Lying to the north and west of Cork city encompassing towns such as Mallow, Fermoy and Millstreet the Blackwater Valley tourism area taking its name from the world famous anglers paradise that is the Blackwater river, is a diverse area of commercial towns and rolling countryside amongst the most fertile in this region of Ireland. There is equine heritage here in abundance with the original steeplechase being a horse race first run from Buttevant church to St. Leger Church in the village of Doneraile in 1752. As well as fishing, golf, hillwalking and cycling the area has an abundance of natural beauty and Millstreet Country Park encompasses this beauty with an educational program, archaeological sites, managed wetlands and planned gardens not to mention a number of water features and a replica of a famous Belgian fountain the Mont Des Arts opened in 2009.
Archive for the ‘North Cork’ Category
The ancient garrison town of Macroom in the heart of the Lee Valley is both the hub and gateway to a fascinating region which contains spectacular scenery and rural Gaelic speaking communities which are living breathing organisms of an ancient culture not preserved, but thriving. The town serves as the main commercial centre for a network of villages in its hinterland but is a worthwhile base for exploring at a more leisurely pace the surrounding countryside. Nearby Gougane Barra (the retreat of St. Finbarr) is one of Ireland’s gems with a lake surrounded by imposing forested hills giving great walking trails and unforgettable views. Further west along the N22 is Ballyvourney a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) area and last village on the road before County Kerry. The area boasts outstanding natural beauty and walking and cycling trails as well as Ireland’s only toy soldier factory and visitor centre.