Cycling and eating definitely go together! So, here is a local's guide to eating along the route of the Coast & Country Electric Bike tour. This is a two day self-guided tour following a GPS with a pre-programme route from Kinsale to Clonakilty and back. Great coastal scenery and lots of different eating options - from seafood restaurants to cafés with a view and food trucks serving fresh, local food. Stop, eat, drink and rest your legs. Here are my favourites:
Day 1: Kinsale to Clonakilty
Breakfast: Lemon Leaf Café or Cosy Café, Kinsale
Popular spot! Nice indoor setting. Serves a traditional Irish breakfast plus omelette, porridge etc.
Great spot to sit outside and watch the world go by as you eat. Eggs any way you want them, porridge and bagels.
Morning coffee: Old Head of Kinsale Café
Small café, big view! You can sit outside but have your extra layer handy as it can be breezy. Homemade brack and tea - recommended!
Lunch: Monk's Lane, Timoleague
This is a lively spot - cosy seating inside and a nice atmosphere. Also great quality food at a reasonable price. Not to be missed!
Dinner: Richys, Clonakilty
Locally produced, artisan food.
The Pink Elephant situated on the headland overlooking Courtmacsherry Bay and sandy Coolmaine Beach. Definitely a good place to stop for a cold drink as you enjoy the view.
Rebecca’s Kitchen and Farm Shop roughly halfway between Timoleague and Garrettstown beach is great for coffee and treats or a light lunch. Sit outside and enjoy the views.
Day 2: Clonakilty to Kinsale
Breakfast: Macliam Lodge B&B!
Breakfast is included, so eat in. Big day cycling ahead!
Lunch: The Food Depot (weekends only) or
The Golden Pheasant Café, Courtmacsherry
Both are busy spots so try to avoid peak times!
The Food Depot operates from a trailer by the beach in Courtmacsherry. Great healthy, fresh food options. Yum! Menu changes so check them out on Facebook before you arrive.
The Golden Pheasant is a great spot - eat out in the courtyard. Toasted sandwiches, salmon and brown bread, soup - lots of nice options for a light lunch.
Late Lunch: Diva's Café, Ballinspittle
Diva's Café bake everything on site, breakfast, lunch, brunch, cakes, breads, cookies and croissants are all made by hand daily. And they're delicious!
Dinner: Good Food Restaurants, Kinsale
Eating out in Kinsale, your first stop has to be at one of the 11 restaurants that make up The Good Food Circle Restaurants. Particular favourites are:
The Bulman: eat upstairs in restaurant or downstairs in pub.
Man Friday: Seafood, great view and food.
Jim Edwards: Gastropub - lots of good seafood options.
The Supper Club: Local food in slick surroundings.
Fishy Fishy: Ever popular restaurant.
There are also loads of other great options in Kinsale:
The Black Pig: Tapas and wine bar. Locals favourite.
Fisherman's Catch: Food truck at the bridge on the way into Kinsale. Delicious fresh fish and chip. Cross the road and eat in the nice park on the Kinsale side of the bridge.
Toto's Pizza: Another food truck - location varies but often at the bridge on the way into Kinsale or Garrettstown Beach in July/Aug. Fab pizzas and waffles are super delicious!
A Beginner's Guide to flying up the hills!
Electric bikes are amazing to cycle! With an electric bike, going uphill is just like cycling on flat or level terrain. Electric bikes are great for people who have injuries, older people or people who want to go further. Find yourself struggling to keep up with a friend or partner who is a serious cyclist? An e-bike is a great solution! Or if you're on vacation and want to explore with the wind in your hair but don't want to slog uphill - rent an electric bike.
Wild Atlantic Sports are the only company offering e-bikes in Kinsale. Our new fleet of electric bikes are 'pedal assist' - that means that the power kicks in only when you are pedalling. Going too fast, simply stop pedalling and the motor will turn off.
Why Go Electric?
How do I use an electric bike?
