The 10 best walks in and around Cork

Whether you are looking to stretch your legs across clifftops or some of the most stunning beaches, here are the best walks in and around Cork.

The best walks in and around Cork.

Located in the south-west of Ireland, Cork is a vibrant city with a thriving social scene, culinary prowess and natural beauty by the bucketload.

Perfect for day-trippers and holiday-makers alike, there are tonnes of things to do in the locale. 

If you are seeking a stroll, look no further: these are the best walks in and around Cork. 

10. Carrigaline-to-Crosshaven – the family-friendly route

The Owenabue River, part of one of the best walks in and around Cork.
Credit: @croninspub / Instagram

The Carrigaline-to-Crosshaven is the perfect route for families of all ages. This 5 kilometre (3.1 miles) stretch is off-road, ensuring safety and offering a tranquil setting for a stroll.

The walk traces the banks of the Owenabue River, making it rather picturesque, and there is also a designated cycle path if the kids would prefer to two-wheel it, or if you are booking a Cork City cycle tour.

Starts at: Carrigaline, Co. Cork, Ireland

9. The Shandon Walk – for history buffs

This walk is perfect for history buffs looking to bone up on some history and heritage in Cork city. The Shandon Walk is an easy route through the city, and it should not take more than an hour to complete. 

Beginning at Daunt Square, the trail passes numerous sites of interest, ending at the Vision Centre (formerly St. Peter’s Church). 

Address: Daunt Square, Centre, Cork, Ireland

8. Blarney Castle Loop – for a day trip 

Blarney Castle, comprising one of the best walks in and around Cork.

For those in search of a day trip, we suggest you check out the iconic Blarney Castle. It also is home to one of the best walks in Cork!

This easy trail is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and it should not take more than an hour to complete at only 3.9 kilometres (2.4 miles). 

AddressMonacnapa, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland

7. Inchydoney Beach – for sun-seekers

Inchydoney Beach is one of the most idyllic places to spend the day when the sun comes out to play; and it also offers some of the best walks in and around Cork.

Sandy strolls, alongside the wild Atlantic Ocean, make this the perfect place for the whole family.

AddressP85 AT27, Inchydoney Island, Inchydoney, Co. Cork, P85 AT27, Ireland

6. South Parish Walk – for city strollers

St Fin Barre's Cathedral in Cork, one of the best walks in and around Cork.
Credit: William Murphy / Flickr

The South Parish walk is the perfect trail for first-time visitors to Cork city, offering a holistic view of the city centre, earning its spot as one of the best walks in and around Cork.

Again, beginning from Daunt Square, this city stroll – which is one of the best walks in Cork – winds its way through the streets passing places of interest and key attractions.

Address: Daunt Square, Centre, Cork, Ireland

5. Foreshore Walk – for an ocean dip

Schull Village, the beginning of one of the best walks in Cork.
Schull Village in West Cork. Credit: @discoverschull / Instagram

If you’re craving an ocean dip, we suggest you take on the Foreshore Walk. This simple and straightforward 30-minute trail begins in Schull village in East Cork. Along the route you’ll pass many coves, the last you’ll stumble upon is the ‘Dog Hole’.

This secluded swimming spot is a favourite of locals and those who seek to escape the busier beaches when the weather warms up. 


4. Old Head of Kinsale Loop – for clifftop views

Kinsale Loop in County Cork, one of the best walks in and around Cork.

One of the best walks in and around Cork has to be the Old Head of Kinsale Loop. 

Not only is it one of the most popular, but the 90-minute, 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) loop walk offers stunning panoramic views over land and sea. 

LocationCounty CorkIreland

3. Gougane Barra Forest Park – one of the best walks in and around Cork

Credit: @mss.jho / Instagram

If you want to be spoiled for choice, Gougane Barra Forest Park offers some of the best walking trails in Cork – six to be exact.

Are you craving a bit of a challenge? Check out the Slí Sleibhe trail which offers 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) of uphill stretch that results in mountaintop vistas bound to make you weak at the knees. 

AddressCoomroe, Co. Cork, Ireland

2. The Beara Way – the marathon route

The Beara Way in Cork, one of the best walks in and around Cork.

The Beara Way is a mega-walk in County Cork. Stretching over 200 kilometres (over 124 miles), this route can take up to nine days to complete. 

If you’re short on time or looking for something a little less rigorous, we suggest you take up a portion of the trail that ends in Glengarriff, County Cork.


1. The Gleann Loop – for whale watching

If you’re seeking some solace, we suggest you hop on a ferry to Cape Clear Island off the coast of Cork and embark on the best walk in and around Cork.

The Gleann Loop on the island is a 7 kilometre (4.3 miles) walk with great opportunities for dolphin and whale watching. Needless to say, a walk to remember. 


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