The Ballycotton Cliff walk is up there with the best things to do in Cork.
Such were the charms of colourful Ballycotton on the County Cork coast that Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp once came out here to shoot a movie (although the less said about what eventually became of the film the better!).
Ballycotton has much more to it than tales of Hollywood and lively country pubs (although they’re well worth spending a long evening in!).
It’s also home to one of the best walks in the land – the Ballycotton Cliff Walk. In the guide below, you’ll find everything you need if you’d like to give it a whack.
The Ballycotton Cliff Walk: Some quick need-to-knows
The Ballycotton Cliff Walk stretches along the picturesque East Cork coast from Ballycotton to Ballytrasna and then on to Ballyandreen.
The scenic walk takes in the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coast on one side while being flanked by rolling green farmland on the other.
How long the walk takes
The Ballycotton Cliff Walk is 7km in length (3.5km there and 3.5km back) and should take around 2 – 2.5 hours in total, depending on pace.
Where to park
If you stick ‘Ballycotton Cliff Walk’ into Google Maps you’ll be taken to the car park where you can kick your ramble off.
Things you’ll see on the walk
There’s ample opportunity for wildlife spotting too as Peregrine Falcons and oystercatchers can often be seen lolling overhead or hiding near the rocky inlets at dawn and dusk. Look out for dolphins and whales in the waters below if you’re there during the winter months.
Other things to be aware of
The narrow path can be slippy in some areas if the weather isn’t behaving so make sure you pack some good walking shoes or boots. There’s also plenty of stiles to cross along the way which makes the walk unsuitable for bikes or buggies.
The Short Walk
Start the walk from the car park mentioned above and don’t forget to take in the views of the magnificent Ballycotton Lighthouse.
The lighthouse was built in the late 1840s on the back of the sinking of a ship named the Sirius in 1847 where 20 lives were tragically lost.
A handy route to follow
This version of the Ballycotton Cliff Walk is dead handy to follow. Continue west along the trail in the direction of Ballytrasna.
There are a few benches on the way if you want to stop and take in the majestic scenery while some side paths are available taking you down to the rocky beaches.
Take care on the descent, however, especially in wet or windy weather (there are warning signs about this too).
Making your way back to the car park
Gorse bushes run along the narrow path and look out for fellow walkers as the trail can get a little busy at times, especially at weekends.
When you reach the end of the trail, you’ll have to make a decision as to whether you’ll turn back and retrace your steps or continue on the longer walk.
The Long Walk
You can also choose to do a looped version of the Ballycotton Cliff Walk, if you fancy stretching it out a bit (or if you don’t fancy going back the way you came).
Once you reach Ballytrasna, you can follow the trail inland and take some narrow country roads back into Ballycotton Village.
While the long walk isn’t difficult (once you’re careful and be vigilant while walking on the road), it might be better to turn back at Ballytrasna if you have older people/children in tow.
Discover heaps of great things to do near Ballycotton
If you’re visiting the area, make sure you spend some time rambling along the beaches in Ballycotton and exploring a bit of the village.
When you finish up, there’s plenty to see and do nearby. Here are some guides to help you discover things to see and do:
- 13 worthwhile things to do in Kinsale
- 10 mighty things to do in Cobh