Electric bikes are really easy to use. They have most of the same features as a usual bike. The main difference is the onboard computer mounted on the bike's handlebars and the battery which is usually mounted to the frame of the bike. The onboard computer allows you to control the power of your bike as well as see useful facts and figures such as your speed and most importantly how many kilometres of power you have left!
Most electric bikes will have a number of different power levels. Pick a low level/eco level if you are just cruising on the flat and need a little help. Heading up a steep hill, just up the level to turbo to increase the power. With just the press of a button, you'll feel just like you are cycling on the level. What's not to love?
How far can I go between charges?
Rent an E-Bike in Kinsale
Why not give an electric bike a go? They're a great way to explore the hilly Cork area. With an electric bike, you can go further and see more of the local area without breaking into a sweat! We have the following e-bike rental options. There's sure to be one that will suit you:
Need more information or want to book - call Ruth on +353871032317 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore Kinsale by Bike
Kinsale is a beautiful place to visit - there's an amazing harbour; a selection of great restaurants and cafés; colourful houses and small boutique shops off a small pedestrianised area. There really is so much to see and do in Kinsale, no wonder it's popular! It's a quick drive by car from Cork Airport or take the public bus directly here. Kinsale is also the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way and West Cork so a good starting point if you want to explore further.
In this blog, we'll introduce you to the Wild Coast Bike tour - it's a half day tour that gives you an introduction to the history of the town, takes you by the main attractions and gives you a flavour of what it is like to live in year round. Take the Wild Coast Bike Tour on one of our comfortable mountain bikes or (COMING SOON) on an electric bike.
We'll get you kitted out with bikes when we meet at Charles Fort, our starting point for the tour. Only 5 minutes drive from Kinsale, this star shaped fort was built in 1682 and defended the harbour against intruders. From here on a clear day, there are great views over Kinsale Harbour to James Fort and Dock Beach.
Cycling towards Kinsale, we continue along the coast enjoying stunning sea views. In town itself, we cycle to the Giant's Cottage, where Patrick Cotter, also known as the 'Bristol Giant' was born in 1760.
We dismount and walk through the incredibly beautiful pedestrian area with it's small, colourful shops. This is definitely an area that you'll want to explore more after the tour! We'll point out the best restaurants so you can plan your evening.
We pop out on the other side of Kinsale and cross the bridge to the Castlepark Marina and the Dock Pub. Sit out and enjoy a coffee overlooking the marina! Then back on the bikes for a short cycle to the Sandycove area. Here we see if we can see the wild goats that live on Sandycove island before heading back to finish in Kinsale.
Who is it suitable for?
This tour is suitable for beginner cyclists on an electric bike or intermediate cyclists on a standard bike. If you're planning to take a normal bike, be prepared for some short, steep hills! However, no problem walking if needs be. Book online here.
Gotta do it! How much does it cost?
Tour price: €40 standard bike, €50 electric bike (COMING SOON!)
Prices include use of bike, helmet, high vis, tea/coffee or soft drink en route. Tour takes 2-2.5 hours.
Kinsale to Killarney - day by day....
Part 1: Kinsale to Durrus
Here's our quick guide to cycling the Wild Atlantic Way from Kinsale to Killarney. If you like active travel and exploring some great spots by bike, then this is the holiday for you. You'll travel through some villages and towns with great local food including seafood and dairy. Travelling by bike, you'll have the option to really experience the Irish countryside, visiting remote lakes, countryside and coastal areas.
Day 1: Kinsale to Clonakility
Arrive in Kinsale the evening before you start to cycle so you can enjoy a meal out in the Gourmet Capital of Ireland! We’ll drop your bikes to you & sort out panniers etc. Off you go! First stop is the Old Head of Kinsale (coffee shop!), first discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Then cruise along Garrettstown Beach. Quiet roads to Coolmaine beach, through Timoleague - check out the abbey before or after lunch and then final pedal to Clonakility. Rest, shower then out for food and live music!
