  There is plenty to choose from along the Ring of Cork.

We hope everybody is staying safe at this time. Please following the guidelines of the HSE and WHO. Wash your hands and keep social distancing. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mothers. 

More Ring of Cork St Patrick’s Day 2020 Parades Cancelled due to Covid-19

More St Patrick’s Day 2020 Parades have been cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland. The parades in Carrigtwohill, Cobh and Whitegate join the already cancelled Midleton and Youghal Parades. You can find more details about each parade below. It is hoped that some of these parades can be rescheduled to later this year.

Carrigtwohill

In light of recent developments regarding Covid-19 (Corona Virus), we The Parade Committee, have decided to take the difficult decision to POSTPONE this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Health & Safety of the most vulnerable in our Community must come first !

However, all is not lost, we have, to-date, received such fantastic support and generated such great Community Spirit – we are hoping to reschedule the Parade for a later date.

Any entry fees already paid can be collected from the office or if you prefer, we can arrange to post out to you!

Finally, thank you to the entire Carrigtwohill Community – Clubs, Groups, and Businesses that have given us their support year-on-year.

Cobh

Cobh St Patrick’s Day Committee would like to thank each & every person, group and business who have supported our efforts over the past several months in getting our town and island back celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
As a committee we have been blown away by the Kindness, Support and Generosity our community have shown us.
We created this committee to get our Community and Children back celebrating our national Day and boy, did we succeed.

We have worked tirelessly throughout the past year to make this happen.

We raised €24,975.27 before overheads in the past several months while creating a massive awareness campaign to put St Patrick’s Day back on the map for the children and people of Cobh & Great Island.

We had a family festival with some free goodies planned in the promenade with awards throughout the day, live entertainment from local performers and we planned to finish our day off with a bang by having a firework display in front of the promenade with the help of DSG.

We teamed up with Cobh Zero Waste to create a green zone within our festival to teach kids and family’s in a fun way how to dispose of their waste correctly. County Clean kindly agreed to sponsor supply of the Bins and removal of waste.

Janssen Sciences Ireland, Cobh Museum, St Colemans Cathedral, The Irish Naval Base and Belvelly Castle all agreed to light up their wind turbines and buildings green around the harbour and island.

Cobh Credit Union gave our committee great support by becoming our Main Sponsor to enable us invest into this year’s parade. The support that they have shown us is incredible.

Cobh Municipal District office headed by Paraig Lynch with the support of all our Councillors have given us great support with investment from a Municipal Grant and funds from the monies collected through Parking Meters throughout the town.

Also to mention Sorensen Civil Engineering have been wonderful to deal with while sponsoring this year’s safety barriers.

Our parade was gearing up to be a wonderful display of various groups, society’s, sports clubs, schools, businesses and much much more.

Garry & Anne Wilson who have brought back Belvelly Castle to its glory giving our Island a major boost was the Parade’s Honorary Guest’s for 2020.

We started our efforts by climbing the highest mountain in Ireland and now with deep sadness we have to POSTPONE our celebrations for this years St Patrick’s Day. The health and well-being of our community is paramount and supersedes any event regardless of work and plans gone into making the event super special for Cobh and Great Island.

Thank you all kindly for your support and understanding with the situation we find ourselves in with the extremely Contagious COVID-19z.

We will post updates on our Social Media accounts once we know and decide when it is safe to launch the event.

Whitegate

The Whitegate Residents Association are saddened to have to announce that following numerous discussions over the last 48 hours we have this morning made the decision to cancel the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Whitegate Village. While we had hoped that everything would be ok for the event to proceed the simple fact is that the COVID -19 Virus is spreading and while all efforts are being made to contain it, it is our view that as the parade organisers we must make sure that all decisions in relation to the parade put safety first. It is clear to us that large gatherings could increase the potential risk for the virus to spread and therefore it is incumbent on us to make this decision.

We would like to thank all the groups, businesses and companies who had registered to attend this year’s parade which was gearing up to be one of the biggest yet. While we understand many people may be disappointed with the decision, we are sure that you will all understand the importance at the current time to put safety first above all else.

The organising team had put a huge amount of work into the planning for the parade and while we are disappointed to have to cancel, we can assure you that work will being on delivering a superb parade in 2021 from here on.
Finally, we would like to thank all of the Doctors, Nurses, Health Care workers and medical experts throughout the country who are doing to much to try to contain this virus and we hope that everyone stays safe over the coming weeks.

Midleton cancels 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Midleton Patrick’s Day Parade organisers have made the decision to cancel this years parade. In a statement they said:

As concerns grow amid the Covid-19 virus spread we find ourselves in the position of having to make a hugely tough decision to POSTPONE our festivities and parade. Our ethos and focus over the last 3 years has been on safety. With this in mind we feel the best compromise to ensure the health and safety of our whole community would be to postpone our parade.

We as a committee have put countless hours of our free time into volunteering to organise this each year so our decision to postpone does not come easily but we stand over our ethos of safety first and hope to hold your support going forward.

