Unfortunately, was already brainwashed from an early age by going on package holidays with my family to holiday camps where redcoats held sway. To this day have a tendency to pick my international travel destinations with, despite my age, a proximity to theme parks in mind.
While have no intention of changing that habit, one thing that certainly has changed is how view my own country as a holiday destination. With a group of friends, took a trip to West Cork, specifically Bantry, and it looks like Irish holidays just gained a prodigal traveller.
It has to be said, even though the holiday itself was hugely relaxing, the trip down certainly gave me my rollercoaster fix. While the rest of the gang sat on the coach heading from Cork City to Bantry. actually missed it, and had to hurtle along behind it in a taxi trying to cut them off at the pass.
Suffice to say, there was one frazzled traveller who could not have been more amazed by what can only be described as the jaw-droppingly fabulous surroundings of No. 14 Wolftone Square. Available as a rental, our accommodation for the weekend was an experience in luxury. As a matter of fact, as soon as our host left after showing us around all three floors of this beauty, we genuinely held hands and jumped up and down, not believing our luck.
For those who have never been, Bantry itself is a beautiful town crying out to be explored. Stroll around for a few minutes and you can feel yourself relaxing, taking on a gentler pace. The pub we visited wasn’t just complete with a fire in the hearth, it even had the dog to go along with it. We stopped in to the charming and quirky Forest And Flock gift shop which carries a host of Irish craft and design, all of us leaving with a memento. Later on, we visited Bantry House overlooking the bay. Never usually one for stately homes, this was right up my street. Bridging the gap between gothic splendour and country mansion, my pals got to feel their Downton Abbey fantasy while pretended was on the set of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Standing on the hill looking down at the grand house with the Bay behind, it was truly a sight to remember.
A definite highlight for all of us was our trip with Bantry Bay Boat Hire. Unfortunately, like a pack of idiots, we all turned up right on time for our trip. At the complete other side of the bay. No problem to Aaron who sailed right over to collect us and drove us to our own motorboat. That we would drive. Following Aaron. With us driving. Our own motorboat. While initially powered straight toward the rocks, Aaron soon got things under control. There followed an amazing tour as we sailed behind Aaron’s boat as he regaled us with the history of the surrounding area and how seafood has become synonymous with the Bay. We even got to see dolphins swim alongside for a while.
On the weekends, Bantry shakes off its quiet surrounds and becomes quite the little nightspot. The pubs are packed with music and the local nightclub caters to a younger crowd. We visited at a quieter time of the season but in the year ahead there’s a host of festivals to sample, including the West Cork Literary Festival and the famous Taste Of West Cork Festival. We certainly developed a taste for West Cork and No. 14 Wolftone Square during our trip, so much so there are plans afoot to head down there later in the year. wonder if they have any theme parks nearby?
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