Day 2 : Clonakilty to Cape Clear
After a good breakfast - maybe one including the local Clonakilty black pudding, continue to follow the Wild Atlantic Way north along the coast. This is a great cycling day exploring small fishing villages, enjoying wide coastal views, islands and secret coves. Eat overlooking the sea in Baltimore and then either take a ferry over to Cape Clear or Sherkin Island to enjoy a glimpse of island living. Sleep tight, rest those legs, cause there’s more cycling tomorrow!
Day 3: Cape Clear to Durrus via Mizen Head
And we’re off on our bikes again, following the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way to Mizen Head, Ireland’s most southwesterly point. Amazing views! Leave the bikes and walk along the bridge through the cliffs. Wow! The back on the bikes and next stop is Durrus, home of the amazing Durrus cheese. Maybe there’s time for a farmhouse visit to see the cheese being made?
Touring bike rental & more!
We offer some great equipment and advice to help you enjoy your trip cycling the Wild Atlantic Way. Bikes are high quality touring bikes with front suspension and disc brakes. Pannier bags are included, lights, helmet, high vis vest and collection to/from your local accommodation. If you need your bike collected from Cork or beyond, we can organise this!
For more information contact Ruth - email@example.com or call +353871032317. We're here to help!
Recently we took a quick spin to West Cork to check out Cape Clear Island. It's en route when you cycle from Kinsale to Killarney along the Wild Atlantic Way and is easily accessed by ferry (they take bikes onboard too!). We found some amazing West Cork scenery but also some very steep hills which made cycling feel like being on a self-propelled roller coaster! While we did cycle around the island, we'd recommend leaving your bikes at the harbour when you arrive unless you are a strong and persistent cyclist. However, the trip to Cape Clear is simply spectacular on a good day and well worth a visit.
The 45 minute ferry journey from Baltimore is beautiful on a calm day, bringing you past the Baltimore Beacon and out through the entrance to the harbour. You travel along the coast of Sherkin Island before crossing out to Cape Clear and into the harbour on the north side of the island. The island itself is inhabited by approx. 100 people and despite its small size (3 x 1.5 miles or 5 x 3km) has all the essentials for people living on the island and visiting.
For a more cycling friendly island try nearby Sherkin Island. Both islands are easily accessed from Baltimore which is a 2 -3 day cycle from Kinsale.
....or GreenER anyway!
I first saw bottles of water for sale on the streets of Paris when I was about 15 or 16 years old. I distinctly remember the feeling of horror and disbelief, thinking to myself ‘What a waste! People are paying for water! Are they mad? That'll never happen in Ireland ‘......(wrong again!).
Now, thankfully there's a move towards getting rid of single use plastics. Reducing our plastic use is definitely to be welcomed and something we at Wild Atlantic Sports are keen to be part.
Our main plastic use is disposable water bottles that we include as part of our (very popular and fun) bike tours. We've always recycled these, however, our goal for summer 2019 is to stop providing these altogether. HOWEVER, we still want customers to enjoy a refreshing drink of water en route.
We've chosen to buy a limited number of reusable bottles for use on tours. The dishwasher will give them a good scrub after every use and we'll refill them with (hopefully) filtered water. For anyone squeamish about using a pre-loved, but well washed bottle, there'll be option to buy one of our beautiful branded bottle. Priced as low as we can go!
We may also look at offering a small discount to customers who bring their own reusable water bottle.
Help us out! We're pretty much there on ordering bottles but need some suggestions on water filtration systems. We're looking for something that fits below the sink and is reasonably priced.....any ideas?
Not everyone can cycle. Like swimming, many adults come through childhood without mastering this skill. So, if you’re an adult who can’t cycle, why bother learning?
Cycling is great for fitness, particularly if you have an injury or need to find a low impact sport.
Sense of Achievement:
Learning to cycle is great fun and very rewarding to learn. It is a great goal to set, particularly at the start of a new year!
Provided you don’t live to far away, cycling is a great way to get to work or to college. Avoid the traffic jams and opt for this cheap and easy solution. Burn fat, not fuel!