We have not made this decision lightly and we all share in the disappointment of this decision.
The parade in Midleton on St. Patrick’s Day has always been such a well-supported event throughout the entire community and has grown year on year. Young and old alike line our town to watch/partake in the parade. Their health and the health of our community as whole is our primary concern.

Thank you to the public, clubs, groups, societies and businesses especially those affected by this decision for your continued support of the parade. We hope to have you all out in force to celebrate everything Irish in the near future.

If anyone needs to contact us you can do so through social media or by e-mailing midletonstpatrickparade@gmail.com

Youghal Cancels 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to Covid-19 concerns

Orginisers of the 2020 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Youghal have made the decision to cancel this year’s parade due to Covid-19 concerns.

In a statement released by Youghal 4 All, they said: “It is with deep regret that Youghal 4 All has found themselves in the position of having to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to our concerns about COVID-19.

The festivities in Youghal on St. Patrick’s Day have always been well supported and it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the rich and varied culture of the town.

Young and old alike throng the streets to watch the parade. Their health and the health of our community is our primary concern.

We would like to apologise to the public, clubs, groups, societies and businesses affected by this decision but feel that we must act in the best interests of public health and safety.”

Castlemartyr Resort named Munster Hotel Venue of the Year

The luxurious 5-Star Castlemartyr Spa & Golf Resort has been named weddingsonline’s Munster Hotel Venue of the Year. The East Cork Resort won the prestigious wedding industry award at a black-tie gala ceremony in the Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim, Co Meath on 17 February.

This was the second win for Castlemartyr Resort at the weddingsonline Awards in the past two years, which recognise the professionalism, dedication and exceptional service of wedding venues and suppliers. The Resort previously won Hotel Venue of the Year, Munster and Overall Venue of the Year in 2018.

Speaking on being named Munster’s Hotel Venue of the Year 2020, Castlemartyr Resort General Manager, Brendan Comerford said: “Our promise at Castlemartyr Resort is to ensure every couple a flawless and magical experience on their special day. It is not only our 17th century manor house and the 800-year-old castle that makes Castlemartyr so special for weddings, but also the meticulous attention-to-detail that our experienced team of award-winning wedding planners provide. Without their tireless efforts, along with the work of all the team at Castlemartyr, this award certainly would not have been possible.”

Castlemartyr Resort has been restored to offer 103 guest rooms and suites, along with 47 luxury self-catering lodges. The Resort also includes a multi award-winning Spa with 10 treatment rooms; a fitness studio and pool overlooking the gardens; and a Ron Kirby designed inland links golf course. The hotel offers four award-winning dining options — Bell Tower Restaurant serving modern Irish cuisine with a twist; Franchini’s, an Italian casual dining restaurant; Knights Bar, situated in a restored chapel; and the informal Clubhouse offering a lighter dining option.

Other finalists shortlisted in the Hotel Venue of the Year Munster category included Armada Hotel, Bunratty Castle Hotel, Castle Oaks House Hotel, Castletroy Park Hotel, Clayton Hotel Silver Springs, Faithlegg Hotel, Fernhill House, Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa, Fota Island Resort, Garryvoe Hotel, Killarney Oaks Hotel, Royal Valentia, The Brehon & Angsana Spa – Killarney and The Park Hotel Dungarvan.

Speaking on the calibre of those shortlisted, Brendan added: “The venues nominated for top Munster Hotel Venue of the Year are all outstanding businesses. Congratulations to all those shortlisted and thank you to the weddingsonline judges for acknowledging the work we are doing in Castlemartyr Resort.”

Castlemartyr Resort was also shortlisted for the Castle Venue of the Year award at the 2020 weddingsonline Awards.

15 Unique Ideas for the Perfect Valentine’s Date along the Ring of Cork

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so we decided it would be a good idea to put together some inspiration for the perfect Valentine’s Date this weekend along the Ring of Cork. Whether you are looking for a romantic meal, a picturesque walk or even outdoor activities, there is something to tickle your tastes buds in this list. From delicious cuisine, adventure sports, romantic walks, historical experiences and much more. You are guaranteed to have an exceptional experience and a Valentine’s date to remember.
1. CRONIN’S PUB & MAD FISH RESTAURANT

If you are looking for a delicious restaurant by the seaside this Valentine’s Day, this gem is for you. Cronin’s Pub is located in the heart of the seaside town of Crosshaven. Denis got his love of cooking from his Mom and opened the ‘Mad Fish Restaurant’ which has picked up lots of well-deserved food awards. All the produce is sourced locally, freshly prepared each day and absolutely delicious. We would highly recommend the mussels!
2. THE GRANARY FOODSTORE

If you are planning to spend Valentine’s day at home, the Granary Foodstore will help you to plan a romantic meal for two in the setting of your home. There is no need to cook, you can pick up a lovely home cooked meal, tasty dessert and even some wine for the perfect dinner date at home. Enjoy this delicious food in the comfort of your own home.
3. BEACH WALKS

