In the first of a series on Irish holiday destinations, Elaine Lavery comes over all patriotic to show that Ireland’s fields truly are the greenes
If you have not had the privilege of visiting Glandore, a town 72km west of Cork City, then you have missed out. Perched over an inlet, it is perhaps the most picturesque harbour village in Ireland. This is no secret – go there on a summers day and you will be hard pressed to get a table outside Hayes’ pub to enjoy an open prawn sandwich on homemade brown soda bread, let alone find a spot to abandon your car along the bumper-to-bumper hedgerows leading up to the village.
Every season in Glandore has something to offer. Go there in spring to descend the winding stone steps on the harbour front and discover a tiny secluded beach where you can skim stones across the water. In summer drive down to Tra Long for a pre-breakfast dip in the ocean and spend the afternoon sipping cider, overlooking the sailing boats making trips across to Union Hall, a well-known fishing town. In autumn, pick blackberries from the brambles lining the country roads to bake in an apple and blackberry tart, and in the depths of winter go to Glandore to enjoy hot whiskies into the night, cosied up by a log fire in Casey’s pub.
For the Duracell bunny type there’s plenty to do. Remember the Drombeg Stone Circle from Junior Cert history? You might pay it a visit, where you can appreciate the Fulcaht Fia, whilst trying to recall its purpose. If the sun is shining (which it does surprisingly often) try a bit of pedal boating or kayaking down at Roscarbery’s Lagoon Activity Centre. Or, spend a rainy afternoon at the Celtic Ross Leisure Centre and Spa next to it. And when you get hungry, the foodie will never be disappointed in West Cork – seafood platters, chowders, artisan cheeses, meats and homemade treats are all in abundance.
With the new road from Dublin to Cork, the beauty and tranquillity of Glandore is not out of reach. Out of season, the Glandore Marine Hotel, as well as a number of B&Bs, offer comfortable accommodation at very reasonable prices. There are also a number of self-catering options available. To learn more see glandorevillage.ie – it’s time to appreciate what we’ve got on our doorstep.