Exploring the Ring of Cork’s beauty throughout the Autumn season is one of the most magical experiences. The best way to explore is to get out in nature, breathe in the fresh air and listen to the crunch of the leaves under your feet. You are guaranteed to get mesmerised in the spectacular Autumnal colours and breathtaking scenery.
In this blog post, we are going to list some of our favourite walks along The Ring of Cork this Autumn season. We will also share some fun experiences and tasty gems you can try after your refreshing walk. Nothing beats the fresh Autumn air as you enjoy the spectacular scenery on offer along the Ring of Cork.
THE BALLYCOTTON CLIFF WALK
The Ballycotton Cliff walk is one of the most beautiful walks in Ireland. It consists of 5 miles of cliff to the beach in Ballytrasna. Walk along the worn footpath and take in the unbelievable views. This coastal cliff walk is known for its spectacular scenery, wildlife and natural beauty. If you are looking for a fun activity afterwards, be sure to head out on the water with Ballycotton Sea Adventures for a guided tour around Ballycotton Island, Ballycotton lighthouse and the picturesque coastline. And if you have built up an appetite with the sea air, there is something to tickle everybody’s taste buds at Pier 26. Their menu offers a wide choice from their famous Seafood Chowder and Confit free range duck leg to slow roast pork belly and Ballycotton hake.
BALLINCOLLIG REGIONAL PARK
The Ballincollig regional park is a popular gem along the Ring of Cork, located on the South bank of the River Lee. One of the key features of this park is you feel like you are in the countryside without having to travel far outside the city. People are drawn to its natural landscape and peaceful walks. Many trails take you through the forest where you have fresh flowers along the pathway and you can enjoy the peace and tranquility. There are lots of paths to choose from, all twisting and turning back and forth from the water, so you can make your walk as long or as short as you like. Each walk allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the park. After your walk, you can grab a coffee and a homemade treat at Café Chico which is based in the historic Regional Park and relax overlooking the water.
CROSSHAVEN RAILWAY WALK
Crosshaven is one of the most picturesque spots along the Ring of Cork for an Autumn walk. A very popular walk is from Kilnagleary, near Carrigaline, which brings you right into Crosshaven. This walk runs along the old Cork to Crosshaven railway line which was in use from 1904 to 1932. As you walk along the path, you have the Owenabue River by your side all the way to Crosshaven. You can take in the beautiful surroundings, observe the wildlife and breathe in the fresh sea air. When you get to Crosshaven, you can grab a bite to eat in Cronin’s Pub. This gem is known for its fresh seafood, divine mussels and delicious dishes.
The boardwalk in Youghal offers a beautiful walk into the town. The Eco-Boardwalk is a 400 metre hardwood panelled beach walkway, stretching from Front Strand Beach to Claycastle Beach. It is an ideal for buggies, wheelchair users and small bikes. You can build up an appetite on your walk and enjoy a bite to eat in Youghal town in Ahernes Townhouse and Seafood restaurant. Taste the finest fish, freshly caught seafood, locally reared beef and lamb and much more.
The Ring of Cork is known for its breathtaking coastline so it has an abundance of beach walks to enjoy the fresh sea air. 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. You are spoilt for choice with beautiful, picturesque beaches to walk along this Autumn.
If you are looking for an escape from the city, Farran Wood is exactly what you are looking for. It is located just off Inniscarra Lake and is surrounded by views of the lake, forest and countryside. You can enjoy a walk throughout the forest and pick from lots of different paths, some which offer a relaxed walk while others offer a more challenging walk. One of our favourite walks is the lake walk as the views are breathtaking. If you are looking for a bit of an adrenaline pumping experience while in Farran Wood, you can check out ZIPIT Forest Adventure and explore the forest on the treetops or by zipping through the trees.