So, how do you get started?
Get involved with one of the Wild Atlantic Sports beginner classes. We’ll provide a bike to get you going so you don’t have to buy one straight out. After all, it’s difficult to buy a suitable bike if you’ve never cycled before! We’ll give you some help with that once you’re up and pedalling.
We remove the bike’s pedals so we can teach you how to ‘scoot’ or glide on your bike. With no pedals, you can learn to balance, steer and brake, taking your feet more and more off the ground as you gain confidence. You’ll have the freedom to learn at your pace and take small steps to gain confidence.
Once you’ve mastered this skill and can scoot confidently for 5-10 seconds, we’ll put back on the pedals and teach you the ‘pedal ready’ position. In this, the lead foot (the one normally used to kick a ball etc) is placed on a raised pedal close to the bike frame with the other foot flat on the ground. A good push off with the foot on the ground and a push down with the foot on the pedal should be enough to get started! Ok, it may take a few attempts, but once you’re going, there’ll be no stopping you!
Most people are nervous learning to cycle for the first time, so it’s a great idea to have someone guide you through the process.
Private and group lessons available in Cork - contact Ruth 0871032317
Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
David Flanagan & Richard Creagh
Planning a trip along the Wild Atlantic Way?
This compact book, packed full of information and great photos is essential reading, whether you are an Irish or an overseas visitor.
Exploring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way has so many little features that are BIG pluses. Firstly, it’s size - it’s what could be described as a mini-hardback with a soft cover! Huh? Well, it’s small enough to pack into a rucksack but the paper and outstanding photographs are hardback quality. Other great features include the useful reference points that you can plug into a phone or other device and the route maps which are clear and attractive.
This book is generally, well researched and contains loads of practical information on places and activities along the route. There are endless cycling, kayaking and hiking suggestions and it’s obvious that the author (rightly!) believes that this is the best way to explore the WAW. However, the book doesn’t get bogged down in the detail, but is easy to read and there are plenty of web links if you need more information about something specific.
There are only two very minor criticisms that I could level at this book, firstly that some of the information could be a little more up to date - as an example, it would have been nice to see the newly restored Signal Tower & Lusitania Museum included in Cork section on The Old Head of Kinsale area. Secondly, the typesetting can be a little basic, however, to be honest, this doesn't take away from what is a great, value for money, guide book.
This book is a great starting point for researching a trip along the Wild Atlantic Way; definitely one to bring on your journey and those spectacular photos make it ideal as a gift or as a reminder of an awesome trip!
€22.50 available from the publishers, Three Rock Books
You’ll Need Seven Heads to Take in This Scenery!
The Seven Heads peninsula is an area of beautiful, unspoilt countryside in West Cork, Ireland. Last summer, the Irish tourist board, Bord Fáilte decided that this ‘forgotten peninsula’ should be included on popular Wild Atlantic Way route. It’s perfect to discover by bike as the countryside is rolling and distances between towns and villages are short. It's not too far off the beaten track, as it's only 48km/30miles from Cork airport, which has a direct bus link to Kinsale.
If you enjoy being outside, keeping fit and have two days for an adventure you should explore the Seven Heads Peninsula by taking our Wild Coast and Country Tour!
Courtmacsherry Bay used to be a deep water port, however an earthquake in Portugal in 1755 triggered a tsunami which affected the topography of the sea bed and today, at low tide, flat and silted mud flats are exposed. These provide an important habitat for numerous sea birds. Look carefully and you'll find cormorants, curlews, herons, gulls and possibly even the rare white egret, a member of the heron family.
The lush countryside is contained by rich hedgerows, which are often flowering with wildflowers including fuchsia and provide a habitat for foxes, badgers and other small mammals. Rabbits sunbath in the fields to the north of Courtmacsherry Bay.
