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11 Things To Do In Midleton In Cork In 2024 (Distilleries, Lighthouses, Hikes + More)

11 Things To Do In Midleton In Cork In 2024 (Distilleries, Lighthouses, Hikes + More)

There are plenty of things to do in Midleton, regardless of when you visit.

Midleton is one of the more popular towns in Cork, and you’ll find it a short, 25-minute drive east of Cork City and stone’s throw from many of of Cork’s top attractions.

It’s the ideal family holiday destination, close to Blue Flag beaches, endless walks and many a historical site.

In the guide below, you’ll find heaps of worthwhile things to do in Midleton in Cork, with something to tickle every fancy!

Our favourite things to do in Midleton (and nearby)

Old Midleton Distillery

Photos via Jameson Distillery Midleton (Website & Instagram)

The first section of our guide tackles our favourite things to do in Midleton, from food and beaches to some very unique tours near the town.

Midleton is home to some of the best things to do in East Cork, from the mighty Jameson Distillery to many a walk, ramble and scenic drive. 

1. Kick start your visit with something tasty from BiteSize Cafe

food in midleton

Photos via BiteSize Café Bakery on Facebook

There are a number of great spots to eat in Midleton, but if you’re after an early morning bite-to-eat and a caffeine fix, get yourself to BiteSize

Inside this little café you’ll find everything fro pastries and sweet treats to soups, sandwiches, canapés, breads and much more.

Get in, make your belly happy and then hit the road. We’re off to one of the better known Midleton attractions, next!

2. The Midleton Distillery

Midleton Distillery

Photos via Jameson Distillery Midleton on Instagram

A visit to the Jameson Distillery is arguably one of the best things to do in Midleton if you’re visiting with a group (or when it’s raining!).

The distillery is set over 15 acres and opened to the public back in 1992. It quickly became one of the most popular whiskey distilleries in Ireland to visit.

Over the course of the Jameson Experience Tour, you’ll discover the story behind the coveted Midleton Whiskey, how Jameson came into it and the long history behind two of the world’s best-know whiskey brands. 

3. See the animals at Fota Wildlife Park

fota wildlife park

Photos via Fota Wildlife Park on Facebook

Fota Wildlife Park is a handy 13-minute drive from Midleton, which makes it a handy spot to head to with the kids on a day trip.

Set over 100 acres on Fota Island, the wildlife park opened way back in 1983 and boasts an annual attendance of 440,000+ visitors a year.

Visitors to Fota can see everything from cheetahs to giraffes and embark on a number of educational tours that offer an insight into the park’s conservation efforts. Well worth dropping into!

4. Step back in time at the Titanic Experience Cobh

titanic experience cobh

Photo by lightmax84 (Shutterstock)

If you’ve ticked off the various things to do in Midleton and you fancy exploring what else this corner of Cork has to offer, carve out some time to visit Cobh (20-minute drive).

There’s plenty of things to do in Cobh and, arguably, one of the most popular attractions to be found in the town is the Titanic Experience

The town was the last port of call for the now infamous Titanic, and visitors can get an insight into the link to Cobh on an immersive guided experience.

The guided tours take a little over an hour and there’s a whole lot of history packed into this time. Going off the rave reviews online, this is well worth doing!

5. Stretch your legs on the Ballycotton Cliff Walk

The Ballycotton Cliff Walk (Cork)

Photo via Luca Rei (Shutterstock)

If you take a wee spin 25 minutes south of Midleton you can find the sleepy fishing village of Ballycotton and it’s lovely cliff walk.

Now, it’s worth mentioning in advance that the Ballycotton cliff walk isn’t looped, so you’ll need to walk 3.5km each way.

However, the coastal views you’ll be treated to on the way are stunning and it’s a fine way to stretch the legs early in the morning. 

The walk can be kicked off from either Ballycotton village or Ballyandreen beach. Here’s a full guide to follow.

Other popular things to do in Midleton (and nearby)

spike island prison

Photos by Irish Drone Photography (shutterstock)

Midleton might be small but it’s a hub of East Cork, well renowned for award-winning restaurants, traditional Irish pubs, intimate little cafes and so much more.

Below, you’ll find some more things to do in Midleton in Cork along with plenty of other places to visit nearby.

1. Head for a ramble in Ballyannan Woods


Ballyannan Woods is only a couple of minutes drive from Midleton or, if it’s a fine day, you could take the 15-minute or so ramble from the town.

This beautiful woodland is close to 25 hectares and it’s full of surprises, with everything from old stone banks and stone gate pillars to boathouses and ruined cottages visible as you stroll. 

There’s a 2.3 km looped walk here that’ll take you roughly 50 minutes. It loops around the perimeter of the woods and treats you to wonderful views of the estuary as well as lime and beech trees that sit along the forest trail.

2. Take a ferry from Cobh to Spike Island

spike island prison

Photo by dleeming69 (shutterstock)

Spike Island in the little harbour town of Cobh is as interesting as it sounds and it’s a short, 19-minute drive from Midleton.

The island boasts a colourful past and, over the years, it has housed everything from a 7th century Monastery to the biggest convict depot in the world at one point.

Visitors to the Island can enjoy a guided tour around the former fortress which lasts around 45 minutes and that offers  an incredible insight into the islands’ penal, military and monastic past.

3. Or do a day trip to Cork City

cork city walks

Photo by mikemike10 (Shutterstock)

Cork City is only a 25-minute drive west of Midleton and it’s home to endless things to see and do, from walks and food to pubs, parks and much more.

Have a nosey at our Cork City guide – in it you’ll find heaps of places to visit, from Cork City Gaol to the City’s many brilliant traditional pubs.

4. Hit the coast with a visit to Roches Point Lighthouse

one of our favourite things to do in midleton

Photo by mikemike10 (Shutterstock)

Roches Point Lighthouse is perfectly located at the entrance of Cork Harbour so you can expect some idyllic views and it takes around 20 mins to reach Midleton.

You’ll find the now-iconic lighthouse perched on a rocky headland overlooking the Atlantic, where it has stood proudly for over 200 years.

Although you can’t enter the lighthouse, you can park nearby and admire it from afar. The views from here on a clear day are worth the visit alone!

FAQs about the best things to do in Midleton

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from active things to do in Midleton to where to visit nearby.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

What are the best things to do in Midleton?

Two of the most popular places to visit in Midleton at Ballyannan Woods and The Midleton Distillery. However, there’s plenty of things to visit a short spin away.

Is Midleton worth a visit?

Yes – the lively little town of Midleton is well worth a visit. Although there isn’t a massive number of things to do in Midleton itself, it’s a lovely little base to explore Cork from, with some of the county’s top attractions under 20 minutes away.

Where is there to visit close to Midleton?

You’ve everything from walks and hikes (the Ballycotton Cliff Walk, for example) to historical sites (Cork City Gaol, Blackrock Castle and more) and gorgeous towns and villages (Cobh) less than 30 minutes from Midleton. 

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