If you’re visiting Cork City and you fancy escaping the hustle and bustle, get yourself to Tramore Valley Park.
Tramore Valley Park is a large 170-acre public park on the space of a former landfill site in Cork City.
As one of the most popular places to stretch your legs in the city, it’s often busy with walkers and cyclists who come for the trails offering views over the city’s skyline.
In the guide below, you’ll find everything for things to do at the park to when it’s open. Dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows about Tramore Valley Park
Although a visit to Tramore Valley Park is fairly straightforward in comparison to many of the other Cork walks, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Tramore Valley Park is located on the south side of Cork City, just off the South Link Road. The 170-acre park area is built on top of a former landfill site which closed in 2009.
2. Opening hours
The park is open every day of the week from 8.30am onwards. The closing times change depending on the month. But it general, the park closes at 5pm in the winter months, and gradually opening an hour later each month until summer when it closes at 10pm (times may change).
3. Getting into the park
The park is free to enter. There is one access point into the park for vehicles, which is opposite the Black Ash Park and Ride on South Link Road.
There is one main place from where you can access the park on foot or by bicycle, which is via the Eastern Park Walkway, adjacent to Willow Park. There are currently plans to improve another access point for pedestrians via Half Moon Lane.
There is plenty of parking for both cars and bicycles onsite at the vehicle entrance point off South Link Road.
About Tramore Valley Park
The land on which the park sits was actually the site of the Kinsale Road Landfill which first opened in the early 1960s. Over 35 years until it closed in July 2009, around 3 million tonnes of waste from Cork City were landfilled at the site.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates and monitors the park under strict licensing conditions. The landfill area is lined with plastic and has a network of gas collection and contaminated water pipes beneath the surface to remove any harmful emissions and waste from the site.
Much of the landfill gas collected is then carried to a combined heat and power plant which is capable of producing one megawatt of power.
All the contaminated water collected is also pumped to storage lagoons and treatment plants, before being pumped to Carrigrennan waste water treatment plant.
Since the park was built on top of the landfill site it has been managed by the Glen Resource and Sports Centre on behalf of the Cork City Council.
Things to do at Tramore Valley Park
There’s plenty of things to do in the park which makes a visit one of the best things to do in Cork City if you want to get away from the busy centre.
Below, you’ll find info on the walks, the park run, the BMX track and the views you can nab from the dome.
1. The Tramore Valley Park walk
The park is home to a 2.5km walking loop which is popular with walkers, runners and cyclists. It is named after Olympian and Former World Champion Race Walker Robert Heffernan and takes you along the wetlands area of the park. It also offers beautiful views over Cork City from different parts.
2. The BMX track
One of the real highlights of the park is the BMX track which is the only International Standard BMX Track in Cork. Naturally, the Cork BMX Club are based here at the park and the track can only be used during the club’s training times.
Currently, the hours are Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm and Wednesday nights from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. It’s best to check the up to date times on the club’s Facebook page.
3. Views from the dome
In the middle of the park area is an elevated mound which is known as the Dome. From this point, you can view many of Cork’s landmarks including Shandon Bells and Elysian Tower. On a clear sunny day, it’s a very popular place to spend time in the park.
Things to do near Tramore Valley Park
One of the beauties of Tramore Valley Park is that it’s a short spin away from a clatter of other attractions, both man-made and natural.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Tramore Valley Park (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Food, food and more food
If you fancy a bite to eat, you’re in luck – there’s an almost endless number of great restaurants in Cork and places to eat (like the English Market!). There’s also some great pubs in Cork, if you fancy a tipple.
For lunch time eats, check out our guide to the best brunch in Cork and for an early bite, check out our guide to the best breakfast in Cork.
2. Blackrock Castle Observatory
Blackrock Castle is a fortification on the banks of the River Lee in Blackrock just 2km away from Cork City. It’s considered an iconic landmark and dates back to 1582. The castle’s observatory now houses an interactive astronomy centre and award-winning science exhibitions. With a changing daily schedule, it’s one of the best places to visit in Cork with the whole family.
3. Historical sites
There’s plenty of historical sites to visit near Tramore Valley Park. My personal favourites are Elizabeth Fort and St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, however, the Butter Museum is a great place to visit on a rainy afternoon.
4. Cork Gaol
The former Cork City Gaol from the 19th century now houses an informative and interactive museum just 2km from the city centre. The castle-like building gives you an insight into prison life in the 1800s and an opportunity to learn more about the city’s long history. At the same location, you can also visit the Radio Museum Experience housed in the former Governor’s House.
5. Fota Wildlife Park
If you want to get out of the city, the Fota Wildlife Park is a great day out for the whole family. The 100-acre park area is located on Fota Island near Carrigtwohill. It opened in 1983 and is a not-for-profit charity focused on wildlife conservation. The park is walkable, and you can opt for either self-guided or guided tours with a variety of animals and plants to see including the Sumatran Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Eastern Grey kangaroo and Howler Monkey.
FAQs about visiting Tramore Valley Park
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from when is Tramore Valley Park open to what there is to see 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 opening hours for Tramore Valley Park?
The park is open every day of the week from 8.30am onwards. The closing times change depending on the month. But it general, the park closes at 5pm in the winter months, and gradually open an hour later each month until summer when it closes at 10pm (note: times may change).
What is there to do at Tramore Valley Park?
You can head for a ramble around the park (it’s a nice big green space in the city), try the Tramore Valley Park run or just kick-back on the grass with a coffee).
Is there much to see nearby?
Yes, you’ve everywhere from the Butter Museum and Fota Wildlife Park to Cork Gaol and lots more a short spin away.