3 Day Itinerary: Couples
Often referred to as a hidden gem of East Cork and only a 30-minute drive from the hotel, The Ballycotton Cliff Walk is a stunning 7km walk that’s not to be sniffed at. Shorter loops can be taken also, depending on your preference. The walk kicks off in Ballycotton and ends at Ballyandreen beach. It follows a cliff track with ocean on one side and meadows on the other. The walk is quieter in the morning so advisable to get there early!
If you are feeling peckish after the walk, a trip to Ireland’s most iconic cookery school at Ballymaloe House will send your senses into overdrive. Only a 10-minute drive from Ballycotton, the mouth-watering food you will be served is all locally sourced and prepared and cooked by students from the cooking school. Lunch is served between 1pm and 2pm. If the sun is shining, you can enjoy a walk around the beautiful house and gardens. If you’re lucky you might even be introduced to resident owner and Celebrity Chef Darina Allen!
On-route back from Ballymaloe, it’s worthwhile making a detour to historic town of Midleton, which is home to Jameson Distillery. You will enjoy a full interactive, behind the scenes tour and learn all about the Jameson Irish whiskey family- while of course sampling the famous whiskeys! Did you know the distillery is home to the largest Copper Pot Still in the world!
If the stomach starts rumbling after the jam-packed day, take a very short walk from the Distillery to Ferrit and Lee or Sage for a beautiful meal, before you head back to the Hotel for a well-earned rest.
Only a 10-minute drive from the hotel, start your morning off with a visit to Fota Wildlife Park. Here you will come face to face with free roaming animals and birds from all different parts of the world. if it’s a kangaroo that hops in front of you, or a ring-tailed lemur, which jumps down from a tree, each visit is sure to bring its own fantastic memories.
Explore the beautiful gardens in Fota House, where you can see one of the rarest collections of exotic trees and plants in all of Europe awaits. These 11 hectares of exceptional nature are open daily from 9am to 5:30pm. If you visit of a Saturday or Sunday, you can also partake in Yoga in the Walled Garden!
Choose between one of the below activities
We highly recommend booking Cork Tasting Trail. The guided walking tour, will bring you to places that are off the beaten track, where tastings are generous and the people lively – Cork people are enormously proud of their food. We like to think Cork is the food capital of Ireland!
No visit to Cork City is complete without a visit to the English Market. Pick up some autumnal jams, honey and cordials at The Roughty Foodie, taste Cork’s finest cheeses at The Real Olive Company, and be sure to indulge in some guilt-free vegan treats at My Goodness.
With the daily steps done this morning, you might fancy a more leisurely afternoon in the city. For fashion lovers, make sure to visit Olori on Oliver Plunkett Street, Opera Lane and Brown Thomas. Or if homeware is more to your taste, pop by Unbound and The Drapery Shop where a world of magnificent accessories awaits.
After a busy day exploring cork, retreat back to the Hotel and unwind with a delicious meal in Maestro’s Restaurant. If you have any energy left, we highly recommend you take a short taxi ride to Sin É, where they have live trad music every night and plenty of craic! You won’t know who you will bump into in this famous pub, with even Sting even dropping by for a sing-song when he played Cork in 2013!
If you are feeling adventurous this morning, try Stand Up Paddle Boarding, where you can see Cork from a different viewpoint.
The experience takes approx. 2 hours, of which 90 minutes is on the water. You’ll be paddle boarding approximately 3 km. This activity is wind and tide permitting, so check in with Cork City SUP first, to make sure they have a tour running.
Take the 20-minute drive to the picturesque village of Blarney. According to legend, you will get the gift of the gab by kissing the infamous Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. The stone is not the only attraction at the castle, be sure to have a walk around the stunning gardens, check out Badgers Cave, The Battlements View and the Wishing Steps- you won’t miss passing a few hours at one of Ireland’s most iconic castles.
After exploring the Castle, head into the village which is Steeped in history and magical charm and check out Blarney Wooden Mills for some souvenirs from your trip! You can also grab a delicious lunch at the Mill Restaurant. If you are an avid golfer, take to the course and tee up against your partner! A short drive from the village, you will find the impressive Blarney Golf Club.
Described as one of the City’s treasures, a trip to Cork City Gaol is a must! It’s a magnificent castle-like building that once housed 19th century prisoners. Now it’s a unique Visitor Attraction, which shows what life was like for those who ended up behind its walls in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among one of the famous figures imprisoned was Countess Constance Markievicz. The tour will take you through the wings of the Gaol and portray the prisoners filthy living conditions.
When the stomach starts rumbling again, head for the historic Victorian Quarter of Cork. Dine at the newest hottest spot in town, The Glass Curtain, taste a seasonal spread of tapas at Cask, or spoil yourself with a tasting menu and waterfall backdrop at Greenes. If you are a serious meat eater or a fish foodie, then a steak dinner at Elbow Lane or a feed of fresh catch at Goldie on Oliver Plunkett Street are also highly recommended!