Clonakilty is an award-winning seaside resort and gateway to the West Cork Coast. It overlooks a glassy bay and is set between long sandy beaches and rolling green countryside. Relax by the seaside, stroll around the atmospheric village and visit an Iron Age stone circle.
Things to do in Clonakilty
Swim, sunbathe and surf at Inchydoney Beach. The beach straddles a rocky peninsula and will dazzle you with its sugar-white sand and turquoise water. Rent a surfboard and paddle out to the breakers or comb the beach for shells. Nearby Owenahincha is another beautiful stretch of sand.
Take your pick of lively cafes, restaurants and traditional Irish pubs in the town centre. Most are housed in charming historic buildings and serve local dishes like Clonakilty black pudding. Spend your evenings sipping Guinness and listening to live music. Tour Clonakilty Distillery and learn about how traditional Irish whiskey is made. At the end of the tour, you’ll get to taste the triple-distilled whiskey made from locally grown grain.
Learn about the legacy of an iconic Irish revolutionary at the Michael Collins Centre. Exhibits chart the life and accomplishments of Collins, who spearheaded the fight for Irish independence. Visit the Clonakilty Museum to see weapons, uniforms and other memorabilia linked to Collins.
Marvel at the incredible craftsmanship on show at the West Cork Model Railway Village. It’s a perfect replica of the railway in the 1940s and brings a cluster of towns and villages to life. For a glimpse of the county’s ancient past, head to the Drombeg Stone Circle. The Iron Age site is set on a grassy hillside and features 17 enormous stones.
Getting around Clonakilty
Clonakilty is compact and easy to get around on foot. Cork is one hour away by car or 1.5 hours by bus. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore County Cork at your own pace. Clonakilty is a one-hour drive from Cork Airport and 3.5 hours from Dublin Airport.