Unnerving & Abiding Maritime Mystery – The Youghal Connection

As we approach our Spooky Wookey season when it’s all “Ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggie beasties”, I feel it timely to remind you of the Youghal link to a particularly Spooky Wookey occurrence at sea, back in the late 1800s. I write, of course, of the great unresolved maritime mystery – the “Mary Celeste”.
The story begins on Nov 7th 1872 when the sailing vessel “Mary Celeste” set out from New York, bound for Genoa, in Italy. On board were the Captain, Benjamin Briggs, his wife, his 2-year old daughter, together with his experienced 7-man crew and a cargo of 1700 barrels of industrial alcohol. All fair sailing and ship ahoy etc. etc.…..nothing unusual about that! However, just 28 days later “Mary Celeste” was spotted, adrift and abandoned, sails slightly damaged, but its cargo intact, by a Sea Captain Moorhouse, on board his ship “Dei Gratia”. This was strange, very strange….ship not manned, her food and water reserves in order, though her lifeboat was missing. There was even a meal prepared and there were glowing embers in the stove. Curiouser and curiouser!
Where was the Briggs family? Where was the crew? …What happened? NOBODY KNOWS!
There has been and still is huge speculation and many theories as to what happened, including piracy, angry sea gods, mutiny, severe waterspout, even alien abduction, as to what occurred on the Mary Celeste – all discounted.
Captain Moorhouse and his crew took “Mary Celeste” to Gibraltar and were eventually, though subject to suspicion by the Gibraltar Attorney General, awarded salvage and commended for their resourcefulness and courage.
So what happened to the “Mary Celeste” after that? Well now, she did not have a happy ending – She was sold by Captain Moorhouse & Co at a considerable loss. She subsequently lost lots of money sailing the West Indian shipping routes and tragically, 3 of her captains died in service. She was not instilling much confidence within her industry. She succumbed to the deep when she was deliberately steered into a reef off the coast of Haiti and wrecked, by Gilman C. Parker, a less than honest captain. He was attempting an insurance scam (yes, insurance fraud even back in 1884). He was charged with fraud, found guilty, imprisoned and died shortly afterwards.
Now we come to the “Dei Gratia” and the Youghal connection. Eventually, I hear you say!
Well, here it is. The “Dei Gratia”, she that discovered “The Ghost Ship”, was sold in 1881 to the successful Youghal shipping merchant, Martin Fleming. She continued to operate in and out of the busy Youghal harbour until 1907. “Dei Gratia” too had her own share of troubles though– she sank twice, was re-floated twice, thus gaining an “unlucky” tag in her industry. She ended her days as a coal hulk at Cobh. Today, the story is that she lies buried under one of the piers at Haulbowline Island, Co. Cork.
The Youghal shipping merchant, Martin Fleming, continued in his successful shipping business and went on to purchase the beautiful “The Kathleen and May” in 1908 to replace the Dei Gratia and to join her sister ship the first “Nellie Fleming” – Ships that are much loved by the Youghal and East Cork population.
On the 23rd morning she came on a craft
That was drifting like fog from the west
The crew were amazed that the ship was afloat
With no man on the Mary Celeste”
This article originally appeared on Youghal.ie
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Our Top Halloween Experiences

Mid Term break is just around the corner and the Ring of Cork is full of exciting things to do this Spooktacular Halloween break. Whether you’re looking for some scary activities to try with friends or searching for some fun Halloween fun with the kids, there is plenty on offer along the Ring of Cork. In this blog post, we are going to share with you some of our favourite spooky activities to try this Halloween break. You are guaranteed to gather some spooky tips and tricks.
BOO AT BALLYMALOE

At Ballymaloe’s BOO, you can follow the theatrical trail full of spooky characters and magic spells. This spooky activity is an interactive experience which will allow you to meet some exciting characters throughout the trail full of spells. It is suitable for both younger and older kids. BOO takes place in Ballymaloe from the 25th to the 31st of October between 10am to 5pm. The earlier shows between 10am to 1pm are aimed at the young kids and after 2pm, the lights go down and the scare levels rise for the full experience. The full Halloween experience will tell a story as you move through the interactive experience, meet characters, solve puzzles and much more. Book your tickets here.
 
ESCAPADE COBH
 

If you are looking for a unique activity to get the fear and adrenaline pumping this spooky holiday, be sure to try the Escapade Cobh. These escape rooms are a great activity for a group of friends to work together to solve a puzzle and escape the room before the time is up. There are lots of different rooms you can try, from “Escape from Spike Island”, “Late Night Bank Heist” or you can even help “Sherlock Holmes” to solve his final case. It is the perfect activity to try this Halloween with friends. For more details check out their website here. 
 
SPOOKY TOWN AT FOTA ISLAND RESORT  

If you are looking for a fun family day out, the Spooky Town at Fota Island Resort is exactly what you are looking for this midterm break. Located in the spooky woodlands at Fota Island Resort, you wander through the spooky town to find all creatures along the way. Get into the scary Halloween spirit as you make your way through the forest full of graveyards, witches, pumpkins, ghosts and much more. Spooky Town is open from Friday the 25th of October to Friday the 1st of November and is ready to give you a spooktacular experience.  Book your tickets here. (Link the ‘here’ with https://www.spookytown.ie/)
 
BOO!! EXPERIENCE AT LEAHY’S OPEN FARM 

If you are looking to take the kids out for some Halloween fun this midterm break, why not check out Leahy’s Open Farm as it hosts BOO. Experience the haunted hay rides, explore the witches forest, hear the scary stories and have lots of fun with Halloween games. Be careful the witch doesn’t put a magic spell on you! If you want to add even more excitement to the day, you can book for chocolate lollipop making or pumpkin carving fun. This event is taking place on Saturday the 19th of October, Sunday the 20th of October and from the 26th of October until the 1st of November between the time of 11am – 4pm.  Book your tickets here.  
THE CREEPY CRAWL AT FOTA HOUSE  

Nothing beats getting out in the fresh air during the midterm break and we have the perfect place to do this. Be sure to go and check out the self-guided Halloween Ramble around Fota Arboretum and Victorian Working Garden. Why not pop on your Halloween costume and explore this daytime adventure. Follow the trail to the end and pick up a little treat back at the house. This spooky trail runs from Saturday the 26th to Monday the 28th of October and also on Halloween, Thursday the 31st of October. For all the information, you can check it out here. 
SPIKE ISLAND AFTER DARK 

If you are really looking for a scare, this experience is for you. Spike Island After Dark wont fail to get your heart racing and put chills down your spine. Walk the abandoned prison at dark, sit in a solitary cell and experience this prison island and all its secrets at night. Learn about the frightening history which isn’t for the weak hearted. Are you brave enough to experience the haunted island after dark this Halloween? Be sure to book your tickets if you dare here. 
HALLOWEEN AT FOTA WILDLIFE PARK 

Fota Wildlife Park is always fun but it is even more fun when there are lots of Halloween events taking place. Go and explore the park with all it’s wonderful animals and enjoy the extra Halloween treats around the park. From the 28th of October to the 3rd of November, the park will be full of extra events from spooky arts & crafts, fearsome face painting and animals of Halloween exhibitions. You can check out all the details of the events here. 
FORTRESS SPIKE 

