I have found that many of my clients love to hike and ask me to incorporate some scenic hikes into their tour of Ireland. It is of course my pleasure as both my partner Ron and I spend every weekend exploring the many spectacular hikes Ireland has to offer.
Our most recent hike was to Ballycotton in Co Cork. The photos taken are all taken by me and I hope show the incredible scenery and beauty you can look forward to.
You will be walking on fenced paths beside farmers fields to get to the next stile which you will have to go through. From beginning to end the views along this walk are really beautiful and there are a number of places to stop for a picnic, so bring one if the day is fine. After about 30 minutes walking there is easy access to a lovely rocky beach with little rock pools down steps on your left hand side. This is called Ballytrasna….(keep this little gem of a beach to yourself….locals rightly so protect this spot). When the tide is out this is a very safe place for paddling and having your picnic.
A further 20 minutes walking will take you to a very pleasant headland overlooking the Irish (Celtic) sea and this too is the perfect place to stop and take some spectacular photos. The villagers call this mini mountain Spine Cop and residents of the next beach (Ballyandreen) call it The Hump. If you go over the Hump and sit at the back of it you will be mesmerised……..there is a triangle of rocks jutting out to the horizon almost and two currents clash here when the tide is turning. You would be hard pushed to find a more relaxing, stunning spot anywhere in the world as you sit with your picnic and look out to the horizon and watch the birdlife passing by going about their day fishing and resting. Sitting here on a gorgeous day you almost feel there is nobody in the world but you.
The walk does continue right around in a full circle back to the village after the next beach which is Ballyandreen. Unfortunately the latter half of the walk is on a country road with few sea views and is quite a trek back to Ballycotton. In my opinion It is best at this stage not to continue on the road from Ballyandreen beach but to return on the cliff path that you have walked out. This might seem a bit repetitive but it is not as the return views are somewhat different to the outer walk and even more stunning.
All along the way there are public seats where you can sit and admire the view or stop and talk to any of the locals who use the walk.
The walk is 4.6 km long, and when walking back to Ballycotton via the road that is another 5.3 km
I would recommend that you stop at the world renowned Ballymaloe house for lunch before the walk or perhaps for afternoon tea on your way home. There are also some wonderful pubs in Ballycotton if you prefer to sit by a roaring fire and have some quality pub grub!