Ballyhoura CCE - Host of Fleadh Luimnigh 2018

We are delighted to see the return of Hup na Houra at Ballyhoura Luxury Hostel. Hup na Houra Group is a mixture of Irish music, Irish dancing, set dancing and singing, featuring some of Ireland’s finest performers.

Derek Hickey, Liam Flanagan, Ronan Ryan and Deirdre Scanlon provided the best Irish music. Ciara Flanagan and various others from local Irish dance schools provide the amazing dancing. It’s one of those events you feel lucky to have seen and you also wish it wouldn’t end. Ballyhoura Apple farm provide the tasty drinks and Hosford’s bakery supply the lovely sweet things.

Rather than the usual row formation, people sit around food and drink laden tables and soak in the atmosphere of the The Chapel Rooms while enjoying the really wonderful show. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. Celebrate the history and life of Kilfinane and the surrounding area, through music, song and dance.

This summer Ballyhoura CCE – Host of Fleadh Luimnigh 2018 show kicks off every Monday and Tuesday, starting the 16th of July and tickets at €15 are available at

emial: hupnahoura@gmail.com

call: 0874548501

You can get more details at their Facebook page

Visiting Cork

Cork is often overlooked as one of the top places to see in Ireland, with most tourists opting to stay around Dublin or heading West. While Visiting Cork city is known to be one of the most friendly cities in Ireland, if not the world, I believe the real hidden Ireland is to be found in the Cork countryside. From Fota Wildlife Park to Gougane Barra, there are so many fun things to do outdoors in County Cork Having spent the last 2 months in Cork exploring home territory, below are my top 17 things to do .while Visiting Cork.

If you want to head straight for the English Market or on a food tour of Cork city, go ahead, but the real secrets are to be found in the countryside. One of the top places to visit in Ireland, to trip to the Emerald Isle would be complete without a few days in Cork!

My Top 17 Things To Do in when Visiting Cork

  1. See Cork from above at the Model Railway Village

I remember visiting this place as a child and being fascinated with every miniature town and every tiny building, wondering how they made such perfect replicas of Cork’s best known villages and towns. Clonakility’s Model Railway Village is a dream come true for a return and every kid to childhood for imaginative adults!

As the name of this places indicates, expect to see lots of model trains doing the rounds around the village as well as an old steam carriage which now acts as a brilliant little cafe. You can also take the Choo Choo Train from the village on a tour of Clonakilty Town.

  1. Walk the old railway line to Crosshaven

The story behind the stunning old railway walk from Carrigaline to Crosshaven is what makes this beautiful walk all the more interesting. The walk connects two of Cork’s villages and runs the length of the old railway line that used to connect Crosshaven with Cork City.

The building of the walk, including digging the pathway, the placement of benches at intervals throughout the landscaping and the walk and planting of flowers was not done by the local council but was carried out by two local men, Bill Condon and Eddie Cogan in 1996.

  1. Visit the seals near Garnish Island

Garnish Island near Glengarrif is by far one of the most unique places to visit in Cork. Situated in a protected part of Bantry Bay, the island has a micro-climate unlike anywhere else in Ireland. Here you will find exotic plant life not normally found in Ireland, plants that flourish due to the sheltered nature of the harbour and the effects of the warm gulf stream which pass by the island.

On the ferry ride to the island you will stop by the famous seal island, home to hundreds of friendly (and very loud!) fur seals! You should also look out for rare birds, such as white-tailed sea eagles, and you might even spot some dolphins.

  1. Try out night kayaking in Lough Hyne

One of the top 50 unique things to do in Ireland, kayaking in the pitch dark in Lough Hyne is also one of the most unique things to do in Cork. You will set out before nightfall to let your eyes adjust gradually to the darkness, and once the sun has fully set you will paddle your way through the lake, mesmerised by the bioluminescent plankton that glows in the water while listening to interesting tales from your guide and learning all about Lough Hyne’s unique biodiversity as Europe’s only saltwater lake. Contact Atlantic Sea Kayaking for more information.