If Spike Island After Dark is a little too scary for you, a day time tour might be more a little easier on the heart! In the last 1300 years Spike Island, has been host to a 6th century Monastery, a 24 acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of island homes. The island’s rich history has included monks and monasteries, rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints. Today the island is dominated by the 200 year old Fort Mitchel which became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners. Take a tour and learn about the history of Spike Island. For more information check out their website here. 
HALLOWEEN AT RUMLEY’S OPEN FARM

Another great family day out this Halloween is at Rumley’s Open Farm. A Halloween theme will take over the farm from the 26th of October to the 4th of November. Explore the farm and discover the witches, pumpkins, tractor rides, face painting and enjoy lots of spooky treats. On Monday the 29th of October, you can enjoy a disco between 2:30pm – 5:30pm with a live DJ. The disco will include games, sweets, spot prizes, fancy dress competition, face painting and much more. For more information check out their website here.
HALLOWEEN AT TRABOLGAN

Trabolgan is always full of fun and excitement and this Halloween they have added lots of additional Halloween activities to their schedule. In addition to their normal activities such as swimming, crazy golf, go karting, zip lining and much more, you can enjoy lots of additional fun over the Halloween break. Some of the Halloween schedule includes spooky Halloween trails, spooky mansions Halloween show, catch the witch games, fancy dress, Biddidy Bobbidy Boo at the plaza, pop goes the pumpkin, poison apple making, superhero spooktacular, family pumpkin parties and much more. Book in for a few nights at Trabolgan or even visit with a day pass. For all the information, check out their website here.
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Spectacular Autumn Walks Along The Ring of Cork

Exploring the Ring of Cork’s beauty throughout the Autumn season is one of the most magical experiences. The best way to explore is to get out in nature, breathe in the fresh air and listen to the crunch of the leaves under your feet. You are guaranteed to get mesmerised in the spectacular Autumnal colours and breathtaking scenery.
In this blog post, we are going to list some of our favourite walks along The Ring of Cork this Autumn season. We will also share some fun experiences and tasty gems you can try after your refreshing walk. Nothing beats the fresh Autumn air as you enjoy the spectacular scenery on offer along the Ring of Cork.
THE BALLYCOTTON CLIFF WALK

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. Walk along the worn footpath and take in the unbelievable views. This coastal cliff walk is known for its spectacular scenery, wildlife and natural beauty. If you are looking for a fun activity  afterwards, be sure to head out on the water with Ballycotton Sea Adventures for a guided tour around Ballycotton Island, Ballycotton lighthouse and the picturesque coastline. And if you have built up an appetite with the sea air, there is something to tickle everybody’s taste buds at Pier 26. Their menu offers a wide choice from their famous Seafood Chowder and Confit free range duck leg to slow roast pork belly and Ballycotton hake.
BALLINCOLLIG REGIONAL PARK

The Ballincollig regional park is a popular gem along the Ring of Cork, located on the South bank of the River Lee. One of the key features of this park is you feel like you are in the countryside without having to travel far outside the city. People are drawn to its natural landscape and peaceful walks. Many trails take you through the forest where you have fresh flowers along the pathway and you can enjoy the peace and tranquility. There are lots of paths to choose from, 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. After your walk, you can grab a coffee and a homemade treat at Café Chico which is based in the historic Regional Park and relax overlooking the water.
CROSSHAVEN RAILWAY WALK

Crosshaven is one of the most picturesque spots along the Ring of Cork for an Autumn 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. You can take in the beautiful surroundings, observe the wildlife and breathe in the fresh sea air. When you get to Crosshaven, you can grab a bite to eat in Cronin’s Pub. This gem is known for its fresh seafood, divine mussels and delicious dishes.
YOUGHAL BOARDWALK

The boardwalk in Youghal offers a beautiful walk into the town. The Eco-Boardwalk is a 400 metre hardwood panelled beach walkway, stretching from Front Strand Beach to Claycastle Beach. It is an ideal for buggies, wheelchair users and small bikes. You can build up an appetite on your walk and enjoy a bite to eat in Youghal town in Ahernes Townhouse and Seafood restaurant. Taste the finest fish, freshly caught seafood, locally reared beef and lamb and much more.
BEACH WALKS

The Ring of Cork is known for its breathtaking coastline so it has an abundance of beach walks to enjoy the fresh sea air. 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. You are spoilt for choice with beautiful, picturesque beaches to walk along this Autumn.
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. One of our favourite walks is the lake walk as the views are breathtaking. If you are looking for a bit of an adrenaline pumping experience while in Farran Wood, you can check out ZIPIT Forest Adventure and explore the forest on the treetops or by zipping through the trees.
CROSSHAVEN GRASSY AND CLIFF WALK

A walk which is very popular with the locals is the Grassy and Cliff Walk in Crosshaven. It is a walk that will take your breath away as it offers 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. After your walk, you can go experience Camden Fort Meagher which is a coastal defence fortification located in Crosshaven. 65% of the fort is located underground in a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers. The fort was built to defend the mouth of Cork Harbour in the 16th century.
GLENBOWER WOOD

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.
GLANMIRE HERITAGE WALKS

Heritage walks are always a great way to explore and learn something new about an area. Glanmire Heritage society have put together three walks to promote heritage and culture in Glanmire. You can enjoy the Sallybrook Walk, the Glashaboy Walk and the Rathconney Walk and download the walk guides here. A great way to learn about the history, culture and people. After your walk, you could grab a bite to eat in the Elm in Glounthaune. Enjoy their Bluebell Falls Goats Cheese Salad at lunch time, their slow cooked lamb shank or madras chicken curry on the a la carte menu or pop in on a Sunday for their famous carvery Sunday lunch. The perfect way to end the day after your Autumn walk.
FOTA HOUSE, ARBORETUM & GARDENS

Fota House is surrounded by the most spectacular gardens which are perfect for a fresh Autumn walk. If you are looking for a tranquil walk, we would highly recommend Fota’s internationally recognised arboretum and gardens. The gardens are open all year and offer a walk full of tranquility and serenity. The palm walk, orangery and atmospheric Victorian fernery are not to be missed during your visit. You can tickle your taste buds after the walk in Fota Island Resort with their popular Thai style cuisine at Spike bar.
WOODLAND WALKS

Nothing beats a walk in the woods in the Autumn. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy nature and listen to the sound of the crunchy Autumn leaves under your feet. The Ring of Cork has lots to choose from when it comes to picking a wood to enjoy nature. Some of our favourites 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.
HAPPY FEET WALKING TOURS

It is always a good idea to do a walking tour to learn more about an area. You may think you know an area very well but you will always discover new things on a walking tour. Learn things about the place you mightn’t have ever known before. You can discover the history of Youghal on this Happy Feet Walking tour. Join their walking tour and go on a journey through time to hear stories of witchcraft, piracy, famine and espionage. After all that walking you might be looking for a bite to eat and we would recommend the ‘Red Store Restaurant’. The original Grain Store dates back to the 1900’s and is now known as a great spot for food in the busy seaside town.
KNOCKADOON CLIFF WALK

The Knockadoon looped walk is a beautiful walk which gives you a mixture of cliff, track and road throughout. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, breathe in the fresh sea air and observe the wildlife surrounding you. The walk begins on the cliff edge which spectacular scenery along the path. It then turns inland to return to Knockadoon Pier by road. After your walk, you could take a trip to the Kilkenny Café in the Shanagarry Design Centre to enjoy some afternoon delight with their home baking and barista coffee.
RING OF CORK HERITAGE TRAIL

