Amazing Walk trails in and around Cork
By The Headlines, March 28, 2023 | 09:29 PM
Cork is full of exciting and invigorating walking routes to explore. From coastal trails to city centre strolls, there are 14 wonderful walks in and around the area to discover!
Can you feel it? That warm and comforting sensation of sunshine on our skin? Don't waste any time inside - let's step outside and enjoy it!
This summer, make it a point to explore the beautiful island that we are living in. Whether you take a bus, or train, or fly to your chosen destination for a weekend, get out and discover all the amazing places this paradise has to offer.
Cork is the ideal destination when it comes to exploring a new place. It boasts some of the best seaside towns, breathtaking cliff walks and lush green overgrown paths that make every stroll worthwhile.
Instead of driving, consider walking to your favourite spots in Cork! Don't forget to bring a raincoat just in case. There are various trails you can explore over the upcoming months - why not try them all?
Here are some of the options one should start with:
1. The Ballycotton Cliff Walk
With an 8km stretch of picturesque meadows on one side and a dramatic coastline view on the other, you can traverse this route in roughly two hours by walking.
Lace-up your shoes and bring along your furry companion to explore the secluded beauty of Ballytrasna beach. You will be in awe of the fantastic views of a lighthouse and mesmerising shades of blue in the ocean.
2. The Beara Way
It would take roughly nine days and 200,000 steps to complete the entire path. So make sure you have enough time to spare if you want to experience the entire trail.
If you're short on time, a 10-20k section of the walk is the most ideal option. Healy's Pass at the Ring of Beara offers some of the most gorgeous views that you'll ever come across!
3. Big Meadow Walk at Glengarrif
This hike begins at the car park located in the nature reserve, and traces the course of the river until it reaches a large expanse of meadow, before heading back to its starting point through a public road.
Organize a picnic and make your way leisurely on this short trek which is less than 4km long.
4. The Gleann Loop
Taking the ferry to Cape Clear Island and joining the dolphin and whale watching while you leisurely stroll around - there isn't a better experience out there.
You'll be treated to breathtaking sights of the Fastnet Rock and West Cork coastline while embarking on this 7km walk. It won't take more than a couple of hours, but it will surely leave you wanting some delicious local cuisine.
5. Gougane Barra Forest Park
This forest park, situated along the Sheehy mountains with its lush valley, offers six different walking trails for you to choose from.
Slí Sleibhe is one of the most impressive paths in the park, rising up to 2.5km with spectacular views from atop the mountains. It's a tough climb, but well worth it for the remarkable experience it provides!
6. Old Head of Kinsale Loop
This relaxing 1.5 hour (6 km) ramble on the renowned Old Head of Kinsale ends in the small village and definitely is an enjoyable walk!
You mustn't miss seeing the 17th century Old Head Lighthouse and the Lusitania passenger ship which was tragically sunk by a German U-Boat in WW2.
7. Seven Heads Walk
If you're into birdwatching, the Seven Heads walk at the Courtmacsherry Estuary is an absolute must-do! This conservation area is full of wildlife and covers a distance of 42 km, so it would take a few days to complete. Alternatively, you can also opt for shorter routes by customizing them at your convenience.
Start your journey from Timoleague village and explore Courtmacsherry, while marvelling at the rugged cliffs & shoreline. Continue onwards to Dunworley Bay then onto Barryscove, Ardgehane & Ballinglanna.
8. Courtmacsherry Coastal Loop
This breathtaking trail, a part of the Seven Heads walk, leads you through stunning bluebell wood and onto amazing cliffside views of the ocean. Be sure to take in this incredible beauty!
Should you choose to, you can journey down to the isolated Broad Strand beach and enjoy a lengthy stroll. Alternatively, if you need some refreshments, there is always the option of returning to the little village.
Also Read: Top 15 Best Beaches in Ireland
9. Blackrock Castle Loop
One of the most famous running and walking trails in Cork city is 8km long and takes you past Blackrock Castle and Mahon. It's a popular route amongst the locals!
The landscape around the river and harbour regions is largely flat and offers great views. It's perfect for having a break with coffee, while enjoying the scenery. It's an ideal place to relax!
10. Claragh Loop
To make your trek worthwhile, be sure to wear hiking boots as the path can get quite treacherous. However, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful walks that can only be experienced in Cork.
A hike of 10km along the Claragh mountain takes you through fields and sheep-studded lands, eventually taking you back to the town of Millstreet.
11. Blackwater Way
The Blackwater Way is a wonderful two-route walking experience that stretches from Clogheen in County Tipperary to Muckross in County Kerry. It comprises the Avondhu Route and the Dunhallow Route which both offer outstanding natural beauty.
Make sure to spread out your journey from Clogheen and the Knockmealdown Mountains, especially since you'll have to go through roads, hills and forest tracks. The Vee area is one of the most stunning sights on that route - so don't miss it! It's best if you take a few days when travelling this path.
12. Foreshore Walk
A pleasant stroll from Schull village in East Cork will take you to a ruined church, graveyard and a few secluded rocky coves. The final destination is the 'Dogs Hole' which is popular for swimming in summer - so why not hope for some sunshine!
You can take a refreshing dip in the ocean within half an hour and be rewarded for your effort! So don't wait any longer and plan your trip today!
13. Bere Island Slí na Sláinte
Embark on a ferry to the breathtakingly beautiful island off the coast of West Cork for some superlative walks with visuals of Hungry Hill, Berehaven Harbour, and Castletownbere.
There is no shortage of walking trails for visitors to Bere Island, with the 6km Rerrin Loop being particularly popular. This route offers stunning views of Martello towers, the Ardaragh Wedge tomb and a Viking shipyard.
14. The Sheep's Head Way
This remarkable 88km walk starts at Bantry, heading northwards to the coast before passing through the charming villages of Kilcrohane, Ahakista and Durrus.
Dogs are not permitted on the route, however, you are welcome to join in at any point. Our recommendation is to take a break for food in each village you come across on the journey.