  1. Catch a trad session in Sin E

If you’re looking for cool things to do in Cork but are short on time, I highly recommend checking out a trad session in Sin E if you’re looking for cool things to do in Cork but are short on time. One of Cork’s most loved pubs, Sin E will charm the pants off you. With live traditional music (and not the type you’ll find in Dublin’s touristy Temple bar district!!) many nights a week, an evening in here will be an evening to remember. Full of characters holding up the bar and some very interesting decor including an old barbers chair upstairs, this cosy but tiny pub is one of Cork’s true hidden gems. Located on Coburg Street– check out their FB page for updates and events.

  1. Feed the ducks at The Lough

This is another fun thing to do within walking distance of the city. Feeding, or simple observing, the ducks up at The Lough has been an age-old tradition in Cork, especially among locals from the area. Below is fun video documentary about Cork’s famous “talking ducks”!

  1. Go stargazing at Blackrock Observatory

Blackrock Obseratory is one of the best attractions in or near Cork City. If you’re not interested in space or the stars, you can go or a lovely walk near the castle and finish up in the castle cafe which serves up some delicious home-cooked cork treats.

  1. Devour lunch at Ballymaloe House

A trip to cork, and Ireland’s, most famous cookery school at Ballymaloe House will send your senses into overdrive. First of all the delicious food you will be served is all sourced locally, with the menu changing daily, and prepared and cooked by students from the cooking school. Should you be lucky and visit when the sun is shining, you can enjoy a walk around the beautiful house and gardens and understand why so many Corkonians choose to host their weddings at this incredible venue. If you’re lucky you might even be introduced to the resident owner, girl boss and celebrity chef Darina Allen! Girl boss and celebrity chef Darina Allen if you’re lucky you might even be introduced to the resident owner!

  1. Go surfing at Inchydoney Beach

Voted Ireland’s best beach, Inchydoney Island is one of the most spectacular beaches in Cork. Stretching on for miles on either side of the island (where the award-winning Inchydoney Island Hotel is located) this beach is also a top spot for surfing, especially in winter. Granted you’ll have to wear a horrible wetsuit and the water will of course be absolutely freezing, but nothing will cure your hangover quicker or make you feel more alive than an early morning surf! One of the best beaches on Ireland’s wild Atlantic way, and the finish line of one of the world’s most epic road trips.

  1. Adopt a donkey in Liscarroll

If you want to do some good while visiting Cork, adopting a donkey seems a pretty great place to start!! The Donkey Sanctuary at Liscarroll near Mallow is free to visit but you will be given the choice to “Adopt a Donkey” while there which means the money you donate will go towards the upkeep of the sanctuary and taking care of your donkey. Don’t worry, you don’t have to take the donkey home with you, but you can leave with the knowledge that your donation will help the donkey have a happier life!

  1. Enjoy a pint, a walk and the view in Baltimore

With the best beer garden in Ireland and one of the most stunning views, a day trip to West Cork should definitely be one of the first things you do while visiting Cork! Be sure to walk up to the famous beacon or hop on the ferry and head over to the beautiful Sherkin Island for the day.

  1. Bid farewell to a cruise ship in Cobh

The coastal town of Cobh is famous for being the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic before it sailed out to sea. These days the picturesque town, famous for its beautiful cathedral and the colourful ‘house of cards’ street, is also a great place to spend an afternoon. Waving them off as they sail out into Cork Harbour, regardless if you know anyone on board or not, is certainly a unique way to spend an afternoon in Cork!

  1. Go wild at Fota Wildlife Park

Before local people go wild at me saying “Fota is hardly a hidden gem”, it should be noted that just because us locals love Ireland’s only wildlife park does not necessarily mean that visitors will have a clue what it is or where it is !! First of all, Fota is NOT a zoo. The animals are in wide open spaces and roam around freely, to an extent.

The best part is waking (or taking the train) around the park and observing the giraffes munching on the trees or allowing a cheeky peacock to steal your sandwich at lunch! You can get right up close to the kangaroos which aren’t locked in anywhere and watching the monkeys swinging around their own private island could occupy the entire family for hours.