If you are looking for a few walks to try this Autumn, you can download the new Ring of Cork Heritage Trail. It allows you to explore the heritage and learn about the stories along the Ring of Cork. It has over 35 places to visit so you will be spoilt for choice. You can pick up a A3 map from your local tourist office our download it here.
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Fáilte Ireland’s Local Experts programme comes to Cork

The KNOW CORK Local Experts Programme comes to Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday 24th September
Fáilte Ireland’s Local Experts Programme comes to Cork for the first time this month. The programme has been developed to support anybody involved in the tourism sector and the local community who is in regular contact with visitors.
Local Experts equips local people with information and expertise. This allows them to create positive experiences which will benefit and grow the local economy.
This programme consists of a 3-hour interactive and dynamic workshop on what to see and do in Cork.
Become a Local Expert by attending one of the workshops listed below:
Tuesday, 24th September: Páirc Uí Chaoimh, from 09.30 – 12.30 (registration from 09.00) & 15.30 – 18.30 (registration from 15.00)
The FREE programme features annual events; social media initiatives; a Visitor Attractions Pass and opportunities to network with other tourism professionals.
Explaining the programme, Linda Campbell, Visitor Engagement Manager with Fáilte Ireland said:
“The Local Experts programme has been a great success so far, with people from across the tourism industry and local community participating in the workshops, joining the network and sharing ideas and business. It’s great to see local businesses passing the baton and sharing business by recommending others in the area. We know how important local knowledge is in making the visitor experience memorable and positive and this programme helps to maximise that, working together with our growing network of Local Experts.”
Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority is calling on all visitor-facing employees, local volunteers and people in the Cork community that regularly interact with visitors. So, if you work in a tourism business such as a B&B, a hotel, self-catering accommodation, restaurant, pub, retail store, taxi company, or if you are active in your local community, this programme is for you.
This is a free event and places are on a first come first serve basis. To register for the Workshop please email: localexperts@failteireland.ie.
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Cronin’s Pub wins “Best Regional Pub” for outstanding food

Congratulation to Cronin’s Pub & Mad Fish Restaurant who won Best Regional Pub in the Food Category for the The Irish Pub Awards on September 9th 2019. They will join other regional winners, Wrights Anglers Rest, Russells Select Bar, The Hanged Mans, The Strand Cahore, Murph’s Bistro at Derragarra Inn and Paddy Coyne’s Pub, at the Irish Pub Awards national gala which takes place on November 20th at the RDS Concert Hall in Ballsbridge, Dublin, where the overall winner will be decided on the night. The overall winner and individual category winners will receive a customised plaque for their premises, as well as digital assets for online promotion.

Any member of VFI and LVA is eligible to enter the Irish Pub Awards. And this year saw a record number of entries according to the Irish Pub Awards website. If anyone wants to attend the Gala taking place on November 20th, they can purchase tickets online:
https://www.irishpubawards.ie/gala/
From all of us at the Ring of Cork we wish them the very best of luck on November 20th!
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Fota Wildlife Park first to get autism-friendly accreditation

Fota Wildlife Park in Co Cork has become the first major visitor attraction in the country to receive an autism-friendly accreditation from AsIAm, Ireland’s national autism charity.
The award comes following a period of training to assist autistic people and their families visiting the attraction and the development of an autism inclusion charter which makes short, medium and long-term commitments to autism accessibility.
Understanding communication, predicting what will happen next, managing the sensory environment, and other people’s attitudes can all pose challenges for autistic people.
Simple changes to how things work, such as clearer communication and providing quiet spaces, can make the experience easier and allow autistic people to fully participate.
AsIAm supports organisations in making these changes through its autism-friendly accreditation Scheme.
Roisin FitzGerald, marketing manager of Fota Wildlife Park, said they consider this a major step to further improve the experience of visitors living with ASD at Fota Wildlife Park.
AsIAm have provided training for our core public-facing staff and have performed an environmental evaluation and audited the 100-acre visitor attraction.
“AsIAm have provided extremely helpful, insightful and practical solutions and suggestions in improving the quality of the visit for our visitors in the autism community — such as creating a sensory map, providing complimentary earbuds, inclusion of a social story and soundbites on the website and training in recognising the needs of visitors who may experience sensory issues.”
Adam Harris, founder and chief executive of AsIAm, said their autism-friendly accreditation is an achievable but challenging designation to receive.
“It requires real changes to how things work in terms of the sensory environment, promotional materials and staff attitude.
“Fota Wildlife Parks journey towards accreditation shows a real and genuine effort to be universally inclusive.”
Original story on Irish Examiner – By Olivia Kelleher
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10 Events Not To Be Missed Along The Ring of Cork

The Ring of Cork is known for its breath-taking views, delicious cuisine,and unforgettable beaches but it is also bursting with fun festivals, creative workshops and exciting events. Head to a festival with friends, enjoy memorable family time at fun events and make memories to last a lifetime. In this article, we are going to fill you in on lots of fun events taking place along the Ring of Cork over the next month. Life is short so be sure to attend some of these exciting days planned around the Ring of Cork and enjoy every moment.

YOGA & SURF RETREAT

 
If you are looking for some rest and relaxation, this is for you. We all get caught up in everyday life and the stress and worry that can go alongside it. This retreat is all about leaving those worries at home and switching off from the day to day stress you might have. Immerse yourself in the countryside, relax in nature and breathe the fresh air. The focus of this retreat is all about bringing yourself back to nature and giving yourself some care. We all live in a fast-paced environment and we need to give ourselves time to relax. This is the perfect retreat for anybody who is looking for some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This retreat lasts for two and a half days and costs €250. It takes place in Inch Hideaway from the 24th – 26th of August. (15 minutes from Midleton)
 
 

BALLYMALOE COOKERY SCHOOL KIDS FARM WALK

 
If you are looking for something a little unique to try with the kids this summer, this is the perfect family event. Get out in the fresh air and bring the kids on the Kids Farm Walk at Ballymaloe Cookery School. It’s days like these they will remember forever. These fun walks take place every Saturday from 2pm at the Ballymaloe Cookery School for the month of August. Tickets are just €5 from the Ballymaloe Cookery School Shop. It is the perfect event to do as a family and you will create memories to last a lifetime.
 
 

SPIKE ISLAND CINEMA CLUB

 
Have you ever wanted to watch a prison themed film in a prison? Well, now you can. Spike Island Cinema club has three fantastic prison themed classics waiting for you. You start the experience with an evening sailing across Cork Harbour which is followed by a prison themed tour. Enter the cells and hear the stories of prison on Spike Island and learn all about the escapes from long ago. Afterwards, you then get to watch one of the prison themed screenings. An evening of fear, thrills and amazement. The three films include; Saturday 31st August ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, Saturday 7th September ‘The General’ and Saturday 21st September ‘Con Air’. If you are looking for something different to try, this will have you on the edge of your seat all night long. It is important to note that you have to book in advance and the boats depart at 6.30pm and return to Cobh for approximately 10.30pm.
 
 

EVENTS AT THE GRAINSTORE

The Ballymaloe Grainstore is known for its memorable events with an abundance of impressive performances. There are lots of great acts coming up which are worth adding to your diary:

The first is the international concert pianist and Steinway artist Sachiko Furuhata-Kersting who will perform a programme of music by Chopin on Friday the 23rd of August.

 

Brian Kennedy is taking to the stage with his spectacular voice and engaging personality. Brian’s impressive concert will take place on Sunday the 15th of September.

