Local attractions, Events and Activities

in West Cork

This page may help you to decide when is the best time of year for you to stay at Laharan Cottage.
There is so much to do in West Cork that you will probably be spoilt for choice, especially in the summer months. Despite the rural surroundings, the area is buzzing with a huge range of activities, festivals, and cultural and sporting events.

West Cork Chamber Music Festival (Bantry)

Now long established and a firm favourite with lovers of classical music, this festival in Bantry offers new artists and new surprises every year - not just the usual easy-listening fare that can be experienced elsewhere.

Dates for 2018: 29 June - 08 July

West Cork Literary Festival (Bantry)

Now an annual highlight in the Irish literary calendar, the West Cork Literary Festival is a week-long celebration of writing and reading for people of all ages.

From its humble beginnings as a series of casual poetry readings and fringe events around the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, it has expanded into a varied and extensive programme of readings, talks and week-long workshops, growing more adventurous and imaginative with each year.

Dates for 2018: 13 - 20 July

Bantry Bay Adventure Race

The Bantry Bay Adventure Race is an endurance and versatility sporting event which combines of running, kayaking and cycling. All proceeds from the event  support three local charities.

If you're big into sport or you just enjoy cheering others on, this might be a good way to spend some of your holidays.

This event is part of the West Cork Active Islands programme

The Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,500 km route that passes through nine Irish counties, stretching from County Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula in Ulster to Kinsale, County Cork.
The local stretch of the route is known as the Southern Peninsulas and is a popular way to explore the scenic delights of West Cork, boasting an "edge of the world" feeling along the shores of the Atlantic ocean.

A Taste of West Cork

A Taste of West Cork is one of  Ireland's longest running food festivals. It celebrates the uniqueness of West Cork, bringing together a unique mix of food markets, cooking demonstrations, food tasting, cookery competitions, special dinners and brunches, banquets, talks, children's events and more.

Bantry Market is a firm favourite with the local people and visitors alike. The market takes place every Friday all year round, from roughly 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

If you only have time to visit Bantry Town for a single day, try to make it a Friday and see Bantry at its most vibrant.

A very wide range of stands offer a huge variety of items for sale: local produce and livestock, bric-a-brac, clothing, gourmet foods, art, basketry, delicious snacks, unique soaps, hardware... the list is endless.

It's not just an interesting place to shop - on a fine day, it's easy to spend hours wandering around the stalls, enjoying the banter of the stallholders, sampling tasty specialities, or simply sitting on the square listening to a local troubadour while people-watching and sipping on a cup of freshly-brewed artisan coffee.

Ronan Kelly's video of a visit to Bantry Market

Ma Murphy's (Bantry)

A holiday in West Cork isn't complete without a visit to Ma Murphy's.

It's one of the very few pubs in Ireland that still have a built-in grocery shop, which may surprise you as you walk through the door, and another surprise is its size - the premises extend and expand backwards to include a large beer garden (partly covered) with an abundance of flowers, and The Forge, a separate building and bar which often houses several types of events, especially musical. If you're into music, there are also open sessions every Thursday night and it's not unknown for musicians to wander in and offer impromptu performances at the bar.

You can't help but love this vibrant traditional pub that threw a 70th birthday party for its fridge and had an opening ceremony for a new toilet...

Bantry House and Gardens

Originally constructed in around 1700 and once boasting an estate of 80,000 acres, Bantry House and Gardens is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area between April and October.

Just a 5-minute walk from Bantry town centre, the house has always been occupied by descendants of Richard White, Earl of Bantry.

A must-see for fans of historical architecture, art and elaborate gardens.

All year round

Bantry Market & Ma Murphy's (see above)

Skibbereen Market (Every Saturday, 09.30 to 14.00)

Bantry Bay Golf Club (18 holes, open to visitors)

Glengarriff Nature Reserve (Several spectacular trails)

Bantry Bay Pony Trekking (Trekking, lessons & camps)

Lorge Chocolatier (Gourmet chocolate shop, courses, beautiful drive from Bantry)

Sheep's Head Walks (Guided walks through spectacular scenery, accompanied by local tales)

Dolphin & Whale Watching Tours (start in Baltimore, other animals include seals, sharks, turtles...)

Cre Pottery (Create your own pottery in Skibbereen)