You may think that the city is the first port of call when it comes to visiting Cork, known as the rebel county.
However, we at Ireland Before You Die pride ourselves on showing you Ireland’s hidden gems. Such a gem is Youghal, a coastal town in the east of the county.
What better way to explore the Irish coast than twenty-four hours in Youghal, the halfway point between Cork and Waterford.
Start off your day in Youghal with a bite to eat in Priory Coffee. The café is child friendly and allows assistance dogs inside facilitating all customers.
The menu has a wide variety of dishes, you can ask your server for coeliac, vegetarian and vegan options.
Breakfast options are healthy but will tickle your tastebuds and includes, smashed avocado on toast, omelettes with all sorts of fillings and the old reliable, a good bowl of porridge.
Another good thing? The café has a strong policy on sustainablity, meaning if you decide to eat here, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment!
Youghal Lighthouse and Clock Tower
The first spot you should visit on your trip of Youghal is the beautiful lighthouse overlooking the bay.
This lighthouse was built in 1848 and is located close to the centre of the town along the Youghal Eco Boardwalk.
The lighthouse became a local tourist destination just recently, having been renovated by Cork County Council from 2014 onwards.
Situated close by is the ancient clock tower. On site are storytellers, wearing traditional clothing, talking you through the tower’s 700-year history. The tour itself takes only an hour.
Operating between the months of April and November, the cruise leaves Youghal Jetty, taking you past locations such as the stunning Templemichael Castle, Ballinatray House and Molana Abbey, a time-worn monastic settlement.
Hop aboard the Maeve Óg, a 28 foot long fishing boat. The cruise lasts an hour and a half and is a unique way to see the town of Youghal.
Captain Tony has a wealth of knowledge about the area, you’ll be sure to learn something new!
Clancy’s Bar & Restaurant
At this stage in the day you’ll no doubt be wanting some refreshments. Why not stop into local favourite, Clancy’s?
Formerly known as the Railway Bar, the owner Padraig Hennessy returned to his home town of Youghal to restore the restaurant to its former glory.
Whether it’s lunch or dinner you’re after, the menu boasts tasty dishes such as Seafood Chowder, West Cork Mussels, Clancy’s Mexican Chicken Burger and vegetarian friendly dishes such as the vegetarian Carbonara and the veggie burger.
The venue is also a haven for live music and general good craic.
Address: Front Strand, Williamstown, Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland
Millennium Garden of Time
Taking nine months to construct, the Millennium Garden of Time is based on the Chi-Ro page from the national treasure, the Book of Kells.
The garden, spread out over half a hectare, features a variety of ponds.
Each pond contains a clock within a fountain and explores the intricacies of time. The garden is worth having a stroll around and celebrating Ireland’s Ancient past.
Address: Greencloyne, Co. Cork, Ireland
The Collegiate Church of Saint Mary
Here you’ll find yourself in the medieval area of Youghal. This is said to be the oldest church in Ireland, boasting a treasure trove of artefacts.
The church itself takes the shape of a cross. These include; a 17th century memorial to Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork and a stone dating from the 9th century depicting a Viking longboat.
The architecture of the building tells a story of an Ireland battered by Viking Invasion and the craftsmen who used their skills to build this church.
Address: Emmet Pl, Youghal-Lands, Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland
The Red Store Bar and Restaurant
Conclude your exploration of Youghal with a decent meal in the Red Store Bar and Restaurant.
Food is available until 9.30pm giving you plenty of time. The menu has some mouthwatering options, ranging from the Chilli Nachos, Beef Lasagne, Thai-style chicken curry and the likes of Strawberry Roulade for dessert.
There is a kids menu available so that your tired young tourists will be satisfied.
The food you’ll eat is all locally sourced and produced, giving you a real taste of Youghal. Wind down with a drink from the diverse wine menu.
Address: 150 N Main St, Youghal-Lands, Youghal, Co. Cork, P36 XH10, Ireland
Regal Cinema & Wine Bar
If you’re more in the mood for some wine and a movie, you should check out the Regal Cinema.
The historic cinema dates back to 1936 when it was originally opened. However, it was re-imagined and reopened in July last year, and has undergone an extensive transformation.
The new owners have worked hard to retain as much of the existing heritage & history of the cinema throughout the works while adding modern comforts and facilities.
The cinema is of huge importance to the people of Youghal and their memories.
Showcasing the latest blockbusters, independent film festivals, art house niche and pyjama parties for the children, the Regal is as diverse as it is fun.
Featuring two main screens, a luxurious Mezzanine, a multipurpose events lounge and an exquisite wine bar, the Regal Cinema has reintroduced old fashioned customer service back to a night at the movies.
Address: Rosario, 15 Friar St, Youghal-Lands, Youghal, Co. Cork, P36 N562, Ireland