We are well and truly into the festive season and the jolly spirit can be seen all around the Ring of Cork. It’s time to start planning a few things you can do with family and friends on the run up to Christmas and also during the Christmas season. Have a very Happy Christmas and enjoy many of our gems this festive season around the Ring of Cork.
After a few days in the house, you will begin to get some cabin fever! Why not get out in the fresh air and enjoy some of the beautiful walks along the Ring of Cork. Some of our favourite during the winter include Ballincollig Regional Park, Crosshaven Railway Walk, Youghal Boardwalk, Farran Woods, Glenbower Woods.
A beach walk is also a great idea. There is nothing like the fresh sea air walking along the beach. Some of the most spectacular spots for walks are Redbarn and Claycastle in Youghal, Rocky Bay near Crosshaven and the secluded White Bay beach near Whitegate. Other local favourites include Youghal Front Strand, Myrtleville Beach near Crosshaven and the very popular Fountainstown which has a direct bus service from the city. And that’s not all, you also have Inch Beach near Aghada, Garryvoe Beach, Ardnahinch beach, Ballynamona in Shanagarry, Ballycroneen Beach near Cloyne and the quieter Ballywilling Beach near Garryvoe.
A FESTIVE BREAK AT THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL & SPA
Are you looking to take a break away and relax with all the family this Christmas? The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa in Cork have a fantastic festive family offer over the festive period. Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones and creating memories to last a lifetime. A break away allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the season.
The Radisson Blu Hotel in Cork are offering a two-night family holiday in an interconnecting family room for two adults and up to three children. It also includes complimentary access to the Fitness Club with special dedicated hours for family time every day. Younger guests also have access to the fantastic Blu Birds Kids Club which is a fully supervised kids club available during Christmas holidays with festive-themed activities. This allows the little ones to have lots of fun, while you get a chance to unwind and relax in the newly refurbished Spa.
This package is available from the 20th December 2019 through to 5th January 2020 with prices from €230 per night, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It also includes festive treats and hot chocolate before bedtime, a super Buffet breakfast each morning, dinner together on one night in the cosy setting of Maestro’s Restaurant and a Global Explorer’s welcome pack on arrival for each child. For more information check out their website here.
AHERNE’S TOWNHOUSE & SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Aherne’s restaurant has been running since 1923. It originally was a tradition pub and shop which sold everything from a pint of Guinness to a pound of Butter. Now, it specialises in delicious seafood with boutique accommodation. It is the perfect place to enjoy some delicious food this Christmas with a warm welcome. It is also a great place to gift your friends with a voucher this Christmas to use in the New Year. A real Christmas treat for friends.
If you are looking for a tasty treat out with family, friends or colleagues this Christmas. Get in the festive spirit on the 13th of December and enjoy a delicious meal in Ahernes. You can choose from two delicious menus and afterwards you can enjoy some music with Mick Mangan and Mark Ansbro from 8pm.
If you are looking to plan a spectacular New Years, why not book in for their impressive 4 course Gala dinner on New Year’s Eve. You can enjoy the talented Jason Turk on Piano for the evening while dining. For more information check out their website here.
THE JAMESON EXPERIENCE
Over the Christmas break, why not try the Jameson Experience in Midleton. The Jameson Distillery is located in Midleton and has over 15 acres with buildings dating back to 1794. You can pick between two fully-guided tour around their heritage grounds. You will come face-to-face with the largest pot still in the world, see the new micro-distillery in action, experience the live maturation warehouse, and taste their famous whiskeys along the way.
The first is The Jameson Experience Tour which is a fully guided tour around the original Midleton Distillery and lasts about 75 minutes. You will hear all the stories from the history of the famous whiskey. You also get to tickle your taste buds by tasting three famous whiskeys, one being Jameson. The other tour you can try is the Behind the Scenes tour which helps you gain a deeper knowledge and insight into the history and production, along with hear the stories of Jameson Irish Whiskey. On this tour, you get to taste the premium whiskeys. This full tour lasts two hours. Perfect activity to do with friends over the Christmas season.
THE IMAGNITIVE EXPERINCE
If you are looking to do an activity with the kids and get everybody out in the fresh air, why not let them explore the fairy trail at Ballincollig Regional Park. Ballincollig Regional park is located on the South bank of the River Lee and much of it lies on the river’s floodplain. The park allows you feel like you are in the countryside without having to travel far outside the city. A very popular spot in the park to tickle your kid’s imagination is The Fairy Trail, a little spot where the fairies of Ireland come to live. Get their imagination flowing.
Nothing beats a hot chocolate and fresh baking over the festive season with family. Christmas is all about treating yourself so why not enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate and treat with the family at Bite Size in either Ballincollig or Midleton. They have the most delightful cakes, tarts and treats that are freshly baked every morning and waiting for you to enjoy this festive season.
CRONIN’S PUB & MAD FISH RESTAURANT
If cabin fever is kicking in and you are just sick of turkey sandwiches, why not enjoy a lovely fresh walk by the sea in Crosshaven, followed by a tasty seafood meal at Cronin’s Pub. This food gem is located in the heart of the seaside town of Crosshaven.
‘Cronin’s Pub’ has an incredible history. Sean’s parents bought the former ‘Kennefick’s Hotel’ in 1970 and ran it as ‘Crosser by the Sea’. Sean married Thecla who brought her love for cooking to ‘Cronin’s Pub’ and made it a beautiful lunch venue with lots of fresh seafood. Their son Denis got his love of cooking from his Mom and opened the ‘Mad Fish Restaurant’ which has picked up lots of well-deserved food awards. All the produce is sourced locally, freshly prepared each day and delicious. Our favourite dish is the mussels as they are absolutely divine!
A Spot of lunch at FOTA ISLAND RESORT
Escape the hustle and bustle of the festive season at the luxurious ‘Fota Island Resort’. Why not treat yourself to a spa day, followed by a spot of lunch in this luxurious hotel. Enjoy a casual lunch in the Amber Lounge or tickle those taste buds with their Thai style cuisine at Spike bar. The perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas over the festive season.
Nothing beats a road trip with family over the Christmas season. Why not go on a road trip along the beautiful East Cork. We would recommend doing the Ballycotton Cliff walk as it is one of the most beautiful walks in Ireland. Nothing like a fresh walk with the sea air over the festive period.
Afterwards, when you have built up an appetite, pop into the ‘Kilkenny Café. You can indulge in tasty Artisan Irish food for breakfast or lunch after your picturesque walk. If you are looking for something a little sweeter, you can enjoy some afternoon delight with their home baking and barista coffee.
Another gem near Ballycotton is Pier 26. This gem is located in the heart of Ballycotton on the pier. You get a mix of old and new as you walk in the door as they have a welcoming traditional pub packed with character, along with an award-winning restaurant which features fresh fish straight out of the sea. They offer brunch, lunch and both an early bird menu and a la carte menu. The perfect stop on your road trip around East Cork.
THE JACKDAW SESSIONS
If you are looking for a festive night out, why not go to see some of Cork’s best musicians perform at the Jackdaw Sessions on stage every Thursday night in J.J. Coppingers Bar at 9:30pm. You can pop along to enjoy the music with a coffee, wine or even treat yourself to their famous cocktails. A great night out with friends and family with a gig to remember.
ACRYLIC PAINTING CLASS
Get your creative juices flowing with this acrylic painting class over the festive season. Every Friday between 10:30am and 12:30pm, you can enjoy acrylic painting classes with Carmel O’Callaghan at Castlemartyr House Gallery & Gifts. The perfect escape into creativity over the festive season.