12 Hidden Gems in East Cork

Take a scenic drive along the Wild Atlantic Way and discover a range of exciting places to visit and activities to do in East Cork, with some true hidden gems on the list.

There is so much to discover, visit the world renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School, experience the exhilaration when walking along the Ballycotton Cliff Walk, sample some of Ireland’s finest whiskey at Jameson Distillery in Midleton or take leisurely strolls along the beaches of East Cork.

Ballycotton Cliff Walk

The walk starts from Ballycotton village, near the lifeboat station and continues along a cliff track with the meadows on one side and the ocean on the other. It is a one-way walk, allowing you to choose the length of the walk. Located 6km from Ballymaloe House Hotel.

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Ballycotton Sea Adventures

A memorable experience of visiting iconic black Ballycotton Lighthouse. Ferry operates from Ballycotton Pier, carrying up to 10 passengers across the bay to Ballycotton Island, where a local guide gives a fully guided tour. Running from April to September, weather dependant, duration aprox. 90 minutes.

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Ballymaloe Cookery School

The internationally renowned cookery school, run by Darina Allen, sits on a 100-acre organic farm, located 4km away. As a guest, avail of a complimentary entry and spend the afternoon strolling through carefully designed gardens, the farm or visit the Garden Shop selling artisan cheese, meat, organic produce from the farm and baked goods.

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Cobh Heritage Centre

Whether you are interested in the ‘Queenstown Story’ the story of Irish Emigration, tracing your ancestors, learning more about the ill-fated Titanic and the Lusitania, or immersing yourself in our naval and military history, and so many stories to tell, a trip to Cobh Heritage Centre is a must.

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Midleton Distillery Experience

Founded by John Jameson in 1780, today the former factory stands as a monument to Irish Whiskey. Guided Distillery experience tours will take you on a journey from past to present, you will view the world’s largest pot still, and enjoy a premium whiskey tasting at the end. Located 11km from Ballymaloe House Hotel.

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Golf Courses

Enjoy a world-class golfing experience in East Cork during your stay at Ballymaloe House Hotel. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner, golf courses in Cork offer a challenge for all skill levels and a golfing experience like no other. Read more to view  some of the top golf courses in Cork.

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Knockadoon Cliff Walk

Knockadoon Head looped walk is 8 kilometres long walk with a mixture of cliff, track, and road walks. Home to a signal tower, dating back to 1803 designed to spot an incoming fleet of invaders. This walk takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, suitable for older kids and adults, located 11km from Ballymaloe House.

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Midleton Farmer’s Market

One of the most famous farmer’s markets in Ireland, established over a decade ago and formed by Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School and local farmers. The local market opens every Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00, selling fresh local produce, homemade cakes, breads and much more.

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Shanagarry Pottery

Irish handmade pottery venture founded on a core appreciation of craftsmanship. Collections include Stephen Pearce ranges, Atlantic Wave, Blue on Red handmade pottery, personalised gifts and much more. Located 4km drive from Ballymaloe House, the shop opens Monday to Friday, 11:00 to 17:00, email for enquiries.

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Spike Island

1300 years of Irish history, 104 acres of nature, originally the site of monastic settlement. On Spike Island you can enjoy two scenic walking trails, dotted with pretty houses, abandoned villages, convict cemeteries, as well as the original 1804 fortress that crowns the island, with over a dozen authentic buildings.

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Youghal Clock Tower

Within the medieval walls of this coastal town lies the fascinating Youghal Clock Gate Tower. The most visible landmark, located in the heart of Youghal, the tower is inextricably linked with the surrounding landscape and community across more than 700 years of history. 22km drive from Ballymaloe House.

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Titanic Experience

Located in Casement Square in the heart of Cobh Town, the original White Star Line ticket office where the infamous ship picked up its last 123 passengers before embarking on its journey. The Titanic Experience endeavours to recreate the events, the atmosphere of the Titanic's maiden voyage to New York.

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