  1. Eat your way around the city on a fab food tour

Last Saturday I spent my morning on a Fab Food Tour of Cork. I couldn’t believe how little I knew about my own city and how clueless I was about where the food I eat every day comes from. It was fascinating to do a food tour in my own city, to discover new foods, new restaurants, and new people along the way. This is a way better alternative to your usual walking tour of a city and I highly recommend signing up to a food tour on your first day in Cork– you’ll be sorted for places to eat for the duration of your stay! Be sure to check out the English Market too– a landmark building and historic marketplace

  1. Enjoy panoramic views from Camden Fort

While Kinsale’s Charles Fort and James Fort have become popular tourists attractions in Cork, most people seem to forget about Camden Fort, close to Crosshaven. While the fort is sadly only open at weekends, it has been beautifully preserved and is well worth the trip down to Crosshaven.

You can take stunning photos across Cork Harbour to Cobh in one direction, Spike island in an another and over to Roches Point lighthouse in yet another direction. During the summer months you will find family fun days and sometimes the rooms are used for local events such as art exhibitions.

  1. Soak up the tranquility in Gougane Barra

By far my absolute FAVOURITE place in Ireland, Gougane Barra always has this special effect on me– pulling me, mesmerising me, reassuring me that Ireland really is as naturally beautiful as we all imagined. While it’s not exactly on, nor is it off, the tourist trail, I always find myself one of the only people there. You can easily go for a walk and suddenly find yourself totally alone surrounded by towering mountains and flat calm lake that almost seems magical.

The church here, St Fin Barres Oratory, is both perfect and tiny at the same time. I will never get sick of seeing it reflected in the lake water, and I could easily return here every weekend and never get bored.  If you’re looking for a place to stay nearby, I can recommend the Gougane Barra Hotel– you can’t possibly wake up to a more beautiful view if you’re looking for a place to stay nearby.

  1. Meet the blind goat farmer on Cape Clear Island

While it’s quite the mission to get to and involves a 45 minute ferry ride from Baltimore, once you arrive on Cape Clear Island you will never look back. This very remote and sparsely populated corner of Ireland is also predominantly a Gaelic speaking district, which means inhabitants speak Irish first and English second.

There’s a shop, a pub, an abbey and a school and … not much else! If you walk to the top of the island you will find a sweet old man who sells delicious ice-cream which he hand makes from goats milk.. The fact that he is blind doesn’t stop him at all, and a visit here will be a real highlight of any trip to Cape Clear. Be sure to check out the annual storytelling festival and if you want to stay somewhere truly unique, book into the luxury yurts for a bit glamping!

If you are visiting County Cork then Ballyhoura Luxury Hostel is the ideal accommodation for you, family, traveling international Groups. We are located on the borders of Tipperary, Cork & Limerick so there is lots of opportunities to explore some of Irelands best counties

Tipperary Town main street

County Tipperary, the largest Ireland inland county, covers and area of 1,647 square miles of some the most picturesque and fertile countryside in Ireland. Scattered with an abundance of important archaeological sites, this historical county is famed for its rich heritage and culture. Fondly famed for its stories and songs, County Tipperary is full of charm and a warmth visitors will not forget.

In 1838, the county was divided by Government into two administrative areas – the North Riding and South Riding which are still managed as separate entities. Combined, the population of County Tipperary stands in excess of 130,000. The county name is derived from the Irish ‘Tiobraid Arann’, the well of Era, referring to the River Ara.

The center of County Tipperary is known as ‘the Golden Vale’, a rich pastoral stretch of land in the basin of the River Suir, which crosses the county from north to south. Tipperary is bound by mountains to the south and west with a border on Lough Derg in the north thus offering a superb range of outdoor activities for locals and visitors alike. The primary historical site is that of the Rock of Cashel, an imposing Cathedral and round tower encompassing some 2000 years of history, was once an important ecclesiastical center and home to the Kings of Munster.

County Tipperary has a strong sporting history and is home to the Gaelic Games of Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie, and Handball.

Principle towns in County Tipperary

The capital town of North Riding is Nenagh and the South Riding capital is Clonmel.

Other significant townships are Tipperary, Cahir, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Roscrea, Templemore and Thurles.

A brief history:

Tipperary is situated in the south of Ireland and extends from the border of Galway nearly to the south coast. Tipperary is the largest inland county in the country and is a very picturesque region, with the stunning Galtee Mountains, the River Suir and a rich, lush, green landscape, famous for its horse studs.

