Cork boasts plenty of fine scenery, stunning beaches, forests and parks. Here are some of the best outdoor places in Cork to get out with kids and enjoy the fine scenery in the county.
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Best Outdoor Places in Cork for Families
Dursey Island and the Cable Car
Dursey Cable Car experience is an absolute must if you have a head for heights! Travel over Dursey sound to Dursey Island where you can stroll around and admire the truly breathtaking ocean views, have a picnic while observing the many birds including puffins that live on the island and, if you are lucky, spot some whales and dolphins too!
Millstreet County Park
Millstreet County Park is open from the end of March to the end of Sept, has loads to offer families for a great day out. There are several lovely picnic spots, plenty of toilet facilities (including baby-changing), walking trails which are buggy and wheelchair accessible as well as a deer farm, archaeological sites, themed gardens outdoor games and much, much more…
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Gougane Barra National Park
Gougane Barra National Park, Ireland’s first National Park is a great option for a day out in Cork and is a beautiful destination in any season. There are walking and cycling trails and if the weather is nice, there is also a picnic area.
There are six different walking trails to suit all levels of fitness. There’s also a looped 3km scenic drive with spectacular views of the deep valley and its walled sides.
Glengarriff Nature Reserve
Glengarriff Nature Reserve offers a selection of trails. Take the gentle riverside route or, for the more adventurous, the steeper climb to enjoy the vistas from Lady Bantry’s Lookout.
Glenbower Woods, Killeagh is set off on the road. You can head into the forest or go down the myriad of footpaths to enjoy the serenity of the trees and river. Fun wooden bridges to cross and several little huts along the way in which to rest!
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Passage to Blackrock Castle Cycle Lane
A fun family cycling route in Cork is along the old railway line from Passage to Blackrock Castle. This trail is frequently used for an annual Family Fun Cycle and is suitable for young and old.
Ballyhass Lakes in North County Cork boasts an aqua park as well as lakes for fishing (equipment and tuition can be provided) and if you fancy trying something different there are also kayaking and raft-building activities on offer.
Rosscarbery Lagoon is a fantastic place to have an adventure on the water with your children. From June-August visit The Lagoon Activity Centre where you can rent a paddle-boat, row-boat or kayak.
Life jackets are provided and all ages catered for. There is also a lovely cafe where you can grab a quick bite after your exertions!
- Inchydoney Beach, Clonakilty. Inchydoney is a sandy beach, located on Inchydoney Island a few miles from Clonakilty. Public parking and toilets are provided adjacent to the beach, and life guards are on duty in the summer season. Access to the beach is by ramps and steps.
- Warren Beach, Rosscarbery/Clonakilty. A sandy beach located at the mouth of Rosscarbery Bay and accessed by turning off the N71 at Warren Cross. There is a pitch and putt club adjacent to the beach. Public car parking, toilet facilities and lifebuoys are provided at the beach. Life guards are on duty during the bathing season.
- Tragumna Beach, Skibbereen. Tragumna is a sandy, sheltered beach, situated about four miles from Skibbereen. It can be reached by turning off the R596 at Abisdealy bridge and following the signs for Tragumna. Public car parking, toilet facilities and lifebuoys are provided at the beach. Life guards are on duty during the bathing season.
- Barleycove Beach, Schull area. Barleycove is situated in the Mizen Peninsula, 22 kilometres south west of Schull. The site is situated between two headlands, and comprises an extensive sand dune system, with associated habitats at the rear of the dunes. A small river running through the dunes discharges to the sea at the south east of the site. On the southern side, the area is bounded by open sea. Public car parking, toilet facilities and lifebuoys are provided at the beach. Life guards are on duty during the bathing season.
Fitzgeralds Park and Playground
My absolute favourite playground/park in Cork is Fitzgeralds Park. Bring a picnic, let off steam at the playground and there are several child-friendly places of interest to visit within walking distance should the skies decide to open! For example, Cork Museum, the Stone Corridor in UCC, the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, the Lifetime Lab and lots more…
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Have your say! Do you have any favourite outdoor places in Cork to go with the kids? Tell us in the comments below.