Looking for a weekend getaway in Cork? You might want to consider Youghal (pronounced as Yawl), is a historic seaside town in East Cork that borders with West Waterford. The name Youghal comes from the Irish Eochaill meaning “yew woods”, which were once common in the area.
We enjoyed our weekend experienced here so we wanted to share the 3 best things to do in just one day.
Stroll on the beach.
Life’s a beach. We often encounter this statement. What is it about the beach? I know I’m not alone in my madly deeply love and passion for the beach. A lake is fine. A river is nice too. But, there is nothing like the ocean to completely reinvigorate a body and soul. Isn’t it? On Youghal Beaches you may not find the answer BUT definitely you’ll understand what I am talking about.
Front Strand & Claycastle Beaches are 2 sandy beaches located side by side and within walking distance of Youghal Town. It is a great beach for walking, swimming and relaxing and there are lifeguards on duty during the bathing season. We spent most of our time here enjoying the lapping sound of the waves, the squishy feeling of sand on bare feet and the gentle sea breeze.
If you don’t feel walking on the sand you can still enjoy the beach by strolling along the 400 metre hardwood panelled beach walk-way, stretching from Front Strand Beach to Claycastle Beach. It is totally accessible with interspersed seating along the route, making it ideal for wheelchair users and child buggies.
There are 2 more beaches in the area: The Redbarn Beach and The Mall Beach. (we skip these beaches so we have reason to visit again)
Dine and wine.
There are plenty of bar and restaurants overlooking the ocean or at least a walking distance from the beach.
But I’d like you to put Aherne’s on top of your list. Experience the taste and tradition which have been passed on through generation. This is a family restaurant which has been running since 1923. Their menu changes daily because they use the best of local produce. So please consider fish on your table as the fresh catch in Youghal Harbour.
Learn the history.
Youghal can trace its origins back to Viking times followed by the Normans, Sir Walter Raleigh, who first introduced the potato into Ireland and one man in particular Richard Boyle who transformed it into one of the most important trading ports in Ireland during medieval times. There are several heritage sites that you may want to discover and include in your itinerary.
One of the popular heritage sites is The Clock Gate Tower which was built in 1777 on the site of Trinity Castle, part of the town’s fortifications. It was used as a prison during the rebellion of 1798. The military hanged suspects from a pole lashed from the lower windows to the corner of the first house on South Main Street (now Luigi’s). Today, this tower serves as the landmark of Youghal town.
For about 7 min. walk via Ashe St. you can visit St. Mary’s Collegiate Church – with magnificent architecture, the 13th century oak roof structure, the fascinating plaques and effigies. Of course together with the wonderful structure St. Mary’s Collegiate Church places us in times of great historic events and in eras of historic figures.
You can find out more at the Heritage Centre, with information on places to go, things to do & see and where to stay in Youghal and surrounding area. The centre also hosts a very elegant retail section where you may pick up some souvenirs and postcards.
How to get there?
There are three ways to get from Cork City to Youghal — by bus, taxi and car. If you don’t drive we recommend taking the bus 40 or 260 from Cork Bus Station, Cork Parnell Place Bus Station to Youghal, which takes around 50 min (about 10$-12$). Alternatively, taking the taxi from Cork City to Youghal is the fastest option which takes around 37 min. but definitely pricey (about 80$ -95$).