Holiday on A Shoestring in Crosshaven by Annette J Dunlea
With The Gathering and The Red Head Convention many people will be travelling soon to Crosshaven this year.It is the playground of the rich seafarers but it just has got affordable. Hire a campervan or caravan or buy a cheap tent and take a bus trip no 222. The Fountainstown Bus from the South Mall, Cork or drive to Crosshaven.Book a family holiday in beautiful rural Ireland.You can shop in the local supermarket or do a big shop in Carrigaline en route and cook your food the way you like it.It makes a cheap holiday too.Get back to nature and walk through the forests and experience the thrill of our coastal cliff walks and their reward of our panoramic sea views.Spend quality family time together telling stories around camp fires or teach your kids to play camp games. Give your kids a healthy holiday and memories for life.By staying at home you will be doing your bit to help the Irish economy too. Go cycling or bring a picnic or have a barbecue at the beach.
There are a number of affordable accommodation offers: B&B ‘s, hotel special offers and of course our camping and caravan sites.There are : Greenacres Fountainstown and Fountainstown Beach Mobile Home Park.Crosshaven Rugby Football Club at Myrtleville Cross is now offering short-term camping facilitites.It is conveniently located and competitively priced with weekly rates for caravans at €250, a large Tent €100 and a Small Tent 80 and this allows you park your caravan, or pitch your tent on site.It has a gym, toilet and shower facilities.It has the advantage of a full bar available on site so you have no worries about drink driving.Following the huge success of their Easter children’s camp they are now offering a summer camp.Check their website for all updates on events and site pictures http://www.crosshavenrugbyfc.com. If your kids love sports try booking this week and let them see if they would like to play rugby.The Crosshaven RFC offers nightly rates are available on request. It has beautiful seaviews in a quiet country location and magnificent coastal walks nearby. Walk down to Myrtleville to walk along the beach.Relax afterwards in the beautiful gardens of Pine Lodge with a pint and listen to some great live music. Across the road is Bunnyconnellan’s the famous O’Briens bar and bistro.On your way back up the hill the post office is a little mini market and sells everything from bacon and eggs to chinese sauces.
Cycle or walk to the nearby village of Crosshaven and have breakfast in the local riverside cafe with commanding views of the marina and Currabinny woods.Walk accross the road to Centra a well stocked supermarket, in-store it has a post office, butcher, deli and bakery .It stocks many local produces from local farmers and producers. Next door resides the Crosshaven credit union which offers a bureau de change.A few doors down is the family run Cronin’s bar and award winning Mad Fish restaurant.You are guaranteed a great pint and chat here with the owner Denis and locals.Crosshaven lies east of Carrigaline where the Owenboy River enters Cork Harbour, and is one of the major international sailing centres in Ireland. Here you will find the headquarters of the Royal Cork Yacht Club with the charter of the oldest Yacht Club in the world.There are numerous water events here during the summer.
There are a number of great walks around the village and bays and a looped walk at Currabinny Woods where the local giant’s grave is located.Book a guided tour around the magnificently restored Crosshaven House.Once the ancestral home of the Hayes family and now in private ownership. It was built in 1769 by William Hayes on a site with commanding views of Cork Harbour and is one of the finest examples of domestic Georgian architecture in Ireland. A three-storey building and a basement, with two almost identical facades of grey ashlar, the house has been a landmark in Crosshaven for over 200 years. Stories of its importance in the town’s history are recalled for such deeds as the setting up of a Soup Kitchen during the famine years. After being restored to it’s former glory, it is now available for private hire, including accomodation, weddings and functions. Seasonal public tours also available.
Fort Camden offers tours around their castle and have recently opened a cafe .By 1837, the Fort contained only a token force of a master gunner and eight men. In 1875 the land side of the Fort was modified for the mounting of 30 additional guns. Sitting at the west side of the harbour it covers 24 hectars and stands about 60 metres above sea level. The fort area is honeycombed with underground passages and emplacements including a large magazine. It has a magnificent tunnel, engineered to house the fixed torpedo invented by Louis Philip Brennan. The Fort was handed over to the Irish Army in 1938 and in 1989 Cork County Council acquired ownership. Current plans include the development of a Military Heritage Centre and general tourist attractions, including visitor accommodation, watersport facilities, craftshops and restaurant.On the opposite side of the harbour stands its sister fort; Fort Davis which was possibly one of the earliest bastioned forts in the country. It is owned by the Dept. of Defence.One can also take a day trip to Spike Island and get a guided tour.Spike Island occupies a key location in lower Cork Harbour, which is the second largest natural harbour in the world.The multi-cultural island has hosted a monastery, a fortress and a prison within its 104 acres, all of which have left their mark.