Tipperary is better known as the Premier County, dating from the 1840s when Thomas Davis in the Nation newspaper lauded Tipperary for it’s nationalistic feeling and claimed ‘Where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows.’

Key attractions:

The Rock of Cashel is one of the most famous of Tipperary’s landmarks with a group of mediaeval buildings sitting on top of a rocky outcrop dominating the skyline of the town of Cashel. Cashel is where Ireland’s most famous King, Brian Boru the last High King of Ireland, was crowned.

Lough Derg is the largest of the lakes along the river Shannon, the longest river in Ireland, and is almost an inland sea. It is well known for game and coarse angling, boating, windsurfing, sailing, and water skiing. The lake itself has many islands, the most famous of which is Inis Cealtra – Holy Island, which is the site of a 7th century monastic settlement. Lough Derg is the largest of the lakes along the river Shannon, the longest river in Ireland, and is almost an inland sea. The lake itself has many islands, the most famous of which is Inis Cealtra – Holy Island, which is the site of a 7th century monastic settlement.

 

County Tipperary Ireland, the largest inland county, covers and area of 1,647 square miles of some the most picturesque and fertile countryside in Ireland. Fondly famed for its stories and songs, County Tipperary is full of charm and a warmth visitors will not forget.

Combined, the population of County Tipperary stands in excess of 130,000. The center of County Tipperary is known as ‘the Golden Vale’, a rich pastoral stretch of land in the basin of the River Suir, which crosses the county from north to south.

If you are visiting County Tipperary then Ballyhoura Luxury Hostel is the ideal accommodation for you, family, traveling international Groups. We are located on the borders of Tipperary, Cork & Limerick so there is lots of opportunities to explore some of Irelands best counties

History of Blarney Castle

The Blarney Castle is known around the world for it’s famous Blarney stone, a stone that you kiss to at the top of the castle to get the gift of the gab. But, the castle has so much more than just the stone to offer. It is knee-deep in history and rich in culture, certainly a place you must visit in Ireland.

The castle was built almost 600 years ago in the small village of Blarney in County Cork, and since then millions of people from all over the world have come to visit it. It is one of Ireland’s most loved and treasured landmarks.  It is said that once you kiss the stone at the top of the tower you will never be lost for words again, it is said that.

The exact origin of the Blarney stone is debatable; some say it was brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah, and used as a fatal stone or a stone of destiny to forecast Kings of Ireland. Others say it came from Scotland after a battle, and some say it came from the Crusades. Wherever it came from, there is a mutual belief amongst all that by kissing the stone you receive the gift of eloquence.

As the famous stone, the Castle has beautiful, and magical, gardens that you can walk around no matter the season. In the summer it is the rose beds that are blooming, in the fall the trees are the most spectacular view and in the winter there is a lovely mysterious beauty around the gardens, particularly in the lake and woodland areas.

The Blarney Castle Gardens

The castle you see today is actually the third castle that was built here. The first castle was made from wood and the second made from stone. In the 15th century the third castle, which is the one we see today, was built by the King of Munster, Dermot McCarthy.

The property was sold in the 17th to Sir James St. John Jefferyes who was the Governor of Cork at the time. At the beginning of the 18th century his son, by the same name, built a Georgian gothic house near the castle and laid out a fantastic landscape garden. This is known as the Rock Close, which you can visit at the grounds. It is a stunning arrangement of massive boulders and rocks, around what is believed to be druid remains from pre-historic times.

To really soak up the remarkable and brilliant history of this castle you must walk and visit around it. And don’t forget to kiss the stone! We promise it won’t disappoint.

The Blarney Castle is known around the world for it’s famous Blarney stone, a stone that you kiss to at the top of the castle to get the gift of the gab. The castle has so much more than just the stone to offer. The castle was built almost 600 years ago in the small village of Blarney in County Cork, and since then millions of people from all over the world have come to visit it. The castle you see today is actually the third castle that was built here. The first castle was made from wood and the second made from stone.

The castle originally dates from before 1200, when a timber house was believed to have been built on the site, although no evidence remains of this. Around 1210 this was replaced by a stone fortification.

