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A Quick And Easy Guide To The Very Rewarding Ballycotton Cliff Walk

A Quick And Easy Guide To The Very Rewarding Ballycotton Cliff Walk

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

Photo via Luca Rei

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

Ballycotton walk views

Photo by Daniela Morgenstern on

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

Hidden Beach in Ballycotton

Photo by David Enright on

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

things to do in cobh ireland

Photos by Irish Drone Photography (Shutterstock)

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:

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Claire (a local)

Thursday 25th of January 2024

Other things to do in a guided tour of the stunning Ballycotton lighthouse on one of the islands off shore. Boat trip takes approximately ten mins before you land on this magical place. Your guide is with you throughout and you get into the lighthouse itself right onto the gallery at the top. Your guide will fill you in on the history and how the light housekeepers lived and worked there. This is seasonal adventure and begins in May ends Sept Oct. Trips are weather and tide dependent. Check the weather and then book online on Ballycotton Sea Adventures Ltd. Some gorgeous pubs and places to eat, listen to live music, enjoy a drink in the village. Cush, Bayview Hotel, The Blackbird, Schooner, McGraths and newest one Sea Church...gig venue with restaurant attached. B&Bs, Airbnbs available and lots of places to swim. This beautiful place has narrow streets so park at entrance of village and walk up as it gets quite busy traffic wise during summer months especially at weekends. Lots to see on the walk so yes walk if you can. Public toilets on the pier. Bins on right as you walk up the village and on left and right on way down to pier.

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