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Reviewed on 20 Sep 2019
The birthplace of one of Ireland’s most famous leaders, Michael Collins, Clonakilty is a popular town on Cork’s south west coast. About a one-hour drive from Cork City, Clonakilty is a short drive from several famous Cork towns including Kinsale, Skibbereen, Bandon and Baltimore. The town has many wonderful festivals and events across the year, and is also part of the West Cork food scene, famed for some of the best produce in Ireland. This stretch of Ireland, in particular Kinsale, Clonakilty and Baltimore, has a reputation for great local produce and wonderful eateries.
Things to Do in Clonakilty
Top of the list for many visitors to Clonakilty is a voyage of discovery about Michael Collins. With his monument proudly displayed in the town, providing a great photo opportunity for visitors, the Michael Collins Centre is an authentic visitor experience providing great insight into the famous leader and his battles (and struggles) for Irish independence.
The town holds a weekly farmers’ market every Friday, which attracts visitors from along the south west coast of Cork, while the Model Railway Village is something that is sure to please all the family and makes for a great day out.
Driving Holiday Along South Cork
The South Cork coastline is among the most picturesque in Ireland, and Clonakilty has you well placed to explore the area. The popular market town of Skibbereen is a must visit, while a trip to Baltimore provides you with the opportunity to hit the water and enjoy a dolphin- and whale-watching experience.
Continue south towards ‘Ireland’s Teardrop’, better known as Mizen Head, the most southern point of Ireland. Cross the iconic Mizen footbridge and take in the breath-taking scenery of one of Cork’s, and indeed Ireland’s, most-visited tourist attractions. Alternatively you can head east from Clonakilty to Ireland’s gourmet food capital, Kinsale. While food is a big draw for visitors to this area, the views from the Old Head of Kinsale are up there with the very best in Ireland, while Charles Fort, James’s Fort and Desmond Castle are also worth checking out when in Kinsale.
Things to Do in Cork City
Cork City is a one-hour drive from Clonakilty, allowing you to visit the ‘Rebel City’ for the day before calling it a night in the more tranquil surroundings of Clonakilty. Cork City has several popular attractions for visitors to the area to explore, with the English Market, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork City Gaol and Fitzgerald’s Park all well worth exploring. Cork City is also home to many popular pubs, cafes and restaurants, leaving you spoilt for choice as you walk through the cobbled streets of the city centre.