A travel blog of Ireland, Europe, and New Zealand



The well-known Inchydoney beach close to Clonakilty

Clonakilty is a medium-sized town in West Cork famous for its black pudding and other gourmet foods. We had planned to catch up with Alison and Brian, a couple of Kiwi expats from Hamilton who have lived here for many years. Unfortunately Brian was away in Europe on a business trip but Alison very kindly showed us around the town.

First up was the Stone Circle at Drombeg. This is a mystical place about 3000 years old, sometimes referred to as “The Druids Altar”. Although any mysticism we might have encountered there was greatly diluted by a swarm of bussed-in tourists clambering all over it.

Cork22Cork23But they weren’t too bad really, and we did get a few quiet moments to ourselves.


Pip and Alison at the altar.

Then it was on to the curiously-named town of Union Hall via Glandore, both set around a picturesque harbour.

Cork25 Cork26 Cork27We travelled on to Inchydoney Beach where Pip just had to feel the sand under her feet, after which we popped up to the rather posh hotel on the headland for a light tea. Then it was back to Clonakilty itself for a walking tour of the town. Alison had lots of fascinating stories about past and present Clonakilty. We briefly visited a couple of pubs – de Barra’s, which was charmingly cluttered with every imaginable artefact, and O’Donovan’s which has been in the same family for the past 200 years. On the reception counter we met the current O’Donovan in charge, Dena (“If you want to know anything about anything in Clonakilty, just ask Dena,” says Alison.)


Strange name for a pub – wonder if the drinks are ever tampered with?


Michael Collins, one of Ireland’s best known revolutionaries, was born here.


The old town water pump known locally as the “wheel of fortune”.


Inside de Barra’s pub.

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