Eating & Drinking:
West Cork is known for it’s fresh locally produced foods and Clonakility is famous for it’s black pudding - try it for breakfast at your B&B. There are some great places to eat out - in Timoleague, it’s worth stopping at Monk’s Lane, while nearby Courtmacsherry has two good food options - the Food Depot which won a Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Street Food of the Year Award for 2018, serves delicious food from a trailer by the beach most Sundays through the year. Nearby, the Golden Pheasant Cafe combines a small aviary with a quality cafe. If you’re looking for a take away lunch to eat en route, check out the healthy but delicious Lettercollum Kitchen in Clonakility.
The local towns, offer some great historical sites. Timoleague Abbey, founded by the Franciscan Order in 1240 A.D. on the site of a 6th century monastic settlement, is an unmissable sight as you enter the village of Timoleague from the Kinsale direction. Nearby Clonakility was home to Michael Collins, a well known figure in Irish history, having been instrumental in the founding of the Irish Free State (1920-1). You can find out more about his life by visiting the Michael Collins museum in the town or the Michael Collins Visitor Centre, not far from the town.
The countryside also has plenty of history and stories to tell. You can explore the old graveyard and church at Lislee a few kilometres from Courtmacsherry. Also near Lislee Court, you are transported in both time and location by a fascinating statue of Patrick Keohane (1879-1950), born locally and a member of Scott’s Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole. As you cycle out of Courmacsherry, you pass the ruins of a Cistercian abbey, Abbeymahon Abbey built in 1172 by Dermot MacCormac MacCarthy, King of Desmond.
Wild Coast & Country Tour:
The Wild Coast and Country Tour is a two day, self-guided cycling tour from Kinsale to Clonakility. On day one, you follow the Wild Atlantic Way past the first discovery point - the Old Head of Kinsale, along the coast to Clonakility. Stay overnight in Clonakility - great pubs with live music - then, next day, loop back to Kinsale via the Seven Heads Peninsula. The tour includes B&B accommodation, bike hire and more!
There are some hills, of course, but also some amazing sights which you just wouldn’t experience by car. Stop off for a picnic along one of the beaches and watch the kite boarders get air born on a windy day. Then, roll by acres of green farmland with cows grazing over the hedges. On a clear day, you’ll find views back to the Old Head of Kinsale, just over your handlebars!
The Wild Coast and Country tour allows you to enjoy your own adventure in this largely undiscovered area of Cork county, soon to be part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Whether it's enjoying taking selfies in the ruins of Timoleague Abbey; having a meal outside at one of the great local cafés or just taking a quiet moment of reflection as you watch the sea birds dive by the cliffs at Donworley Point, we know that this is the stuff memories are made of! It's the best of West Cork, seen at your pace by bike.
To book this tour, just call Ruth on +353871032317.
Have you been to West Cork, Clonakility or the Seven Heads Peninsula? Comment below on your trip highlights!
Looking for something a bit different to do when you visit Kinsale? The Wild Coast Tour is a bike tour with a difference. It gives you the chance to experience the real Wild Atlantic Way. We explain what it's like to live in this exposed location both in the depths of the winter and also during the busy summer season.
We've called it the Wild Coast Tour for a reason - on breezy days we sometimes encounter mini-sandstorms along by the beach (don't worry, they really are mini!) and we'll point out the garden sheds, tied down so that they don't blow away in the winter storms! However, in spring, summer and autumn, the weather can often be really pleasant with the sea appearing a beautiful turquoise colour on sunny days.
Spring is probably the nicest time to visit, April - June as all the wild flowers are out - sea pinks (pictured below), wild garlic, yellow celandine (looks like a buttercup!) bluebells and the purple foxgloves along the roads and in the forest.
This isn't a tour just for cyclists, it's a tour for people who like to cycle and enjoy seeing the best the area has to offer. So why not give me, Ruth a call on 087 1032317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place today.
The tour starts from the Signal Tower on the Old Head of Kinsale, 15-20 minutes drive from Kinsale. We provide quality mountain bikes, helmet, high vis vest and plenty of laughs along the way! Tours run all week at 10.30am, 2.30pm or 7pm.