Clonakilty is a busy market town, but is only 3 km from one of the largest and most popular beaches in West Cork and is the centre for family holidays in this part of the county. It is about 40 km from Cork City and to the west of the town the landscape dissolves into a succession of bays and peninsulas along the coast or increasingly mountainous terrain inland. It is a prosperous and bright town today but was notorious for suffering in the Irish Famine (1845-47) and was also the home town of Michael Collins, Ireland's lost leader, who was killed in the civil war, after concluding the Treaty of Independeance with Great Britain in 1921.
The Bus Eireann route 237 connects Clonakilty and Cork several times per day.
Taxi service (call 023 35221) is the best way to get around if you don't have your own car.
- Inchydoney Beach. A fine unspoilt beach, on an island reached by a causeway. Small surf school here also.
- Rosscarbery. This is a tiny town and seat of the Anglican Bishop of Cork and Ross. It is a pretty town on a hill, overlooking a sea inlet.
- Drombeg Stone Circle. One of Ireland's finest examples of a standing stone circle.
- 1 Galley Head Lighthouse. The Galley Head Lighthouse is located on the Dundeady headland overlooking Red Strand and Long Strand beaches. Lovely spot to visit.
There are many other pleasant places to explore along the coast.
- 2 West Cork Model Railway Village, Inchydoney Rd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 1:24 scale model village from the 1940s Adults €8, Child €4.50.
- Castlefreke. The Castlefreke area of Ardfield is a ten minute drive from clonakilty and has numerous beautiful walkways, owenahincha beach, the long strand - beach more suited to surfing then swimming, the galley head lighthouse and peninsuala and the charming red strand beach. The village of Rathbarry is located nearby too.
Try Clonakilty black pudding, a pork charcuterie style sausage similar to the French 'boudin noir', usually fried or grilled. An essential part of the traditional full Irish breakfast.
- Deasy's Harbour Bar & Seafood Restaurant. A fantastic award winning restaurant on the outskirts of Clonakilty. Located in picturesque Ring Village and overlooking the bay, Deasy's specialises in Seafood but cater's to all tastes. Deasy's has been added to the Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide 2013.
- Decs Diner. Offers a great selection of food from all parts of the world, and friendly staff with a relaxed french cafe style atmosphere. Come here on a Sunday night.
- The Rossa Grill. A little takeaway with good prices and fresh burgers or fish&chips and a few italian dishes (pizza). The staff are friendly and this place is buzzing on a Saturday night.
- 1 De Barras pub, 55 Pearse St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Great crowd in this buzzing pub. Often live music in the back room.
- 1 Fernhill House Hotel, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Is a family run hotel set in its own landscaped gardens. Its good reputation is based on lovely new bedrooms and great service. Free Wi Fi available. Also has restaurant with good food and excellent service. All ingredients are sourced locally.
- 2 O'Donovans Hotel, Pearse St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcoming hotel with great bar, nice bar food and huge baths in the rooms. Motorcycle friendly-can accommodate secure parking.
- 3 Inchadoney Island Lodge & Spa, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 4 Emmet Hotel, Emmet Square, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Collins (Irish revolutionary leader's) birthplace is at Woodfield, off the N71 to Rosscarbery. Only the rising walls of the original house are visible, as the house was torched by the Black and Tans (Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve force), notorious for attacks on the civilian population.
The Warren Beach. Situated just outside Rosscarbery, This long sheltered beach also has two pitch&putt courses overlooking it.