A beautiful coastal walk, the Ballycotton Cliff Walk is an easy 7.4 km out and back trail that starts from the rugged coastline of Ballycotton village, just 40 minutes from Cork, Ireland. With a total elevation gain of 583 ft, it’s a great walk for all skill levels, and most ages (buggies are not advised), and is accessible year-round. It boasts impressive views from start to finish, first, taking in the views from the clifftop, with pasture and meadow that look out across the Celtic Sea, down to beautiful bays. The family-friendly route has many picnic spots and benches, and much to see along the trail, including the Ballycotton Lighthouse, one of only two black lighthouses in Ireland and only accessible by boat, and the shipwreck of the 80-metre vessel, the Alta, that was washed up during Storm Dennis. Predominantly a single-track path that can become boggy and overgrown, prepare for mud and take layers as the path is exposed and can get windy and wet. Abundant with wildlife, the area is known for its cliff-nesting birds, wild flowers and there’s the chance to spot whales and dolphins.
Parking at the trailhead is free but can get busy so arrive early to secure a spot, dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash and although refreshments and food is plentiful in the village of Ballycotton, it’s recommended to take drinks and snacks with to enjoy along the way.