Top 5 scenic walks around Cork

Sheep's Head Way, photo by Richard Webb

Cork is a fun and cosmopolitan city with countless pubs, restaurants and shops, and more cultural and historical attractions that you can possibly visit in one day. But Cork’s charm lies not only in these conventional attractions – you can enjoy the city and its environs just as much even if you are not actively seeking out places to visit. One of the best ways to see the best parts of the city as well as in Cork County. If you want to take a break from the city bustle, you can head out to West Cork, East Cork or North Cork for some hill walking, cliff walks and river walks. Here are top 5 scenic walks around Cork, for the irrepressible rambler.

Sheep’s Head Peninsula Walk, Bantry

The walking trail on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula makes for one of the most picturesque walks in Ireland. There’s a number of guided walks around the peninsula (one of them starts at the Seamount Farm Bed and Breakfast), but there’s no real need of a tour for this walk, especially if you want the freedom of exploring the paths on your own. With a good map and some orientation skills, this is a very pleasant walk in the environs of Bantry.

Clogheenmilcon Looped Walk, Blarney

Clogheenmilcon Looped Walk is a lazy person’s walk, but that doesn’t make it any less delightful. The walk starts at a designated picnic spot, where there’s a large parking lot for those with cars. It doesn’t take much effort to walk this trail, as there are no truly challenging walks, and the 100 acres of wetlands are nothing if not picturesque.

Barán Loop, Ahakista

photo by Andrew Wood

Barán Loop, a 9 kilometer walk in Ahakista, starts at the back of Arundel’s Pub (where you can down a refreshing pint before starting your walk). The walk is very well marked, with blue and green arrows at every junction (at one point, the trail forks off into the slightly longer Seefin and Glanlough walking trails). Parts of Barán Loop overlap with the Sheep’s Head trail, but there are enough differences between the two to make Barán Loop worth your time.

Forestry And Lady Bantrys Lookout, Glengarriff

The small and lovely village of Glengarriff is a walker’s paradise, as it is surrounded by quite a few excellent walking trails. Forestry And Lady Bantrys Lookout are perfect for discovering a part of Glengarriff’s surroundings which are not that often visited on foot. The main draw of this walk is O’Leary’s point, from where you get a glimpse of Glengarriff Bay from above.

Lis Ard Gardens, Skibbereen

photo by Keith Cunneen

If you want to see the best of Irish flora all in one place, then the amazing Lis Ard gardens are an excellent destination. The 200 acre gardens are more like a park than anything else – there are woodlands, waterfalls, lakes and meadows. Parts of the garden were carefully designed to showcase as well as possible the beauty of Irish nature, while others have been left to grow wild. If you want a fairly easy but stunning walk, then Lis Ard is definitely in the top 5 scenic walks around Cork.


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