 

The wildlife filmmaker and BBC presenter Colin Stafford-Johnson is going to share his stories of tracking down some of Ireland’s most elusive creatures along the western coast. This event is called ‘My Wild Atlantic Journey’ and will take place on Thursday the 19th of September.

 
 

FEAST 2019

 
Feast is the Famous East Cork Food & Drink Festival and is one of the most popular food festivals in Ireland. It takes place from the 1st to the 8th of September in Midleton. It combines the areas rich food heritage with the wider Cork region and is all about gathering up and bringing together of the best of what the area has to offer. A fresh blend of conversations, dinners, produce, markets, foraging, mixology, producers, landscape, heritage and storytelling.
 
There are so many events to choose from; the Producer’s Picnic at Castlemartyr Resort, Indian Food & Film at The Ballymaloe Grainstore with Arun Kapil of Green Saffron, meeting the Producers of Joe’s Farm Crisps with a behind the scenes tour of their crops and crisp production HQ, the Garden to Table Experience at Ballymaloe and much more. You also have the finale of this year’s festival, with a special Cully & Sully family zone with campfire cooking, planting workshops, seed-balling, bee education, music and much more! This festival is packed with fun events so be sure to check out their website for more.
 
 

BALLINCOLLIG HERITAGE WEEK

 
Ballincollig Heritage week is taking place from the 21st of August – 25th of August and is bursting with fun things to do. From teddy bears picnics and walks to tracing family history talks and a bit of music. Walks including the ‘Tree talk and walk’ and the ‘Gunpowdermill Walk’ at Ballincollig Regional Park. There is something for everybody throughout the week and you can find a full list events taking place during the week here.
 

YOGA AT FOTA WILDLIFE PARK

 
When you think of Fota Wildlife Park, you automatically think of a trip to the zoo. Now you can get active at Fota with ‘YogaRunYoga’ which is taking place on Sunday the 25th of August. The adult class is suitable for over 16s and takes place between 10:30am – 11:30am. The class will include 20 minutes of a Yoga warm up, followed by a 2-3km run through the beautiful Fota and the event will finish with a 20 minute Yoga cooldown. If you are looking for a class for all the family, you can try the family friendly yoga from 12:30 – 13:25 ‘Yoga@Fota’. A fun relaxing class for all ages. (Note under 18s must be accompanies by a guardian).
 

GUIDED TOUR OF PASSAGE WEST MARITIME MUSEUM

 
A guided tour of Passage West Maritime Museum will showcase the ship models, artefacts, photos, videos and give you information about two hundred years plus of shipbuilding. This tour is free and takes place on August 25th between 2pm – 5pm. The museum tells the story of Passage West, the Birthplace of Ireland’s Steamship Industry. The town of Passage has an impressive industrial heritage dating back over 300 years. Known as ‘the original port of Cork’ it was the birthplace of the first steamship built in Ireland, ‘The City of Cork’, which was constructed in 1815 on the site of where the Museum now stands. It was also the port from which “The Sirius”, the first ship to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam, left in 1838 under the command of local man Captain Richard Roberts. Be sure to learn all about it on the guided tour on August 25th.
 
 

LEAMLARA ART TRAIL

 
If you are looking for something a little different to get your creative juices flowing, we would recommend the Leamlara Art Trail. It is a contemporary art exhibition in rural East Cork. The goal is to showcase a mix of local and international artists whose work reflect the rural setting and community in which they are presented. It will take contemporary visual arts out of its urban comfort zone and reflect on the meanings of rural life today. The art trail is located around a scenic walk and the art will be located along a country road. The Art Trail starts at Tattan’s Ring’s View and takes place from 5th – 8th of September.
 

SAIL AND SEAFOOD EVENT WITH SMOOTH SONGS AND HIGH SEAS

 
This seafood and sail event is to celebrate the Cork Oyster and Seafood Festival and it is bringing together some of Cork Harbours favourite pubs and activity providers. It is taking place on September 21st. You will start in Crosshaven with a delicious Mad Fish Stew packed with fresh fish and shellfish at Cronin’s Pub. You will then walk to Hugh Coveney Pier and get to experience an oyster shucking demo before jumping aboard Ocean Escapes boat for a spin to the city. Enjoy the harbor cruise with a beer while taking the views of Camden Fort Meagher, Spike Island, Cobh and Blackrock castle before heading into the city itself. You will also be listening to a musical duo Velvet as you cruise the harbor. When you reach the city, you will head to Crawford & Co to tickle your taste buds with a seafood BBQ of monkfish, mussels and more. This event is €95pp and you can book at  www.oceanescapes.ie
 
For more events taking place over the next few months, check out our events listing on the site here.
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Launch of New Exhibition in East Cork

Leamlara Art Trail is a contemporary art exhibition set in rural East Cork, showing a mix of local and international artists whose works will reflect specifically on the rural setting and community in which they are presented. Its aim is to take contemporary visual arts out of its urban comfort zone, and reflect on the meanings of rural life today. The majority of artworks will be made specifically for this exhibition, and with perspectives from both local as well as international artists, these works share a thoughtful approach that allows the viewer to see these surroundings in new and interesting ways. Leamlara Art Trail will feature works by Harald den Breejen, Ciara Finnegan, Domhnall Na Gréine, Billy Kent, Tom Kok, Chloë Louise Lawrence, Sjoerd van Leeuwen, Lorraine Neeson, James Parkin and Siobhán Tattan.
The project is structured around a scenic ring walk, where artworks will be positioned along 6 km of quiet boreen road. The Art Trail will start at Tattan’s Ring’s View Bar, and circle back there.
Free guided tours will start at Tattan’s Ring View Bar every day at 2pm from 5-8 September. Book in advance by emailing info@leamlaraarttrail.ie. You can also follow the Art Trail by yourself, and enjoy the artworks and countryside at your own pace. To go on a self-guided walk, please first report to Tattan’s Ring View Bar, where a map and road safety instructions will be provided.
Leamlara Art Trail 5-8 September 2019
To find out more please visit www.leamlaraarttrail.ie

 
Funded by the East Cork Municipal District Creative Communities Scheme, Handles and Hinges of Midleton and Cork, and Sean Savage Crash Repair Centre, Midleton.
 
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Feast Cork Returns With Another Stellar Food Festival Line-Up This September

fEast Cork 2019, the East Cork Food & Drink Festival which takes place from 1st to 8th September in the market town of Midleton, have confirmed their biggest and best line-up to date – blending the area’s rich food heritage with the wider Cork region, and adding a number of very special guests into the mix. A festival that happens at harvest time – appropriately for a gathering up and bringing together of the best of what the area has to offer – fEast Cork is a fresh blend of conversations, dinners, produce, markets, foraging, mixology, producers, landscape, heritage and storytelling.
For families, the fEast Cork festival schedule is awash with a variety of indoor and outdoor events to keep all ages entertained. Enjoy Sunday lunch with a difference and dine alfresco while on the hunt for mischievous fairies at the Producer’s Picnic at Castlemartyr Resort or  take time out later in the week for an evening of Indian Food & Film at The Ballymaloe Grainstore with Arun Kapil of Green Saffron serving a feast of incredible Indian dishes. On Saturday 7th September go along to Meet the Producers of Joe’s Farm Crisps with a behind-the-scenes tour of their crops and award-winning crisp production HQ, with a chance to munch on some delicious combinations. There’s also lots of activities to enjoy on market day, the finale of this year’s festival, with a special Cully & Sully family zone with campfire cooking, planting workshops, seed-balling, bee education, music and much more!
 