The castle was besieged during the Irish Confederate Wars and was seized in 1646 by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill. However, after the Restoration, the castle was restored to Donough MacCarty, who was made 1st Earl of Clancarty.

During the Williamite War in Ireland in the 1690s, the then 4th Earl of Clancarty (also named Donough MacCarty) was captured and his lands (including Blarney Castle) were confiscated by the Williamites.

The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times– Sir Richard Pyne, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, owned it briefly– before being purchased in the early 1700s by Sir James St John Jefferyes, then governor of Cork City. The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times– Sir Richard Pyne, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, owned it briefly– before being purchased in the early 1700s by Sir James St John Jefferyes, then governor of Cork City.

Members of the Jefferyes family would later build a mansion near the keep. This house was destroyed by fire, and in 1874 a replacement baronial mansion, known as Blarney House, was built overlooking the nearby lake.

Kissing the Blarney Stone

In the mid 19th century, the Jefferyes and Colthurst families were joined by marriage, and the Colthurst family still occupy the demesne. In May 2008, the present estate owner, Sir Charles St John Colthurst, Baronet, succeeded in a court action to eject a man who had lived on his land for 44 years. The man’s great-grandfather had been the first to occupy the estate cottage.

The castle originally dates from before 1200, when a timber house was believed to have been built on the site, although no evidence remains of this. The castle was besieged during the Irish Confederate Wars and was seized in 1646 by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill. After the Restoration, the castle was restored to Donough MacCarty, who was made 1st Earl of Clancarty. The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times– Sir Richard Pyne, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, owned it briefly– before being purchased in the early 1700s by Sir James St John Jefferyes, then governor of Cork City. Members of the Jefferyes family would later build a mansion near the keep.

Visit Blarney Castle & Kissing the Blarney Stone to experience a great Irish treasure. Ballyhoura Luxury Hostel is located on the boarder of Cork and a great location to Stay. Contact us today to get information about Hostel and make a booking to stay.

Limerick is one of the major cities of Ireland, located in Munster province in the south of the country. Limerick is a compact old town known for the medieval-era. Limerick is a place full of surprises! Ireland’s third largest city but also a friendly and welcoming destination; a cultural hotbed and National City of Culture in 2014.

Limerick has a pace and dynamism you’ll find almost nowhere else in Ireland. Situated on the majestic River Shannon, Limerick City is a vibrant hub of education, economic recreational and social activity in Ireland’s Mid-West region.

Limerick is commonly referred to as ‘Ireland’s Sporting Capital’; and while we are the economic core of Ireland’s Mid-West, we are also widely known for our warmth and home-town feel.

Few regions offer the magical blend of City and County quite like Limerick. Famed for the friendliness of its people and with a whole host of superb accommodation options, family fun festivals, cultural events and exciting arts and attractions, Limerick has something for everyone to enjoy!

In the city centre the medieval glories of King’s Island sit comfortably alongside modern pedestrian plazas lined with colourful boutiques, upmarket hotels, legendary pubs and nightclubs and award-winning restaurants and cafes. The City’s environs are also home to some fantastic sights including: neolithic Lough Gur, Ballyhoura Country, Foynes, the birthplace of the Irish Coffee and Adare, whose medieval churches and thatched cottages make it Ireland’s prettiest village.

Limerick is home to an eclectic cultural scene and was designated the first ever National City of Culture in 2014. Limerick is also synonymous with sport, with the “spiritual home” of Munster Rugby, Thomond Park Stadium, just outside of the city centre. Gaelic football, hurling, golf, cycling, rowing and horse-racing are also particularly popular pursuits in Limerick. Limerick is extremely proud to have been awarded the prestigious title of European City of Sports 2011.

Limerick is a cosmopolitan and sophisticated city but it has often been said that perhaps Limerick’s biggest attraction of all is the people themselves who are warm, witty and welcoming!