Pipers amusements and gambling machines open nightly.Hot popcorn and pink candyfloss are their speciality sweets and the kids love it here. Stop on the walk home for some freshly caught local fish and handcut chips, its a local tradition.There is an excellant pitch and putt club in Crosshaven village so pack the clubs and play a game or two.Fern Hill Golf Club in Carrigaline is where the locals play golf.The golf course is an 18-hole, par 69 course. It is best described as a mature tree lined parkland course, offering a challenge to golfers of all handicaps. The vision for a tree lined, slightly undulating golf course has come to fruition. As a result of excellent design and course management Fernhill Golf is often playable during inclement weather, when many other courses have to close.Golf clubs, trolleys and buggies may be hired on site.
From the marina a number of boats can be chartered for fishing trips or for tours around Cork harbour, stopping in towns for a break.Funkytown in Fountainstown offers a variety of family water sports.They offer powerboating courses, cave explorations, funky tubing, kayaking, surfing, sailing, wake boarding, kite surfing and Sea Safari. They run kids clubs and summer camps too.They are located at Morrissey’s Slip, 250 meters beyond Fountainstown beach, Co. Cork. Crosshaven as a community are great sports and outdoor enthusiasts. There are many sports clubs: rowing, tennis, camogie, football, basketball, rugby, gaelic, horseriding, hurley and swimming.Many of these clubs run summer camps.Their events are listed in the local newsletter available in all shops.
It is an ideal base for the Ring of Cork or the Ring of Kerry.A short car drive away are Blarney Castle And Gardens or Fota Wildlife Park.Kinsale is also nearby which is steeped in history with castles and offers historical tours.Kinsale is a thriving town with lovely bars and small shops selling Irish arts and crafts.Kinsale is famous as a major culinary town and offers a fine dining experience whatever you taste in food and wine.It should not be missed.A few miles away the Old Head of Kinsale has an impressive golf club. Take the ferry across from Monkstown to Cobh and visit the Titantic Heritage Centre.Titanic Experience Cobh is a new permanent visitor attraction in Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland. Situated in the original offices of The White Star Line, the location marks the departure point for the last 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage to America.The story of Titanic is told through the eyes of the Queenstown passengers and discover the strong Irish Links to Titanic.They invite you to retrace the footsteps of our Queenstown passengers.Cobh has many other tourist attractions worth a visit: Cork Harbour Cruises, Cobh Museum, Sirius Arts Centre, Fota House And Gardens, Movie Junction and Activity Naton.Activity Nation offers a variety of sports: archery, mountain biking, hill walking, grass sledges, obstacle courses, orienteering, target shooting and survival skills.Their packages include residential,both hostel style and camping, and day trips with a range of options to suit all budgets.
Travel a little further to Bantry.Bantry House was bought by the White family in 1730 and was enlarged by Richard White the 2nd Earl of Bantry. The house has a collection of tapestries, furniture and art treasures which were mainly collected by the Earl during his travels through Europe in the 1800’s. The Gardens are home to sub tropical plants and shrubs – reflecting the best in European design and style. Features with the 45-acre grounds are the Hundred Steps, the Italian Garden and the largest Wisteria circle in Ireland. The House and Gardens are open to the public along with an exhibition centre in the east Stableyard explaining the history of the attempted French invasion of 1796.
Another daytrip of interest to all is Mizen Head.An award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction, this authentic all-weather experience is a must-see with its spectacular location on high cliffs with swirling Atlantic Ocean tides. From the Car park and Visitor Centre, the Signal Station is a ten minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge, the Mizen is famous for its wildflowers and sightings of wildlife, dolphins, whales, seals, gannets, kittiwakes, choughs – the bird migration north-south flight path is just a mile off shore.
They are many locals towns just a short spin from Crosshaven: Cobh, Kinsale, Midleton,Youghal and Clonakility.In Midleton town the award winning Jameson Heritage Centre is a lovingly restored 18th century distillery. A tour of The Old Midleton Distillery is a journey through the story of Irish whiskey via an audio-visual presentation, which is available in six languages. Follow the old distillery trail through mills, maltings, corn stores, stillhouse, warehouses and kilns and view the largest pot in the world prior to sampling the renowned Jameson Whiskey in the bar. On offer too is an opportunity to become a qualified Irish whiskey taster, with presentation of certificate. .Afterwards, you can visit the gift or coffee shop.
Visitors should visit the nearby Cork city.The Cork City “Hop On, Hop Off” Tour is a fun way to see it. Get a guided tour and relax as the driver takes you through the highways and byways of town. See all of Cork’s famous sights such as the Cork City Gaol, St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, City Hall, the English Market, City Library, the Triskel Art Centre, Cork Opera House, St. Anne’s Church, the Shandon Butter Museum, the Custom House, City Library, the Courthouse, Museum & Fitzgerald Park, & Elizabeth Fort.It’s a great base to travel and visit Cork city and county.You won’t be disappointed, there is something for all the family.