For visitors and locals who love any occasion to dine out, fEast Cork definitely delivers, partnering with some of the finest chefs, restaurants and innovators in the region. The perfect coastal combination of Spanish wine and Irish seafood will be served to lucky guests at the Bayview Hotel, Ballycotton in partnership with Rias Baixas Wines. There’s also a Ballycotton fEast to savour with guest chef JP Walsh from Dublin’s One Pico, returning to his Ballycotton hometown for one night only to cook with the Pier26 kitchen team with dancing until late. Chef Kevin Aherne of SAGE is preparing an al fresco long table dinner called ‘Keeping Things Natural’, serving a four-course menu from East Cork’s larder alongside a selection of unique natural wines from La Caveau Waines.
 
For those who can only venture out over the weekend, the schedule is still brimming with choice. Chef Brian Murray and his team from Cork’s newest restaurant opening The Glass Curtain have planned an exciting collaboration with Midleton’s Ferrit & Lee for an exclusive night of fire and fusion together. The four course menu, with expertly paired wines from Liberty Wines, will give lucky guests a sneak peek at this exciting new restaurant venture before it opens to the public.
 
On Saturday 7th September you won’t want to miss a Taste of Ballymaloe: Garden to Table Experience which includes a welcome cocktail and guided tour of the incredible gardens at Ballymaloe followed by a three course lunch with the team – a wonderful opportunity to ask questions and enjoy the seasonal delights of the award-winning Ballymaloe Dessert Trolley.  Back in Midleton, the team from Dublin’s award-winning Pickle Restaurant will have arrived in Cork for the very first time to create an incredible lunch of North Indian vegetarian dishes, with head chef Sunil Ghai joining Kevin Aherne at the pass in SAGE restaurant. Later that evening, a talk and tasting entitled ‘Feats of Clay – wines made in Amphorae’ will showcase wines from Georgia and Italy with Pascal and Colm from Le Caveau, hosted by Susan Herlihy in her beautiful Crafty Hands Pottery Studio – the perfect pre-dinner drink event!
 
This year’s fEast Cork schedule has also included events to showcase local producers and food champions in the most enjoyable and educational way. Highlights include a coopering demonstration and whiskey masterclass with Ger Buckley a fifth-generation master cooper at Midleton Distillery, searching for edible seaweeds by the East Cork seashore with Aquatic Biologist Frances Gallagher and ‘Seafood Stories’ over dinner with local fishermen at The Maltings Restaurant. There’s also a fEAST Lunch Restaurant Trail through Midleton Farmer’s Market meeting East Cork producers before tasting their fare with a three-course lunch, each course served in a different Midleton restaurant.
 
All these events lead up to the big finale on Sunday, September 8th, from early in the morning to late in the evening the entire town of Midleton is animated by the vibrant and exciting market day which includes an all-day farmers’ market, gardening workshops, live music, local food stalls and a variety of dining and social events. One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the new An Chistin tent which includes live cookery demos, drinks masterclasses and an educational series called Appetite Talks hosted by Irish Times Food Writer Catherine Cleary focusing on topical food trends and innovations. Some of the biggest names in Irish cooking will be dropping by An Chistin throughout the day including Takashi Miyazaki from Michelin starred restaurant Ichigo Ichie, Martin Shanahan, Enda McEvoy, Jess Murphy, Sunil Ghail, Ali Honour, Paul Flynn and Kevin Aherne.
 
Early on Sunday afternoon, Paul Flynn (The Tannery) and Martin Shanahan (Fishy Fishy) will take over the kitchen at SAGE restaurant for an epic Sunday lunch. Think comedy, more comedy and a unique opportunity to dine with these two legends of the Irish food scene. Another truly unique dining opportunity that day is the SECAD culinary exhibition ‘Celebrating Multiculturalism Through Food’. This free event will showcase over 15 different nationalities from around the world, all working together to provide tastings of their individual cuisines. Visitors have an opportunity to learn their culinary techniques, be inspired by their ingredients and discover the diversity of cultures living in East Cork today.
In addition to all the great food events happening throughout the week, there is also a strong focus on local drinks highlighting the strong tradition of brewing and distilling in the area. For whiskey lovers there’s a Powers Whiskey Masterclass in The Maple Leaf showcasing the variety of blends that have been created down through the years and another whiskey event called ‘Jameson, Ginger & Lime’ which tells the story of the Jameson family, the local distillery and offers a tasting of four different Jameson whiskeys. The Irish Distillers Distillery, home to Jameson, Powers and many others, has a strong connection to the East Cork landscape around them. Barley grown by East Cork farmers and East Cork river water are ingredients that have helped put their whiskeys on the map, and now they in turn help raise the profile of the producers of the entire region through their generous festival sponsorship once again this year.
Gin enthusiasts are also in for a treat, the Mad Hatter returns again this year for another Mad Hatters Gin Tea Party at JJ Coppingers, this year showcasing Method & Madness Irish Gin, distilled from the new micro distillery in Midleton. Meet the makers of another local gin, Bertha’s Revenge Gin with a distillery tour, chat and long table lunch served in the idyllic Ballyvolane House hosted by the distillers of Bertha’s Revenge Antony Jackson and Justin Green.
 
The team at fEast Cork, led by husband and wife duo Réidín and Kevin Aherne, believe that all food festivals are a good thing – that anything that gets people into their towns, villages, cities and communities to eat together is important. From the individual and small-scale but crucial producers, farmers, fishermen and cooks in the region that add layers of authenticity and history to the community, to the ethos originally created by Myrtle Allen at Ballymaloe House and Cookery School. East Cork resounds with a genuine sense of celebration of the local, the seasonal, the real.
 
This harvest celebration holds out its arms to the wider region, creating new coordinates for this vibrant young festival. Coordinates that they hope will shine brighter each year on the food festival map of Ireland – coordinates that are pure fEast Cork.
For the full festival programme, details on event dates, tickets and reservations see venture www.feastcork.ie or follow fEast Cork on social media:
 
@feastcork on Twitter & Instagram or like www.facebook.com/feastcork
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Our Top 30 Experiences Along the Ring of Cork

Life is all about trying new experiences, some are experiences you might have wanted to try for a while and others are experiences which push you outside of your comfort zone. The Ring of Cork is bursting with exceptional experiences. From historical experiences, family experiences, fun experiences and adrenaline pumping experiences, there is something for everyone. In this article, we are going to share with you 30 unforgettable experience you can do along the Ring of Cork. At the end of the day, it’s the new experiences you try that will become the memories you remember forever.
 

BALLYCOTTON SEA ADVENTURES

The Ballycotton experience is a must this summer. Ballycotton is around 45 minutes from Cork City. A fishing village in East Cork overlooking Ballycotton Bay with stunning beaches.  Firstly, start the day with the Ballycotton Cliff Walk as it is known for its spectacular scenery and wildlife. Afterwards, head out on the water with Ballycotton Sea Adventures for a guided tour around Ballycotton Island, Ballycotton lighthouse and the picturesque coastline. The lighthouse lantern was first lit in 1851 and 141 years later, the last lighthouse keeper left the island due to the automation of the light. Now, you can step foot once again on the island and trace the steps and history of the Ballycotton lighthouse. The boat trip will take around 15 minutes each way and the tour of the island and the lighthouse will last around 1 hour. Ballycotton is a wild, natural and unspoiled experience and one to add to your bucket list this summer.
 