Fun Facts about Limerick to learn more visit https://www.limerick.ie

  1. The University of Limerick has the longest footbridge in Ireland and one of the longest footbridges in Europe – it is called the Living Bridge!
  2. King John’s Castle is the westernmost Norman castle in Europe!
  3. In 1651 after Cromwell’s forces captured the City, St. Mary’s Cathedral was used as a stable for the army’s horses!
  4. Some of Limerick’s well-known sons and daughters include actor Richard Harris, rock legends The Cranberries, broadcaster Terry Wogan, novelist and playwright Kate O’Brien and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt! (The above photo is of Terry Wogan in Limerick in 1974)
  5. Limerick is known as the Treaty City after the Treaty of Limerick was signed here in October 1691!
  6. Irish Coffee, a brew infused with Irish whiskey, was invented in Limerick village Foynes in 1943!
  7. There are 10 places in the USA called Limerick: Limerick, Georgia, Limerick, Illinois, Limerick, Louisville, Limerick, Maine, Limerick, Mississippi, Limerick, New York, Limerick, Ohio, Limerick, South Carolina, Limerick Township, Pennsylvania, and New Limerick, Maine!
  8. Former US President, John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald (the man who gave them the ‘F’ in their name), hails from the town of Bruff in east Co. Limerick!
  9. Limerick is home to the largest Georgian Quarter in Ireland outside Dublin!
  10. Limerick, Ireland’s third largest city, was founded by the Vikings in 812. Limerick is one of Ireland’s oldest cities, with a Charter of Incorporation older than that of London’s, dating back to 1197!

If you are look of a Luxury, Friendly warm Stay while you are visiting Limerick, Why not book your stay at Ballyhoura Hostel.


The Ballyhoura Mountains span across south-east Limerick and north-east Cork. The area of mountains situated in Cork is mainly afforested with commercial conifers, while large areas within Limerick’s borders consist of blanket bog and heathland. The landscape is in general very rich in wildlife and geology.

Patchwork areas of blanket bog, dry and wet heath occur across the Seefin and Coolfree Mountains of the Ballyhoura range. A variety of mosses and heathers dominate the wet heath vegetation as well as bilberry bushes. The interspersed areas of dry heath are characterised by Bell Heather, Tormentil, and different varieties of sedges such as Green-ribbed Sedge. The remaining blanket bog areas support vegetation typical of the habitat, for example Common Bog Cotton, Deergrass and heather. Also of significance is the area of the rare and protected Killarney Fern found on the slopes of Carrigeenamrontrty Hill at the outer edges of the Ballyhoura Mountain Range.

The diverse habitats of the Ballyhoura Mountains, including the afforested areas within Cork’s borders, provide an important nesting ground for a variety of birds. Hen harriers and Peregrines are of particular interest in the area as they are both listed on the EU Birds Directive. The heath areas are ideal, and vital, foraging ground for the Hen Harriers.

The Ballyhoura Mountains are also home to the largest designated single bike trails in Ireland at 98km. The area also hosts the annual Ballyhoura International Walking Festival in May.

The Ballyhoura Mountains are a great way to experience the beautiful landscape Ireland has to offer. Come and stay at Ballyhoura Luxury Hostel to enjoy this fantastic Irish Gem

Hotels Combined Recognition of Excellence 2017

Hotels Combined Recognition of Excellence 2017

Here are some photos of Ballyhoura Hostel, the bedrooms and common areas.

Ireland’s newest Aquapark has just opened 40 minutes from Ballyhoura Hostel. at Ballyhass Aquapark. We are thrilled about this really exciting addition to Ballyhass Lakes, which already offers wake boarding, zipling, kayaking, leap of faith and many more! Now you can jump, slide, bounce, climb & race your friends around this amazing course. Book your tickets online now with prices at €15 for U18 and €20 for adults www.ballyhassaquapark.ie
So if you’re planning a team building event, a hen/stag, or a fun weekend away with your friends/family, call us now on 063-91625 to book our luxury accommodation so close to this brilliant activity cen

Aquapark

Aquapark

tre Ballyhass Aquapark & Adventure Activities

HearSay International Audio Arts Festival takes place from the 29th of September to the 1st of October. We are now fully booked out on the Friday and Saturday of the festival but we do have availability either side of those dates. Three days and nights of sound, story and sharing taking over the mountain village of Kilfinane in Co. Limerick, Ireland. Your ideal accommodation for HearSay 2017, we are located in the village of Kilfinane, with all the venues and pubs just a stroll up the street. Call Séamus now on 00353-63-91625 or email seamusnunan@gmail.com to book your place with us.