Things to do in Co.Cork
Whether you call it West Cork or Co.Cork, this part of Ireland has a lot to offer. We are a main stop on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Atlantic Sea coast road which stretches from Cork to Donegal. There are so many things to do so why not check out some good guides on the local area for more information. Our Bantry town website Bantry.ie and local magazine Bantry Grapevine offer information and holiday ideas. The local paper – the Southern Star will keep you up-to-date on all things West Cork.
Whilst staying or visiting with us, visit other private gardens on the West Cork Garden Trail or take a short ferry ride past the seals in Glengarriff to Garnish Island / Ilnacullin. We are also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland and offer free entry into the garden and discounted entry into the house to all RHSI members on presentation of their membership card.
For a more unusual and very rewarding way to spend a day, you could book a shoe making course with shoeniversity, who are perfectly located in the East stables of the estate. Learn to make a pair of house shoes in a day, or sign up for a 5 day course to make a pair of heels. You could make it a real holiday and stay the night with us, contact the Bantry House office for special rates.
There are many beautiful peninsulas in Cork and Kerry. The Sheeps Head Walk is close to Bantry with various walking lengths and beautiful scenery. Stop for lunch or dinner at the Good Things Cafe and Cookery School in Durrus, or better still book one of the many cookery courses Carmel has on offer in the school.
Since we don’t serve dinner here at BH, a trip to the Fish Kitchen is a must. Annemarie and Diarmuid will serve you the freshest seafood. Nip across the road to Ma Murphy’s for a pint while you wait and have a chat with Mary and her Dad, Bill. The Brick Oven is another firm favourite with us here and great for families.
Take the time to visit some other stately home like Fota House & Gardens, Blarney Castle and Muckross House. On your way to Glengarriff or Kerry take the time to make a stop in Mannings Emporium, Ballylickey. Val, Andrew and Laura will serve you wonderful coffee and local artisan cheeses and treats.
Another beautiful and undiscovered peninsula is the Beara Peninsula which is so rugged, it really is worth the winding roads and slow driving. Read an interesting article here from our friends at Discover Ireland Tours. They have a great website called My Ireland Tour.
The area is a prime location for taking photos and Martha Clarke Images is offering a Wild Atlantic Way Tour of South West Ireland where you will be given the opportunity to take spectacular photos with a pro as your guide!
Co.Cork has many rural islands to visit. A cookery school is thriving on Heir Island and well worth the boat ride. From Baltimore or Schull you can also take a trip out to Sherkin Island and Cape Clear Island. Why not charter a boat with Baltimore Seafari for the trip and do a spot of whale watching en route.
If you fancy something closer to the water Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking will take you out on lakes rivers or the sea for exciting kayak trips during the day or by night! He is a Gold winner of a Responsible Tourism Award.
Bantry also has its own sailing club with courses running through out the summer – all info here
Cork is renowned for its local artisan produce and Bantry hosts a food and wares market on the main square every Friday. Some of the producers we use at Bantry House in the B&B and Tearoom also welcome guests to their farms and properties. Jeffa Gill of Durrus Cheese produces a local semi hard sheeps cheese, The Ferguson’s of Gubbeen Farm make cheese, smoke meats and grow salads. Frank Hederman supplies our smoked salmon from his property in East Cork. The Real Olive Company supplies us with olives and antipasti for our cheese boards and now supplies buffalo mozzerella made right here in Toonsbridge, Co.Cork (yes buffalo in Cork). Find out more information on the Slow Food movement in West Cork here
Over the years we have used conservationists at the house and are happy to recommend The Leather Conservation Centre May Berkouwer Textile Conservation and Fine Art Restoration which is Brigitte Shelswell-White’s picture restoration consultancy.
We hold many events at Bantry House and the Chamber Music and Masters of Tradition festivals are run by West Cork Music.
Bantry hosts another traditional festival in September – Chief O’Neill Festival – you could stay with us while walking into Bantry town to listen to some trad music.
Chapterhouse Theatre Company visit us once or twice a year and put on a great outdoor theatre performance on the front lawn (don’t worry we have a back up in case of “unseasonal” summer rain). For summer 2015 we are hosting The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre. All events are on our events page. When we are holding a special event we sometimes like to add a special touch and Tara of Festival Flags is just the woman to go to.
When travelling on from us there are many places to stay here are just a few hotels and self catering cottages in the area.
- Ahakista Self Catering
- Caseys of Baltimore
- Inchydoney Lodge and Spa
- Bay House, Durrus
- The Thatched Cottage
- The Maritime
- The Westlodge
- Seaview House Hotel
- West Cork Hotel
- Gállán Mór