Our perfect honeymoon, part 4: Beautiful West Cork

We’d chosen West Cork for our honeymoon for a number of reasons: first, we were absolutely set on spending our honeymoon in Ireland; then, Ian had been to Cork before and he loved it; and moreover, it’s got a great history – from ancient stone circles to the Irish War of Independence: Michael Collins, one of Ireland’s greatest heroes and known to everybody these days thanks to Neil Jordan’s movie starring Liam Neeson, was born in the area.


As soon as we’d reached Cork by train, we felt the magic; we picked up our hired car and started out into the beautiful green countryside – it was like driving through a postcard, really! We didn’t go in the direction of Skibbereen first, but of Kinsale, a little town famous both for its beauty and its seafood. Just look at those magnificent colours – no wonder Kinsale was recently voted one of the prettiest towns in Europe!



Then we came to Skibbereen itself; a lovely place, so typically Irish, and so far away from all the craze of 21st century big city life…



Our next little excursion led us down south to the Ocean, to Baltimore – a beautiful little seaside town, also famous for its seafood; and for something else, as my oh so knowledgeable fiancé taught me there. More about that in the next post! For now, I’ll confess we had oysters and white wine there for brunch, before visiting the local – pirate castle…

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A must-see for us two historians was Drombeg Stone Circle, one of Ireland’s most famous prehistoric monuments. A Bronze Age stone circle with remains of huts and a kitchen close by. I’ll write a separate post on this, too; for the moment, have a look at the site and the breathtakingly beautiful landscape surrounding it…



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One evening, we went over to Clonakilty, the town where Michael Collins was born, and where he made one of his most famous speeches in 1922, just a few months before he was murdered, trying to save the country from a civil war…


But, besides following the tracks of the ‘Big Fella’, we had another reason for visiting Clonakilty: Des, our host from the Driftwood House, would be singing and playing banjo there in a tiny little pub hidden from the main road! He and his two friends, who played the fiddle and the guitar, did a most wonderful rendition of Irish folk songs; the craic was mighty, and the drinks were great – an unforgettable evening!


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And, like everywhere in Ireland, history was present in this little pub as well: on the wall, a poster with the Declaration of the Irish Republic in 1916 which led to the Easter Rising…

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But Skibbereen itself has also got quite a number of really good pubs and restaurants; from the elegant West Cork Hotel where we had a fantastic roast beef, to Cahalane’s Bar where one night a live band played Bob Dylan songs, to Annie May’s, a coffee shop, pub and restaurant where we had both drinks and a great roast lamb – and which was already decorated for Halloween!





Next: More about the Pirates of Baltimore…

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