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19th Aug 2019

24 hours in West Cork: 5 things to do when you’re just passing through

west cork

You can get a lot done, in fairness.

A few weeks back, I spent a day in West Cork.

Yep, one day. 24 hours. A morning, a noon, and a night. And in fairness to me, I got a lot done despite the brief enough time I had allocated to being there.

Having never been to West Cork before (I know, I know), I didn’t know what to expect.

I didn’t, however, expect to pack so much in during such a short and what should have been a restraining timeframe.

It wasn’t though, and as it turned out, all I needed was Google maps, access to a car, and some lovely folk with a basic yet necessary knowledge of the area to show me all of the stunning, quirky, and delightful things to do.


1. Pop over to Sherkin island 

Lads, I have to be honest. I did not go to Sherkin island during my ever-so-brief 24 hours in West Cork.

I know, I know, point one and I haven’t even completed it (mate), but I was supposed to go and then the heaven’s opened and suddenly wandering around a three mile long stretch of land without an umbrella didn’t seem like the smartest idea in the world.

However, a few quick Google searches and Instagram scrolls has confirmed for me that Sherkin island is indeed something you definitely want to experience during your time in West Cork.

It’s small, it’s cute, and it’s absolutely stunning.

Accessible via a short 10 minute ferry ride from Baltimore, Sherkin island is home to just 100 people, a gorgeous landscape, and a whole of history.

Worth the brief journey over (if weather permits, of course).

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Thank You Fiona ✨@lovesfreckles✨ for using our tag #inspireland_ from which we selected this beautiful picture of the Sherkin Island in county ?CORK? We are delighted to share this here on @inspireland_ ~ Please show your support to our featured artist and visit their gallery for more great shots! ~ Selected by: @szilvia.juhos Cc.: @digilou48 @thejamescarr @katiepierceoshea ~ If You want a county to be featured then tag your best Irish pictures with #inspireland_ or #inspireland. All pictures must be your own. Please don't forget the Location and County! Thank You!? ~ #igersireland #loves_ireland #icu_ireland #insta_ireland #ireland_gram #instaireland #discoverireland #irelandinspires #visitireland #thisisireland #eire #ireland #ig_ireland #travelireland #loveireland #tourismireland #wanderireland #irishpassion #pocket_ireland #irelandcalling#rawireland##countycork#irishlandscape#insp_cork#irishcoast#bearapeninsula#sherkinisland#westcork ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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2. Go for some brunch in Clonakilty 

Go to Richy’s. Just do it.

If you’re a meat eater, there’s a load of sausage-based breakfasts. If you’re a vegetarian, there’s an omelette and a load of pancakes.

And if you’re vegan, there’s probably some delicious fruit to go around.

The place is adorable and the food is delicious without being overly expensive or pretentious.

And if you’re feeling particularly brave, stay out late during your time in Clon and hit up the iconic, the effervescent, ‘The Venue’ after hours.

You’ll have to pay a tenner in, but hey, it’s a taste of authenticity you’re not going to get anywhere else.

3. Peruse the shops in Kinsale

Kinsale is adorable, this we all know.

It does not need to explained to anybody – except to those who have never been there and do not understand how adorable it is.

Whether you’re riffling through secondhand books or admiring the brightly coloured streets, an hour or so long wander around the town will leave you feeling refreshed, revived, and really wishing that you lived there because of how bloody adorable it all is.

Go for a leisurely stroll along the waterfront afterwards.

You deserve it.

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Kinsale is a town on the southern coast of Ireland, in County Cork. Two 17th-century fortresses overlook the River Bandon: the vast, star-shaped Charles Fort to the southeast, and the smaller James Fort on the river's opposite bank. The 16th-century courthouse building houses the Kinsale Regional Museum, with a variety of displays on local history and information about the 1915 sinking of the RMS Lusitania.⁠ ⁠ Follow @irelandtv for the best Irish content every single day. We are the fastest growing Irish community on Instagram, join us! ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁠ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁠ Feel free to DM this page ? if you are interested in a shout out/collaboration.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁠ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁠ ?: Kinsale⁠ ?: @spiritofirelandmag⁠ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁠ #kinsale #ireland #irish #landscape_lover #breathtaking #aroundtheworld #voyage #countryside #nature_photo #loveireland #discoverireland #landscape_capture #ireland #irish_daily #ireland_gram #irlande #inspireland #igersireland #ig_ireland #insta_ireland #wanderireland #exploreireland #irishpassion #loves_ireland #cork

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4. Relax in Inchydoney

And more specifically, Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa.

As aforementioned, it lashed rain for pretty much the entirety of my brief stay in West Cork. And so, rather than let the weather dampen my spirits, I settled on a couple of desperately needed hours of relaxation in Inchydoney.

It was quiet, it was relaxing, and – most importantly – it was dry.

5. Have some fish and chips by Owenahincha beach

During the time when this writer visited West Cork (August 2019), a little fish and chip placed called The Fish Basket was in operation.

Whether this establishment is still open whenever you, dear reader, happen to be reading this piece is anybody’s guess, but if it is, please – go.

There’s fish burgers, there’s fish tacos, there’s just a load of fish on its own. And every single bit of it is delicious. Promise.

Sit inside and warm yourself from the harsh winds of the beach or take it outside to the benches and chow down while overlooking the crashing waves and distant horizon.

Whatever you do, just make sure you get the tartar sauce.

Sweet mother.