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The Guide To County Cork

Mar 8, 2008
Skibbereen is a bustling and vibrant town built on the river IIen. Known as the "hub" of West Cork it is the ideal base from which to discover the quaint fishing villages of Baltimore, Glandore and Castletownsend.

Skibbereen offers the tourist a wealth of attractions both historical and recreational. Over the years the town has vigilantly retained its traditional feel with its colourful shops and inviting decorative streets. The Irish famine in the 1840's took its toll on Skibbereen and today this era is remembered in the "Great Famine Exhibition" at Skibbereen Heritage Centre. Here historical lovers can learn about the worst human disaster of the 19th Century by seeing original artefacts from that era and listening to the dramatization of events retold by actors.

The Heritage Centre is also home to the Salt Water Aquarium. This exhibit displays some of the rare species and plant life taken from Loch Hyne. (Ireland's first marine nature reserve, which is only 5km south west of the town.)

Skibbereen has lots to offer the "active" tourist. Set on the picturesque coastline of West Cork "Skib" is renowned for its nautical feel. Choose from a range of water sports, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing etc. For those wanting to stay on dry land why not discover the coastline on horseback, pony-trekking or the guided walking tours.

After spending a busy day exploring the delights the town has to offer take a break and relax in one of Skibbereen's 26 pubs or award winning restaurants.

The nightlife in Skibbereen is not to be missed! The locals cater for all tastes by offering an eclectic mix of live Irish music and contemporary up and coming bands.

Accommodation is plentiful and a wide selection of luxury hotels, B & B's and self-catering cottages will suit all tastes and budgets.

Skibbereen is a truly authentic Irish town and has something for everyone's tastes. The welcoming atmosphere and charm will leave you wanting more.

If it's a peace and quiet you long for then the cliff-side fishing village of Ballycotton is well worth a visit. Only 30 minutes drive east of Cork city Ballycotton has a small population of approximately 500 people. The hilly fishing harbour has fantastic views over a boat filled marina to a steep island dominated by the famous black lighthouse.

Ballycotton has lots to offer the tourist and its clean and unspoilt sandy beaches are a credit to its locals who are mindful of the dramatic coastline. The Ballinamona area is a noted bird watching area of international importance and Capel Island and Ballycotton Island offer a wide variety of habitat and rare species.
For those traveling with young families the short drive to Fota Island Wildlife Park is a great day out. Trabolgan holiday village offers a great range of activities from the indoor heated "wave pool" to outdoor golf and other leisure pursuits.

Ballycotton offers a wide selection of food and accommodation that will suit all tastes and budgets. Traditional B & B's and welcoming holiday cottages will ensure your stay in Ballycotton will be a comfortable and enjoyable one. The nearby village of Shanagarry is home to the internationally renowned Ballymaloe House. The 4 star guesthouse is also a cookery school and its gourmet restaurant is open all year round. For those wanting to take home some "local produce" the Stephen Pearce Pottery range uses only local clay in his decorative ware.

So if you're traveling outside Cork City and want a chance to relax and unwind then Ballycotton village is a little jewel not to be missed!
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