Cork, Cobh, Ring of Kerry in 7 hours?
June 4, 2016 2:07 PM   Subscribe

We are docking in Cobh in mid-June and have about 7-9 hours in the area. We would love to see the famous Irish greenery and landscape but aren't interested in the really touristy things like Blarney. Cork and Cobh both sound worth seeing, but will we get a flavor of the countryside in that area, or should we travel to the Ring of Kerry and try to see some highlights there? Thanks, hive mind!
posted by xammerboy to Travel & Transportation around Ireland (7 answers total)
The Ring is way too much driving for the time you have - and will you have a car? Looking for a shorter excursion, I just plotted a loop from Cork along the south coast through Clonakilty, then up through Bantry, Moll's gap, Killarney, and back to Cork. It's almost five hours of driving, and overlaps the eastern part of the Ring on the stretch from Bantry up to Killarney, which is one of the more dramatic sections.
posted by mr vino at 2:34 PM on June 4, 2016

Clonmacnoise, with the ruins of its ancient monastery, is pretty atmospheric especially on a drizzly day. That's a couple hours north, I believe. And the town of Kinsale to the south is known for its food culture and quaint streets. I'm sorry I never made in time.
posted by PJSibling at 4:14 PM on June 4, 2016

Response by poster: We can get a car if that's the best thing to do, yes. These are great recommendations so far, thank you.
posted by xammerboy at 4:46 PM on June 4, 2016

Cork is nice, but it is modern thriving post-industrial nice, so not so much the stereotypical Irish countryside. Cobh might have what you need, but if you're stir-crazy and want to go to places, then I totally second the trip down to Kinsale. If you take the long way down on the way there, you'll see plenty of countryside. Irish country roads are equal parts beautiful and HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE HERE.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:31 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

As anecdata, my daughter and husband honeymooned in Ireland and did Ireland including the Ring of Kerry via tour bus and, based on their description, I'm not sure I'd want to try and drive the area unless I was very familiar with the place. Doubly so, given that you have a limited time window do get it accomplished. YMMV, of course.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:08 AM on June 5, 2016

Yes to Kinsale. It's such a pretty town with such good food. With 7-9 hours you'll have time to wander both Cobh and Kinsale (but get a meal in Kinsale, for sure).

I lived in Cork for a while and will love it forever, but it's not countryside at all (though I think the city centre is pretty in its own way!)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 8:24 AM on June 5, 2016

I would not do the whole ring if you only have 7 hours, but I do think you could drive out to Kenmare, drive up to Killarney going through Killarney National Park and then back to Cobh. Google says it is 160 miles and 4 hours of driving (allow 5, giving you 2-4 hours for stops). You would see about half of the big sights and get plenty of nice views. If this is your first time driving in Ireland/on the left you may want to budget more than 5 hours for driving, though.

The coast is beautiful, no matter where you go, so I would think about going somewhere closer. Blarney wasn't overly touristy when we were there and it has much more on the grounds than just the castle. There is a lovely creek and lots of gardens.
posted by soelo at 8:17 AM on June 6, 2016

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