CORK HARBOUR BOAT HIRE

If you are looking to have a very unique experience along the Ring of Cork, we would recommend renting a boat and exploring Cork Harbour with Cork Harbour Boat Hire. You can merge exploring the picturesque harbour with learning a new skill. There is so much to explore in Cork Harbour and these easy to drive boats will increase the fun aspect on your boating adventure. You can rent the boat per hour and you will get full training before going out on the water. If you want to experience Cork Harbour without driving your own boat, you can check out their RIBS and book on a tour. Learn about the local gems, history and even spot some spectacular wildlife on the tour. Zip through the harbor in speed and comfort.
 
 

CAMDEN FORT MEAGHER, CROSSHAVEN

This historic experience is one not to be missed. Camden Fort Meagher is a coastal defence fortification located in Crosshaven. 65% of the fort is located underground in a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers. The fort was built to defend the mouth of Cork Harbour in the 16th century. An adult is €6 and a child €4 and it’s bursting with stories from the past and local history. Learn all about the history of the Fort, admire the breath-taking sea views of the harbour and discover things you won’t find anywhere else along the Ring of Cork.
 

CUSKINNY COURT – FOR ADVENTURE

If you are looking for an adventurous experience for a group, Cuskinny Court is for you. This is a 300-year-old, family owned estate and is packed with lots of fun experiences such as eco adventure, educational and outdoor experiences. If you are looking to get the adrenaline pumping, you can check out their water-based activities or adventure routes. Try your hand at some survival skills, zip through the forest on the zipline, go grass sledging, tackle the mucky obstacle course, experience kayaking, test your raft building skills and much more.
 

THE BEACH EXPERIENCE

The Ring of Cork is known for its breath-taking coastline so a beach experience is a must. Some of the most spectacular spots 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. You are spoilt for choice with beautiful, picturesque beaches along the Ring of Cork.
 

ESCAPADE COBH

Ireland is known for its rainy days so if you are looking for a fun experience without having to depend on the weather, we have the perfect one for you. The Escapade Cobh experience is a brilliant family fun activity or the perfect place for a fun night out with friends or colleagues. This gem is located in Cobh, just 25 minutes from Cork city. It is a fun and captivating indoor activity for teams for 2 to 8 people. Work as a team to escape the room by solving puzzles and finding clues to open the door.

FOTA HOUSE, ARBORETUM & GARDENS

If you are looking for a tranquil experience, Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens is for you. Fota House was designed by 19th century architects Richard and William Morrison and is Ireland’s finest example of a Great Country House. Head off on a tour of the house which costs €9 entry for an adult, €7 for a senior, €3.50 for a child and €22 for a family.  On a sunny day, exploring the Victorian Working Gardens is a must. As you walk around you can enjoy the beautiful orchard, pit houses and working glasshouses. The Victorian Working Garden is open Monday – Friday and most Sundays from March to September where you can wander about and take it all in.
 

ZIPIT FARRAN

A unique experience in Cork has to be Zipit at Farran Woods. Whether you are searching for an adrenaline pumping experience or simply something a little different, Zipit is the perfect experience. Zipit is a treetop high ropes forest adventure park and suitable for both young and old. They have lots of courses to cater for all abilities. Whether you want to try the easier course or get your legs shaking on the advance course, there is something for everyone.  Jump off the leap of faith, zip through the forests, climb the treetops or swing into the cargo nets. This experience is suitable for children from age 7 to adults and you can enjoy up to 4 hours of excitement and adventure.
 

SPIKE ISLAND

This historical experience is one you will remember forever. An experience rich in history and bursting with stories. Spike Island is located off the coast of Cobh in beautiful Cork Harbour. In the last 1300 years Spike Island has been host to a 6th century Monastery, a 24 acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of island homes.  Today the island is dominated by the 200 year old Fort Mitchel which became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners. Take a tour and learn all the history of the people and places that make Spike Island so special. The ferry journey is just 10 – 20 minutes each way and you should allow for up to 3.5 hours in your visit to explore everything.
 
 

LEAHY’S OPEN FARM

This heavenly experience is one not to be missed. Leahy’s open farm is located in Dungourney, just 10 minutes from Midleton itself. Stop off at the ‘Ice-cream & Chocolate Factory’ in Leahy’s Open Farm for a sweet experience. This gem will tickle your taste buds with their homemade ice cream and will test your chocolate making skills in their chocolate workshop. A little taste of heaven along the Ring of Cork. If you are looking for more of an outdoors experience, the farm has it all. Tour the farm on the barrel train, see all the animals, slide down the big drop slide, learn to milk Maisie the cow, have fun in the obstacle and climbing playground, head go carting, find your way through the maze, enjoy the petting zone, play crazy golf, visit the museum and much more. There is so much to do and explore at Leahy’s Open Farm.
 

ROBIN HILL HOUSE

For a delicious experience along the Ring of Cork, stop off at the Victorian Tea rooms in the Robin Hill House. We all know the best cakes you can have are the ones you make at home and what I love about this gem is that their afternoon tea captures that homely feeling with their delicious home baking perfectly. It has been hailed as the best Afternoon Tea Experiences in Cork with a warm welcome on arrival. You can sip real leaf tea or indulge in their Artisan Coffee as you relax in their beautiful mature garden if the sun is shining or in front of the fire in the Drawing room if the weather is cold! Robin Hill is quite a Sanctuary a real example of authentic Victorian architecture with a contemporary twist. Homemade treats, finger sandwiches, cakes or a light lunch awaits you. My favourite is the lemon drizzle cake which reminded me of the one my Grandmother would make.  Robin Hill is also a Failte Ireland 4-star Bed and Breakfast and is an onsite holistic centre. You can also make a day of it and book a spa treatment or keep an eye out for their ever so popular yoga retreats and make a weekend of it.
 

YOUGHAL CLOCK GATE TOWER

You might know of the Youghal Clock Gate Tower from passing through Youghal but did you know you are missing a fabulous experience by not going up to the top of it. Explore it’s history and stories throughout the last 700 the years with a costumed Storyteller, who will guide you over the four floors of the tower. Adult tickets are €9.50 and children are €5 and there are discounted rates for students/seniors. 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. Storytellers bring you from the merchant’s storeroom to a prison and finally a home, but the one thing that ties it all together is the clock was wound throughout it all. A wonderful experience that will capture your attention throughout.
 

OCEAN ESCAPES

One of our ultimate favourite experiences in Cork is with Andrew of Ocean Escapes. The perfect outing for any age, everyone in your group will have the time of their lives exploring the waters and coastlines of Cork Harbour. Not only is Andrew a great tour guide but he knows all the secret places to explore along the coastline of Cork Harbour and it is amazing to see all the wildlife along the way. Ocean Escapes offer lots of trips from harbour cruise, RIB charters, safari trips, corporate trips and most recently fun party cruises.
 

PASSAGE WEST MARITIME MUSEUM

Another fabulous historical experience is the Passage West Maritime Museum. Enjoy the experience as it tells the story of Passage West, the Birthplace of Ireland’s Steamship Industry. The entrance fee of just €2 and it is an experience well worth exploring. The town of Passage has an impressive industrial heritage dating back over 300 years. Known as ‘the original port of Cork’ it was the birthplace of the first steamship built in Ireland, ‘The City of Cork’, which was constructed in 1815 on the site of where the Museum now stands. It was also the port from which “The Sirius”, the first ship to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam, left in 1838 under the command of local man Captain Richard Roberts.
 

