Clonakilty is a busy market town and great base for activities in West Cork. It’s close to the sea with long sandy beaches which can be used for photography skills and sunsets. The tidal estuaries are home to a wide range of resident and migratory birds and our expert Birdwatching Guide will help you find and identify plenty. Go fishing in a river, lake or out to sea with a guide or use the water for sailing, windsurfing or just swimming. Craft shops and artisan foods are to be found in abundance. We offer a pottery course or a Guided Food trail. See what you can do in nearby Skibbereen or Kinsale on other page links.
Guided Activities you can book:
Take a guided walk at Castlefreke near Clonakilty or Lough Hyne on a Tuesday am and pm or by arrangement. Only experienced walkers could do both walks in 1 day.The Castlefreke walk start and ends at the beach. Hear the history of the area, why the castle is in ruin, the stories of the area and enjoy the view. Walk of about 3 hours and 11km long. Minimum number required, takes place Tuesday 10am (July & August)
Fitness Level 2. Time 10am Tuesday. Price €35pp.
The Lough Hyne, near Skibbereen overlooks the nature reserve lake and has an unique eco system. The walk is a loop walk of about 7km and 2.5 hours, with hills is more strenuous walk. Minimum group number for each walk and takes place on Tuesday 3pm (July & Aug).
Fitness level 3. Time Tuesday 3pm. Price 35pp.
Day:- Friday 10am-4pm, Fitness Level 2. Price €89 (Group rate 5+)
In Clonakilty, West Cork make your own silver jewellery using a variety of techniques to remember the Wild Atlantic Way. You may want to make a ring, bracelet, earrings, brooch or pendant under the guidance of a Master Silversmith in a studio in Clonakilty. Gems and silver is provided and paid for at the end of the 3-hour beginners class. Jewellery making courses from 10am on Thursday mornings . Full day course for 5 or more can be arranged.
Food Trail of Artisan Foods on Friday mornings from 10.30am – 3pm in Clonakilty. Meet the local food producers, taste the artisan foods at the market and taste West Cork Cheese, Breads, Chocolate and Ice Cream. Takes place every Friday morning 11am during summer months (has to be pre-booked). Fitness Level 2. Price €50
Some of the best beaches in West Cork are Inchadoney, Courtmacsherry, Warren Strand, Red strand, Long strand and are all close to Clonakilty.
Clonakilty Bike Hire (Rothar ar Cíos)
Explore Clonakilty and the area by bike from the community bike scheme where bikes can be rented from any of the local hotels or the Model Railway. The cost is €10 for a visitors card paid by credit card to join the scheme, first day free, second day 1st hour free with €1 per hour after that to a max of €30 for visitors. Bikes come with a helmet, Hi-Viz vest, map and bottle of water. There are 11 stations for drop off bikes as well as the hotels, so you can cycle to one of the 7 local beaches and pick up a bike for the way home! A lovely way to see the countryside.
Drombeg Stone Circle (Liagchiorcail an Drom Beog)
Drombeg Stone Circle, west of Roscarberry, is this intact Stone circle. It is made up of 17 Standing stones in a circle with 2 Portal stones in the direction of the sunset during the winter solstice. There is also a Fullach Fia – an ancient cooking site.
- Lisselan Garden is a Robinson designed Garden with a range of many unusual plants.
- Stepaside Garden in Ballinascarthy is a mature garden.
- See the Henry Ford Ancestral Site near Lisselan and sit on the Model T Ford Statue.
Micheal Collins Self Guided Tour (Slí Micheal o Coilleáin)
Visit Michel Collins Museum in his restored Georgian home at 7 Emmet Square, Clonakilty, which contains many artefacts from his life. He was born near Clonakilty in 1890 and the old homestead can be seen, but get directions as its up a lane off the main road. Then drive to Dunmanway and Beal na Blath where Collins was shot, a drive of about 2 hours round trip from Clonakilty.
McCarthys Maze (Lúbra Muintir MacCarthaigh)
Lose yourself in McCarthy’s Maze trail near Kilbrittain (from Mid July until the Maze is cut) it has mazes for all ages and abilities. Go see the Kilbrittan Whale skeleton afterwards.
Model Railway Village (Sráidbhaile Míonsamhail)
A lovely place to take children to see the model village, model trains and feel like a giant.
Clonakilty Historical Walks are on Wednesday evenings in July & August at 7pm starting from the Michael Collins Statue on Emmet Square. No pre-booking required
Take a Walk (Tóg Siúlóid)
- Get the route maps in most local shops for the Seven Heads Peninsula.
- Take a lagoon walk in Rosscarbery – across the bridge and around the sea inlet along the road – great for buggies.
- In Castlefreak Woods there is a gothic ruin of a castle with marked trails and loop walks.
Traditional Music is played in the pubs of Clonakilty every night – check the notice board in O’Donovans Hotel.
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