Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Free Family-Friendly Places To Visit in Cork

If you're looking for some free family-friendly places to visit in Cork then look no further. 

As a travel and days out loving family, we've travelled the length and breadth of our home county and today I'm sharing some beautiful free family-friendly places to visit in Cork.

Enjoy the beauty of Fota Gardens

Fota Gardens is a special place to us as it got us through lockdown. It's an absolutely stunning place to visit all year round, but if you're a flower lover, a visit during spring and summer is a must.

You can have a whole day out here exploring the gardens, kids pretending to fish in the pond with sticks, playing and climbing in the many amazing trees and doing roly poly down the grassy banks.

It's free to visit, but do bring €3 for the car park (this charge goes toward the upkeep of the gardens so is well worth it to get to enjoy such a stunning place).

If you want to spend some money and make it even more of a day out, you can walk to Fota Wildlife Park from the gardens.

See the deer Doneraile Park

Doneraile Park is a beautiful spot with fabulous walks, a great playground and the most adorable deer - who have a liking for ivy and carrots (top tip: bring a bag of mini carrots for the deer to munch on to let the kids see them up close). We've been here many times and there's always something new to see. 

Doneraile Park is beautiful all year round and the walks are suitable for wheelchairs and buggies also. There are toilet facilities and a cafe onsite and a short walk away too if you fancy making a stop for food also.

Take a walk through the bluebells at Ballyannan Woods 

Ballyannan Woods in Midleton is a wonderful site to behold each April and May when it becomes a sea of bluebells! It's like nothing you'll have ever seen before and is always so quiet and peaceful there.

Pack a picnic and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the woods with the kids. We even had an Easter egg hunt in the bluebell woods one year. There's also a little strand area where kids can paddle in the water. A simple but beautiful place that makes for a great day out.


Explore the Titanic memorials in Cobh

Cobh is best known for being the last port of the Titanic before her ill-fated maiden journey and the town has lots of sights to commemorate this. Visit the Titanic Memorial garden - and spot the most beautiful pastel hydrangeas you'll ever see in summertime close by. Walk the Titanic Trail around the town and grab an ice-cream to enjoy in the beautiful promenade.

If you do fancy spending some money to enhance your Titanic themed day out you could go on the Titanic Trail guided walking tour (lasts approximately one hour) or go to the Titanic Experience Museum (family ticket of 2 adults and 2 children costs €27).


Enjoy a beach day in beautiful West Cork

West Cork is a beautiful part of the world and has lots of beautiful beaches that make for a great day out. Our favourites include Inchydoney and Barleycove. Each have toilet facilities (although Barleycove's were locked last time we visited), are clean and have parking near enough to the beach.

Pack up a picnic and enjoy a beach day in this beautiful part of the world. The kids are sure to enjoy the beautiful, clear water and have lots of fun playing in the stunning white sands.


Go on a hike in Gougane Barra

If you're an outdoors loving family, then going on a hike in Gougane Barra is a must. Another beautiful part of the county, we've explore Gougane Barra in all seasons and managed to hike with a baby in a carrier and a little three year old who loved climbing the steps and crossing the waterfall.

There are toilet facilities on site and a handful of picnic tables to have a spot of lunch. There are lots of quiet places in the woods and along the water to stop and have a picnic though. The sights up on the hike are beautiful and well worth the trip.


Go see the lighthouse at Roches Point

This is a favourite spot of my boys. They always ask to go here and although you can't visit the actual lighthouse, going to see it and the 'Balamory' coloured houses nearby is enough for them. Pack up a picnic and enjoy it on the nearby strand or take the short drive to beautiful Inch beach.

Whitegate, which is also a short drive away, has a fabulous playground too which kids will have lots of fun in.

These are just a few of the lovely and free family-friendly places to visit in Cork. These have been our favourites over the years and they're places which we continuously go back to again and again because they're so lovely.

For more days out inspiration in the Rebel County, check out my Cork section for fee-paying and affordable days out for families.

Where are your favourite free family-friendly places to visit in Cork?


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