RUMLEY’S OPEN FARM

For a great family experience, Rumley’s Open Farm is the perfect day out. Rumley’s Open farm is a working farm experience which has both exotic and domestic animals. The first animal to the public farm was a llama and the first exotic animal was a marmoset monkey. The farm includes 2km of walkways, a petting zone, tractor rides, zip lines, robotic milking machine and lots of fun both indoors and outdoors.

THE WOODLAND EXPERIENCE

Nothing beats a walk in the woods as you breathe in the fresh air. The Ring of Cork has lots to choose from when it comes to picking a woods to enjoy a little bit of nature. Some of our favourites would 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 Farren Woods near Ovens.

SAIL CORK, COBH

Nothing beats the experience of being on the water sailing with the wind blowing in your hair. Sail Cork is located at East Ferry Marina in Cobh and has over 45 years of experience teaching watersports. Head afloat on the beautiful Cork harbor and learn to sail from Eddie English and his friendly, fun Instructors. An experience where you can develop new skills in sailing, powerboating or even kayaking. Book into a course in Dinghy sailing, learn all about yachting or get your adrenaline pumping with a course on Powerboating. This experience is a perfect family day out as you can book into courses for ages 4 to 16 and also adult courses. Have some fun together as a family.
 

TRABOLGAN

If you are looking for a family experience which will cater for both the younger and older age groups, Trabolgan is exactly what you are looking for. Located in a beautiful, peaceful coastal setting in East Cork, it provides activities to suit everybody in the family. From character fun with with PJ Mask™ (brand new for 2019)  Peppa Pig and George™, Ben and Holly™ to adventure sports such as Go Karts, Water Walkerz, Zip Wire, Archery, Combat Laser and bounce zones. A facility which will definitely bring a smile to everyone’s face is their Indoor Subtropical Pool Paradise with their super waterslide, wave machine and toddlers pool. Jumping the waves at Trabolgan as a child is still one of my favourite childhood memories. This family experience is one they will remember forever.
 

TITANIC TRAIL

To start your Titanic excursion, we would recommend doing a guided tour called the ‘Titanic Trail’ which will bring you around the town of Cobh, the last port of call of RMS Titanic. Go on walking tour and take the journey through the historic town of Cobh where the Titanic passengers began their journey before boarding the Titanic. The town still remains the same as it was on the day the Titanic’s passengers embarked from the Port of Cork. The tour recounts many interesting facts about the Titanic, the Titanic’s history and its association with Cobh, from when it departed on its last fateful journey nearly 100 years ago.
 

TITANIC EXPERIENCE

A Titanic experience is a must if you are touring the Ring of Cork. After your walking tour, we would recommend going to Titanic Experience which is located within the original White Star line building in Cobh. This is the building where the passengers boarded the Titanic. Get your boarding card with details of one of the 123 passengers who joined the Titanic on their last post of call in Queenstown, Ireland and take a guided tour as you retrace the footsteps of the Irish passengers on board.  You will head off on a virtual journey to join the titanic for her voyage to New York.
 

THE JAMESON DISTILLERY

You cannot visit Midleton and not go to the Jameson Distillery Midleton. The Jameson Distillery and is spread over 15 acres with buildings dating back to 1794. All five of their experiences are fully-guided, three of which tour around the heritage grounds. You will come face-to-face with the largest pot still in the world, see the new micro-distillery in action, experience the live maturation warehouse, and taste their famous whiskeys along the way.The first is The Jameson Experience Tour which is a fully guided tour around the original Midleton Distillery and lasts about 60 minutes. You will hear all the stories from the history of the famous whiskey. You also get to tickle your taste buds by comparing three famous whiskeys, one being Jameson, and finish off your tour sipping a Jameson, Ginger & Lime in the bar. The other tour you can try is the Behind the Scenes tour which helps you gain a deeper knowledge and insight into the history and production, along with visiting some key distillery buildings such as The Cooperage and Maturation Warehouse, and hearing the stories of Jameson Irish Whiskey. On this tour, you get to taste some premium Midleton distilleries whiskeys. This full tour lasts two hours.The third experience is the Distillers Apprentice tour.  This is special as it includes a visit to the live working distillery – a must for lovers of whiskey !
 

HAPPY FEET WALKING TOURS

Wherever we go, we always do a walking tour as it allows you to get your bearings, while also learning things about the place you mightn’t have ever known. That’s why a walking experience makes our top list today. Discover the history of Youghal on this Happy Feet Walking tour. As you walk through Youghal, you go on a journey through time and hear stories of witchcraft, piracy, famine and espionage.
 

MONKEY MAZE

If you are looking for a fun experience with your kids, be sure to check out Monkey Maze. It is the largest indoor activity centre for kids in Cork. Lots of adventure play areas which include tunnels, slides, ball cannons and much more. There is also a soft play area for younger kids so entertainment for all ages.
 

THE IMAGINATIVE EXPERIENCE

When your kids are young, it’s amazing to see their imagination come to life. There is a little gem along the Ring of Cork which will have your kids in amazement. Ballincollig Regional park is located on the South bank of the River Lee and much of it lies on the river’s floodplain. The park allows you to feel like you are in the countryside without having to travel far outside the city. It is a popular spot for walkers, joggers, young cyclists as people are drawn to its natural landscape. A very popular spot in the park to tickle your kid’s imagination is The Fairy Trail, a little spot where the fairies of Ireland come to live. A great idea is to bring a fairy door and place it on the trail with your little one. Get their imagination flowing. There is also a great playground, a skate park, outdoor gym as well as lots of playing pitches to enjoy.
 

PERKS ENTERTAINMENT IN YOUGHAL

If you are looking for a fun experience on a rainy day, Perks in Youghal is perfect. A popular spot for families as it is full of activities, fun and adventures! From an indoor play area of dreams for the little kids to bowling and quasar for the older kids, there is something for all ages including a fabulous Italian Carousal in the large indoor entertainment centre. The perfect experience when the Irish weather hits!
 

RING OF CORK HERITAGE TRAIL

Why not experience the breathtaking Ring of Cork Heritage trail? Explore the history of East Cork, Cork Harbour and the greater Cork region. Discover round towers, castles, cathedrals, military barracks, forts, heritage centres, museums and much more. Learn all the historical stories along the way. Just pick up a Heritage Trail Map Pad in your local tourist office or download it here and off you go on your adventure.
 

COBH, THE QUEENSTOWN STORY

If you are looking for an experience packed with history, be sure to check out the Cobh Heritage Centre and learn all about ‘The Queenstown Story’. Step back in time as you enter the restored Victorian Railway. Between 1848 – 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland and over 2.5 million departed from Cobh. This makes Cobh the single most important port of emigration long ago. The Cobh Heritage Centre is packed with history and stories throughout which allows you to go back in time and discover traditions, heritage, feelings about emigration and what it was like to have to emigrate many years ago.
 

Fota Wildlife Park

If you are looking for a memorable experience with your kids, Fota Wildlife Park is for you. What I love about the park is that it is not like an ordinary zoo, you can come face to face with free roaming animals and birds from all parts of the world. Watch the expression on your child’s face as a kangaroo hops in front of them or as they feed the spectacular birds or as a ring-tailed lemur jumps down from a tree. The park is located on 70 acres and allows you to come in contact with free roaming animals, along with giving you the opportunity to see highly endangered species such as the Rothschild giraffe, European Bison, Lion Tailed Macaque and Scimitar Horned Oryx. An experience you and your family will remember forever.  Fota Wildlife Park also offer a Behind the Scenes Tour that gives you a chance to peek at some behind the scenes activity and even get to feed some animals.
 