CROSSHAVEN GRASSY AND CLIFF WALK
A walk which is very popular with the locals is the Grassy and Cliff Walk in Crosshaven. It is a walk that will take your breath away as it offers spectacular views of the harbour from start to finish. The walk takes you along the Point Road until you reach The Grassy Walk at the end of the road. You can climb up the path to the most sensational viewing area. You have breathtaking views of Spike Island, Haulbowline and Cobh. You can continue the walk or return to the village along Camden road. If you continue the walk you will be brought along the cliff on a well-worn path which will bring you down to Graball Bay. After your walk, you can go experience Camden Fort Meagher which is a coastal defence fortification located in Crosshaven. 65% of the fort is located underground in a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers. The fort was built to defend the mouth of Cork Harbour in the 16th century.
If you are looking for a woodland walk in East Cork, Glenbower Wood won’t disappoint. It is located in the friendly town of Killeagh as you take the turn off by the Old Thatch pub in the village. You can walk through the forest trail and enjoy the surroundings in this picturesque gem. As you enter the park, you can take one of the beautiful trails on offer. Go for a walk in this peaceful destination, enjoy the fresh autumn air and admire the vibrant leaves changing colour. The perfect walk this Autumn.
GLANMIRE HERITAGE WALKS
Heritage walks are always a great way to explore and learn something new about an area. Glanmire Heritage society have put together three walks to promote heritage and culture in Glanmire. You can enjoy the Sallybrook Walk, the Glashaboy Walk and the Rathconney Walk and download the walk guides here. A great way to learn about the history, culture and people. After your walk, you could grab a bite to eat in the Elm in Glounthaune. Enjoy their Bluebell Falls Goats Cheese Salad at lunch time, their slow cooked lamb shank or madras chicken curry on the a la carte menu or pop in on a Sunday for their famous carvery Sunday lunch. The perfect way to end the day after your Autumn walk.
FOTA HOUSE, ARBORETUM & GARDENS
Fota House is surrounded by the most spectacular gardens which are perfect for a fresh Autumn walk. If you are looking for a tranquil walk, we would highly recommend Fota’s internationally recognised arboretum and gardens. The gardens are open all year and offer a walk full of tranquility and serenity. The palm walk, orangery and atmospheric Victorian fernery are not to be missed during your visit. You can tickle your taste buds after the walk in Fota Island Resort with their popular Thai style cuisine at Spike bar.
Nothing beats a walk in the woods in the Autumn. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy nature and listen to the sound of the crunchy Autumn leaves under your feet. The Ring of Cork has lots to choose from when it comes to picking a wood to enjoy nature. Some of our favourites include Ballyannan Woods in Midleton, Castlemartyr Woods, Currabinny Woods near Carrigaline, Glenbower Woods in Killeagh, Marlogue Woods in Cobh and Rostellan Woods, Aghada and of course Farran Woods near Ovens.
HAPPY FEET WALKING TOURS
It is always a good idea to do a walking tour to learn more about an area. You may think you know an area very well but you will always discover new things on a walking tour. Learn things about the place you mightn’t have ever known before. You can discover the history of Youghal on this Happy Feet Walking tour. Join their walking tour and go on a journey through time to hear stories of witchcraft, piracy, famine and espionage. After all that walking you might be looking for a bite to eat and we would recommend the ‘Red Store Restaurant’. The original Grain Store dates back to the 1900’s and is now known as a great spot for food in the busy seaside town.
KNOCKADOON CLIFF WALK
The Knockadoon looped walk is a beautiful walk which gives you a mixture of cliff, track and road throughout. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, breathe in the fresh sea air and observe the wildlife surrounding you. The walk begins on the cliff edge which spectacular scenery along the path. It then turns inland to return to Knockadoon Pier by road. After your walk, you could take a trip to the Kilkenny Café in the Shanagarry Design Centre to enjoy some afternoon delight with their home baking and barista coffee.
RING OF CORK HERITAGE TRAIL
If you are looking for a few walks to try this Autumn, you can download the new Ring of Cork Heritage Trail. It allows you to explore the heritage and learn about the stories along the Ring of Cork. It has over 35 places to visit so you will be spoilt for choice. You can pick up a A3 map from your local tourist office our download it here.