Nothing beats a romantic walk on the beach for Valentine’s Day. You are spoilt for choice along the Ring of Cork with the breath-taking coastline. Some of the most spectacular spots for walks are Redbarn and Claycastle in Youghal, Rocky Bay near Crosshaven and the secluded White Bay beach near Whitegate. Other local favourites include Youghal Front Strand, Myrtleville Beach near Crosshaven and the very popular Fountainstown which has a direct bus service from the city. And that’s not all, you also have Inch Beach near Aghada, Garryvoe Beach, Ardnahinch beach, Ballynamona in Shanagarry, Ballycroneen Beach near Cloyne and the quieter Ballywilling Beach near Garryvoe. After your Valentine’s walk on the beach, why not pop for a sweet treat and a coffee together. One of our favourite spots is the Kilkenny Café at Shanagarry design center in East Cork. Enjoy their home baking and barista coffee after a romantic walk together.
4. FINÍN’S RESTAURANT, MIDLETON

If you are looking to impress this Valentine’s Day, this restaurant in Midleton has continued to impress their visitors for the past 40 years. Enjoy their delicious dishes made with the freshest local produce. A delicious date for two.
5. FERRIT & LEE

‘Ferrit & Lee’ is another gem of a restaurant in Midleton for the perfect Valentine’s dinner date. A modern restaurant with impressive modern cuisine. On Valentine’s day, enjoy the Thai Fish Cakes, Braised Lamb Shoulder, Tempura Fillets of Haddock and much more. A delicious dinner date for two.
6. CAPEL ISLAND RESTAURANT

If you are looking for a Valentine’s dinner date in Youghal, why not enjoy ‘Capel Island Restaurant’. Tickle your taste buds with local and international themed dishes from around the world. The perfect place to try something a little different and unique for Valentine’s Day.
7. YOUGHAL CLOCK GATE TOWER

If you are looking to do something a little different this Valentine’s Day, why not go on a date to learn about the Youghal Clock Gate Tower. A fabulous experience as you explore its history and stories throughout the last 700 the years. Explore the clock’s stories of pain, tragedy and rebellion, but also stories of love, friendship and generosity. As you move up the tower, you will find that each floor tells a story about a different era in time.
8. SURF AND TURF

Another foodie gem in Midleton is ‘Surf and Turf’. Enjoy the slow roast short ribs of beef bourguignon, seafood chowder or go all out and tickle your taste buds with the Surf & Turf which includes Medallions of fillet 6oz, garlic crab claws and prawns. A feast to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
9. THE WOODLAND EXPERIENCE

How about a romantic walk in the woods this Valentine’s Day? Enjoy nature together and breathe in the fresh air. Some of our favourite woods include Ballyannan Woods in Midleton, Castlemartyr Woods, Currabinny Woods near Carrigaline, Glenbower Woods in Killeagh, Marlogue Woods in Cobh and Rostellan Woods, Aghada and of course Farran Woods near Ovens. You could always pop into Bite Size in Ballincollig or Midleton afterwards for a sweet treat. Nothing beats a heavenly coffee and treat to bring a smile to your face after a nice walk.
10. AHERNES TOWNHOUSE & RESTAURANT

We have lots of delicious food gems along the Ring of Cork for Valentine’s Day and Aherne’s Townhouse and Restaurant makes for the perfect date night. It was even voted as ‘Ireland’s most Romantic Restaurant’ by the Bridgestone Guide so you can’t go wrong if you are looking to impress. Tickle your taste buds with the finest fish, freshly caught seafood, locally reared beef and lamb and much more. A dining experience to remember with a twist of romance.
11. BALLYMALOE

Ballymaloe has a very impressive name and is a gem that will impress your date this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy their delicious dishes prepared by their award-winning chefs. A cuisine experience and a Valentine’s experiences to remember forever.
12. THE JAMESON EXPERIENCE

How about a tour of the Jameson Distillery in Midleton this Valentine’s weekend? Enjoy the Jameson Experience Tour of the original Midleton Distillery. The tour lasts about 75 minutes. You will hear all the stories from the history of the famous whiskey. You also get to tickle your taste buds by tasting three famous whiskeys, one being Jameson.
13. FOTA WILDLIFE PARK EXPERIENCE

Why not go on a day date to Fota Wildlife Park. A memorable Valentine’s Day. Come face to face with free roaming animals and birds from all parts of the world. Fota Wildlife Park also offer a Behind the Scenes Tour that gives you a chance to peek at some behind the scenes activity and you even get to feed some animals. A unique Valentine’s experience.
14. BALLYCOTTON CLIFF WALK

The Ring of Cork is full of beautiful cliff walks. It makes for a perfect day date this Valentine’s Day. The Ballycotton cliff walk is one of the most beautiful walks in Ireland. It consists of 5 miles of cliff to the beach in Ballytrasna. Another fabulous cliff walk is the Knockadoon Head Looped Walk. This walk is a mixture of cliff, track and road walks. A lovely way to spend a day with your loved one.
15. THE PEPPERSTACK

The Pepperstack was voted “Munsters Favourite Place to Eat” at the 2016 Keeling’s Gold Medal Awards and makes for an impressive Valentine’s Date. Their ambition is to create one of the most innovative and honest food establishments Cork has ever seen. A gem that impresses time and time again.