EXPLORE YOUGHAL BY BIKE

Exploring a town by foot is great but can you imagine how much more you could explore on a bike? We would recommend renting a bike from Youghal Bike Hire and peddling your way through the seaside town of Youghal. Youghal has so much to offer so be sure to explore the local beaches, nearby villages, woodlands, boardwalk and local countryside. You can stop off for a bite to eat along the way or even cool off with a refreshing swim. The staff at Youghal Bike Hire will help you to pick a bike that suits you. They are also happy to help you plan your trip and pick out some key places to explore on your bike. A great day out with a bunch of friends or a fun family outing.
 

CASTLEMARTYR HOUSE GALLERY & GIFTS

If you are looking for a creative, artistic experience, this gem is for you. As you walk through this shop in Castlemartyr, you can see the passion for art and crafts shine through. The owners found their passion for the arts while travelling the world and they brought this passion back with them to Castlemartyr and opened this gem in the heart of East Cork. Their shop is all about sharing their love for arts and crafts by showcasing unique displays from artists and giving people the space to exhibit their creativity. This is not just a gallery or a shop, it is an experience to remember.
 
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New Ring Of Cork Heritage Trail Map

Ring Of Cork have published the new and improved Ring Of Cork Heritage Trail Map.
The map is a free, A3, double sided Heritage Trail with pictures, information and lots of historical tales. Its’ a must have for anybody planning to visit the Ring Of Cork.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this map is a useful asset for anyone who wants to explore the Ring Of Cork area. With roughly 37 attractions on the map, you will find everything from Round Towers, Town Walls and Castles, to Museums and Heritage Centers!
In addition, lots of Ring Of Cork member businesses feature on the map so if you are looking for family fun, adventure, a romantic getaway or a break by the beach, the heritage trail map will help you find it.
You can download the PDF version of the map here, or alternatively visit your local tourist office or heritage attraction to pick up a hard copy.
Above all, we hope you enjoy exploring the Ring Of Cork where you will find adventure, history and plenty of fun.
 
 
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Summer Special Offers in the Ring Of Cork

From spa offers to special discounts, we have put together a list of some of the best summer offers within the Ring Of Cork! Take a look…
Treat Yourself at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Cork
How about a cosy day at The Spa? Hide away at ours, and enjoy a relaxing day at The Spa, Radisson Blu Hotel Cork.
– Our Luxury Pedicure will leave your toes feeling #gorgeous
– The luxurious Frangipani Body Polish from #Elemis is formulated to help soften, smooth and hydrate your skin. You will be #glowing
🌸🌸 Book Now at 021 429 7080 🌸🌸

Available Monday to Friday only. Valid until August 31st 2019
 

 
Trabolgan Holiday Village- August Day Visitor Deals
Great value day visitor tickets to Trabolgan Holiday Village this August from as little as €5 per person.  Enjoy a splash in the indoor subtropical swimming pool paradise, meet the amazing PJ Masks live for the 2019 season or try your hand at some of the amazing adventure sport activities on park from Go Karts to Bungee Trampolines, Foot golf to Archery, Zip Wire to Abseiling and a whole lot more!
Purchase your discounted tickets online today – PURCHASE NOW
Trabolgan Holiday Village, Whitegate, Midleton, East Cork
T: 021 4661551 E: reservations@trabolgan.com W: www.trabolgan.com

A spa break to leave you glowing at Castlemartyr Resort
With the prospect of summer sunshine and holidays on the horizon get your mind and your body prepped for the warmer weather with Get that Summer Glow, the latest summer spa treatment from The Spa at the luxurious 5-star Castlemartyr Resort.
Luxurious, tranquil and gorgeous, The Spa at Castlemartyr Resort is a spectacular wellness, spa and fitness centre where the wrap-around glass surrounding of the 20-metre swimming pool and Water Room gives unbeatable views, the perfect place from which to view the beautiful grounds while enjoying a spa treatment or two. The Get that Summer Glow spa treatment allows guests to retreat to East Cork and indulge in a world of 5-star luxury, relaxing the mind while getting your body prepped for warmer days.
Available from €99 per person Get that Summer Glow includes a choice of two luxurious spa treatments ensuring guests are left feeling completely renewed and ready for a fun-filled summer. With relaxing treatments to choose from including an indulgent Indian head massage, invigorating full body exfoliation, detoxifying leg treatment, hot stone massage or a Castlemartyr signature facial, The Spa at Castlemartyr Resort will continue the 5-star service with fresh fruit, granola bars, robes and slippers to ensure guests are spoiled and left feeling completely at ease as you indulge in the thermal suite and relaxation rooms.
Guests have complimentary use of the 5-star spa facilities, take a refreshing dip in the magnificent pool and relax muscles and soothe the spirit in the steam and sauna room before wandering from the serene surroundings of The Spa at Castlemartyr to enjoy a delicious
Mrs. Quinn Picnic Lunch, served in The Knight’s Bar.
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The Castlemartyr Jameson Experience 
Combine two of the Ring Of Cork’s unmissable attractions by taking advantage of ‘The Castlemartyr Jameson Experience. This package includes:

1 Night Accommodation in a Deluxe Double Room for 2 in the five store Castlemartyr Resort
2-Course Meal in Franchinis Italian Restaurant
Full Breakfast
Complimentary entry for two adults to the Experience Tour at the Jameson Distillery Midleton.

 
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Robin Hill House – The Summer Sizzler
Do you want to prepare your skin for summer? This treatment is the way to go.The summer sizzler starts with a dry body buff to stimulate your circulation and to prepare your skin for the decadent oils of Petitgrain,Lavender, Francincense and Lemon. One and a half hours of sheer relaxation! This ritual is perfect to prepare your skin for fake tan too! You can then enjoy our beautiful garden or relax in the Drawing room enjoying some light refreshments.
ONLY €79.
For appointment contact: info@robinhill.ie / 021 4812222

Amy Schumer Themed Weekend at The Montenotte Hotel
This August enjoy a girlie break at the award-winning Montenotte Hotel. We are celebrating fearless female movie heroes who inspire us! Grab the girls and experience a weekend to remember with our hilariously honest Amy Schumer Weekend package.

One or two night stay with Full Irish Breakfast
3-course set evening dinner with a themed cocktail of the month, “Pride & Joy”
€10 Bellevue Spa Credit and 10% off Bellevue Spa Retail Products
Friday evening at 9.00pm–”I Feel Pretty” in our in-house cinema “The Cameo” (over 18’s only)
Saturday matinee 4.00pm and evening screening 9.00pm–”Train Wreck” (over 18’s only)

All for €229.00

Monthly Spa Offers at The Maryborough House Hotel
Treat yourself with our August spa offer for €99 at our award winning ESPA spa.
Call us on 021-4918350 or email spa@maryborough.ie to enquire or make a booking.
Relax and enjoy 1 Hour use of the Thermal Facilities,Hot oil back,neck, and shoulder massage, ESPA Refresher Facial, Light Refreshments in the Relaxation Room, and a glass of Prosecco.

Early July Offer at The Quality Hotel Youghal
Family B&B for 2 adults and 2 kiddies from only €95. Available from 24th Aug to 2nd Sept. To book call 024 93050 and quote Facebook Deal.

Please note these offers were accurate at the time of posting however changes may still occur so please contact these businesses individually with bookings and inquiries regarding special offers/rates/discounts.
 
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