Thursday, August 9, 2012

A week on the southern coast of Ireland

It would be my luck that in the midst of all of the moving stress, I've come down with a cold/terrible allergies; I can't tell which it is, but I'm feeling preeeeettyy crap. So I thought it might be soothing to revisit my week's holiday in County Cork with The Irishman and his family. Even though it's only been two weeks, it feels like a year ago already!

I've blogged before about my visits to a tiny corner of the Irish coast called Oysterhaven where The Irishman's family has been going every summer for over 20 years. It's one of the most idyllic, relaxing and wonderful places in the world. I never have mobile reception or Wifi so I truly shut down, and relish indulging in reading, chasing the sun, outdoor pursuits like walking and running, and having nice big meals with plenty of good wine. Really, what's not to enjoy?

But I also make The Irishman take me out for drives to see touristy things; this year we went to Blarney Castle and I kissed the famous Blarney Stone. 

 We also strolled the streets of Clonakilty, a postcard-perfect village west of Cork.

And of course, spent time on the golf course. Well, The Irishman and his family did – I don't golf, and have no interest in learning, so I just hung out in the sun on the porch of the clubhouse enjoying the view.

I also requested some time on a beach; Ireland has tons of beaches, being an island of course, however most of them lead into freezing cold Atlantic seas. So my beach day consisted of a walk to collect shells and feel the sun on my back. It was a good way to walk off the pizza lunch we had at Ballymaloe Cookery School – if you ever go to southern Ireland, make sure you stop in there as it is such a treat!

The nearest town to where we stay is Kinsale, and I always make The Irishman take in for a wander. It doesn't matter how many times I've strolled the streets, I still get excited looking at the colorful homes and flowers. It's such a cute little place!

Usually we start our trek back to London on a Sunday evening, but this year we took Monday off as well and headed into Cork City before going to the airport to visit The English Market. It's one of the biggest and oldest indoor markets in Europe and it's FABULOUS. We wandered around for at least an hour and helped The Irishman's mom pick up some food for the week before having lunch upstairs in the restaurant. All of the food served there is from the market (obviously) and locally grown/sourced. Such an amazing treat to cap off our lovely, wonderful week.

Please let me know if you go to Ireland; I love hearing other people's stories about their adventures there, and getting new tips and suggestions of places to visit!


  1. We went to the Loop Head Peninsula last year for Christmas and although it was damp and freezing, it really is a beautiful part of Ireland. We loved driving through the town of Lahinch and seeing the Cliffs of Moher. Amazing!

  2. Hi! Thanks for sharing - and btw love your blog. Let me know if you head back to Ireland any time soon, happy to give you tips on places to visit. I'm hoping that next year The Irishman takes me farther west, out to Dingle and the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. I want to see the whole country.

  3. First, I love your blog. I wish I could be an expat but the hubby says 'no'. He's such a kill joy!

    We went to Ireland on our honeymoon. We rented a cottage in County Meath and generally bummed around for a week. We visited Dublin, Drogheda, Trim, and Kells.

    We hope to go back next spring but it will be a very short trip as we are flying into Dublin, then flying to Paris for two nights, then heading to England to see my aunt for a few days, and then back to Dublin for two nights. But I am making it my personal mission to visit Castletown House outside of Dublin as it is the model for the grand country estate in the book I'm writing.

    Best of luck with your move and I hope you get to feeling better.

  4. Hi Caroline! Thanks for your well wishes and sharing your past visit (honeymoon!) in Ireland and your plan to return. I hope you get to spend a few more than a couple of nights but there's always a third visit right? And good luck with your book, what an amazing feat! I'll be following your blog to see how you get on! xx

  5. Amazing photographs! The one with the neon coloured house is my favourite :)

  6. Pictures are so stunning & beautiful.Killarney is very nice place like full of life.......must
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