A 25-minute (24km) drive from home to the hidden gem of East Cork is a perfect escape during weekends. This small picturesque fishing village sits on a rocky-ledge overlooking Ballycotton Bay and is surrounded by sandy beaches. It is about 40 km east of Cork City.
There are plenty of things to do in this eccentric village. From sailing, fishing, deep sea angling, wind and kite surfing, swimming during summertime, cliff walking to bird watching and dining. You can also join the classes for arts and crafts, cooking as well as dancing and singing. (Check this out for the latest events in town)
But for us, strolling and capturing the beautiful view are more than enough to enjoy our weekend. Upon entering the Ballycotton village you can go first to the pier, here you can sit for a while and savour the spectacular view of Ballycotton Lighthouse Island. If you intend to explore and stay overnight, this is where you will take the boat to the lighthouse. In the village there is a small beach called the Conger by Ballycotton Pier. You can explore the sandy beach that stretches for about 25 km east to Knockadoon Head.
Silverstrand beach can be accessed from Ballycotton village on foot.
Ballynamona is a very safe beach for children to swim in and there is plenty of sand to built sand castles.
Ardnahinch has a car park and slip road to the beach. Between here and Garryvoe beach there are some great rocks for children to climb.
Garryvoe is a mixed pebble beach and a great destination for families. It has a children’s playground, shop, picnic area, car park, wheel chair access to the beach, public toilets & Garryvoe Hotel which serves seafood, steaks and more, as well as a children’s menu.
Ballywilling is the perfect beach it you want a quieter time. There is a car park and slip road to the beach.
Ballycrenane has a car park with good access to the beach. This is also a good spot for beach fishing.
We drove up from Ballycotton village to Ballyandreen beach along a cliff track where you are flanked by meadows on one side and the ocean on the other. It starts at the end of Ballycotton village (at the y in the road take the right up the hill, the left takes you to the pier). The walk extends over 5 miles on a foot worn track along the cliff face with stunning views and passes Ballytrasna beach. There are many stiles to cross on the route (so not suitable for bikes or buggies).
And then, to cap off the beautiful day we stopped by at Ballycotton Bayview Hotel. It is fine manor house nestled on the Cliffside of the village. It’s a perfect location to be amused by the glorious view of the ocean and lighthouse while sipping a cup of tea.