Activities For Children

There’s plenty for children to do when you choose Ballylickey as the base for your holiday.



The small beach at Snámh is under 10 minutes’ drive from Primrose Cottage. Snámh is the Irish word for ‘swimming’, so it’s clearly been a popular place for playing for a very long time. If you drive towards Glengarriff, you’ll see this beach from the road after you leave Ballylickey.

The pier, a turn before the beach, is a very popular spot for teenagers who enjoy diving from here.


For a longer trip, the beach at Barleycove – 50 minutes’ drive away – on the Mizen peninsula is a wonderful place to spend a day. It has been voted one of the world’s best unspoilt beaches, and a stop for lunch in nearby Crookhaven, or one of the other charming villages along the Mizen, will complete your day out.

Families will also get a great thrill out of making their way across the new Mizen bridge to the lighthouse which provides the reports on the Fastnet Rock, made so famous by the English shipping forecast. The bridge recently won the public vote for Ireland’s best engineering project of 2011, and the Maritime Museum here is an entertaining and educational place to visit on your trip to Mizen Point.


There are two excellent children’s playgrounds nearby: one is on your right on the road into Bantry, and the second can be seen on your left as you make your way into Glengarriff village. Nearby Schull and Baltimore also have excellent playgrounds with sea views.


The Cinemax is Bantry is a good place to be able to go if the weather turns against you.

Swimming Pools

There’s a public pool and leisure complex in Dunmanway Non-members can visit the private pool at the Westlodge Hotel Leisure Centre, just outside Bantry.

Walking Routes

Primrose Cottage is the perfect base for a walking holiday, and you can pick from a wide range of walking routes, loop walks, and marked pathways that will help you to explore West Cork’s beautiful countryside at your own pace.

Long Walking Routes

The Sheep’s Head Way is a 150 km walking route which extends from Carriganass Castle, and Gougane Barra – both within easy reach of the cottage – right down to the end of the Sheep’s Head peninsula and the beautiful scenery around Dunmanus Bay.

From your base in Ballylickey, you’ll also be able to join the Beara Way, or follow the Pilgrim’s Way to Gougane Barra.

Loop Walks

Explore West Cork’s valleys and woodlands when you chose to follow one of the loop trails that begin not far from our door. The Póc an Tairbh walking route from Carriganass offers stunning views over Bantry Bay, while the Srón na Gaoithe route offers stunning views across West Cork’s valleys. Both routes are suited to the holiday walker, as well as to more experienced hikers.

Glengarriff Nature Reserve offers two further loop routes: the River Walk and the Big Meadow Walk are perfect for a family day out. Children will enjoy exploring the woods, and practising their stone-skimming skills on the riverside as they walk. There are picnic areas available in the Nature Reserve, and at Carriganass.

Gougane Barra Forest Park is just a 20-minute drive from Ballylickey (it’s signposted from the junction by the Ouvane Falls Inn). The church and lake here are rightly renowned as a must-see stop on a West Cork trip, but carry on past the church and you’ll be able to follow trails that take you to the source of the River Lee, and high up into the mountains for fantastic views of the valley below.

Carriganass Castle

Carriganass Castle, just a few miles from Primrose Cottage, is a wonderful monument to one of the most exciting phases in Irish history.
The castle was owned by the O’Sullivan Bere clan, and Donal Cam O’Sullivan Bere led his followers past its gates on his flight from West Cork on the road to Leitrim.

His journey – now being turned into a major walking route as part of the Beara-Breifne way- took him on to Leitrim, and he went on to flee Ireland with other Gaelic chieftans in a historical journey that became known as ‘the Flight of the Earls.’

The castle was neglected for many years, but, since the millienium, it’s ruins have been painstakingly repaired by members of the local community. It’s last remaining tower is an imposing presence on the road to Macroom, and it’s well worth stopping to explore further. The views across the Ouvane river are breathtaking, and there are a number of lovely picnic areas here which make lovely places to stop for a picnic.

The castle is the starting point for a number of local walking routes, and the Riverside Coffee Shop, which offers views over the castle, is a great place to stop for soups, sandwiches, tea, coffee and cakes.

Music to Bantry’s Ears

The West Cork Chamber Music Festival returns for another year, bringing the best of classical music to an international audience in some stunning locations around Bantry.

Full details of the programme and participating artists can be found on the event website.

The West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2015 runs from 26 June to 4 July.

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