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Explore Cork Outdoors

The Best Outdoor Experiences and Activities in Cork

An Outdoors Summer is fully in swing at the moment; from scenic walks to sailing along the sea, Cork is bursting with outstanding outdoor adventures. As we begin August and Autumn beings to sneak in, make sure you squeeze in some of these outdoor experiences and activities on your next visit to Cork.



If you are looking for a nice easy walk in the fresh air, with some history, why not take a stroll around Blarney Castle & Gardens. Set in beautiful wooded countryside and just 8km from Cork City and 15 minute drive away from The Metropole Hotel, Blarney Castle is one of Ireland’s most impressive castles that draws visitors from all over the world.

But the castle is not the only thing that is impressive. The incredible gardens that surround the castle are perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll.  Explore themed gardens like the tropical Fern Garden and the Poison Garden with its deadly and dangerous plants from around the world, including the caged specimens of deadly nightshade, wolfsbane and poison ivy. Don’t forget to visit the Rock Close where you’ll find an ancient druidic settlement and witch’s kitchen.

After you enjoy your ramble through the gardens, why not pop into the Blarney Woolen Mills and enjoy a browse through some handmade Irish gifts and stop by for a tea or coffee in their adjacent café.



The trendiest water activity this summer, stand-up paddle boarding has taken over the rivers and shores of Ireland at the moment, and Cork is no exception. The Metropole Hotel is right next to the glorious Lee River that runs through Cork, and so is your perfect opportunity to try your hand at the biggest up & coming water sport. Go at your own pace and take in all the sights of Cork.

Not sold on the idea of stand-up paddle boarding just yet? Why not try kayaking instead and enjoy an afternoon of rowing through the Lee Fields.

If you are looking to book Stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking on your stay here, contact our Guest Relations Manager Gavin to organise your perfect experience on The Lee.



A 45-minute drive east from The Metropole Hotel, you will find the picturesque coastal village of Ballycotton. From beaches to exciting activities such as wind & kite surfing, Ballycotton is the perfect day out if you don’t want to travel too far from the city.

What draws most visitors to Ballycotton in the picture perfect Cliff Walk. The walk begins in Ballycotton Village and takes you to Ballyandreen Beach along a cliff track where you have gorgeous greenery on one side and stunning sea-scapes on the other. The walk extends over 5 miles on a foot worn track along the cliff face with stunning views and passes Ballytrasna beach. The cliff walk has a number of different sights, including stunning views of Ballycotton Lighthouse (one of only two black lighthouses in Ireland) which was painted black in 1902 to distinguish it from the beacon at Capel.

We recommend allowing yourself the full day to explore Ballycotton and the Cliff Walk.



Image Source – @ballyhass_adventures

If you are looking for a more adventurous outdoor activity, why not had down to Ballyhass Lakes for a day on a Aquapark. A 45-minujte drive north to Mallow and Coachford, you will find an exhilarating host of activities from a high net course & ziplining to archery & axe throwing. But the highlight of the lakes is truly their inflatable aqua park on the lake.

Munster’s largest and most exiting aquapark and covering over 40m squared of an old quarry lake, Ballyhass is a great day out for friends where you can spend your time jumping, sliding, bouncing & racing one another through the wipeout style course. A day filled with laughs & excitement is guaranteed and is a great group bonding activity.

Kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and wakeboarding is also available at Ballyhass Lakes. For more information check out Ballyhass website here .



Whether you’re on holidays in Ireland or are looking for an out-of-the-box corporate event, an Ocean Escapes experience is one that can’t be missed. The perfect outing for any age, everyone in your group will have the time of their lives exploring the waters and coastlines of Cork.

Ocean Escapes allows visitors a trip from the heart of Cork and take in the sights and sounds of the River Lee as you cruise towards the Lower Harbour. Cruise down the River Lee passing Blackrock Castle before heading to the Lower Harbour for drinks in the many bars and restaurants located on the waters edge. Ocean Escapes trips from Cork City start from 2.5hrs which allow for a 20min drink stop.

Ocean Escape also offer sailings from Crosshaven and Cobh if you fancy taking a day trip, and enjoy everything from a sunset sailing to dolphin & whale watching.

For more information about Ocean Escapes, check out their website here. 



Take advantage of parks, riverside pathways and cycle lanes to show you the best of the City while enjoying a leisurely cycle. Boasting over 30 bridges and over 20 church spires, there is no better way to explore Cork City than by cycling. See how many you can count as you explore the city on this cycle tour of Cork with a local guide.

Beyond the Glass Adventure Tours offer a gently paced bike ride which explores Cork’s rich history, its vibrant culture and a few of Cork’s hidden secrets.

Cycle through Cork’s colourful streets and city parks as your local guide peels back the layers of time to reveal Cork’s history. From its beginnings as Christian settlement to its time as a Viking stronghold to it being the centre of trade for an Empire. Cork has produced many notable individuals through the centuries, you will hear of Corks most intriguing characters during the tour.

For more information, see here.


So grab the last bit of summer and start planning your outdoor adventures around Cork. If you are in more need to outdoor inspiration of things to do & see, make sure you chat to our knowledgeable reception team. We also have our Guest Relations Manager, Gavin, on hand to help you book any sough after attractions for you.


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