There is no shortage of family activities in Bantry and West Cork. Whether your interests lie in adventure, exploring or simply taking a stroll along a section of Sheep’s Head Way, you will not be disappointed. For those with a head for heights, don’t miss a trip on Dursey Cable Car, Ireland’s only cable car which runs to Dursey Island. For the chocolate lovers don’t miss a trip to the local Chocolatiers or if all things megalithic or neolithic are more to your taste, then maybe a trip to some of the many Stone circles and monuments dotted throughout the area are more your thing. You’ll soon discover that your holiday is just not long enough!
Bantry Driving Academy
Academy offer pre-test lessons, intensive
training courses and days out for you, your school and your club. Start out on
their amazing driving simulators, change a wheel in their maintenance centre
and test out your driving skills on their purpose built track. A field that was
once part of the family farm now boasts a kilometre of purpose-built roadway
and it's equipped with T-junctions, a roundabout, a hill-start section and even
a curbed area where you'll be able to make your first attempts at reverse
parking. Because their track is on private land you'll be fully insured to
drive there from the age of 14 up. They are located in the Mealagh Valley
just 6KM from Bantry Town Centre.
Get "Cycle Fit" this summer at the BDA.
At your training session, you’ll get to:
Customise your bike* to suit your body.
Practise making safe turns at junctions.
Master the hand signals that help drivers to understand what you’re up to.
Learn to cycle with real confidence at roundabouts.
You’ll also benefit from great lifestyle advice:
Find out the best ways to hydrate properly before you exercise.
Optimise your training for cycling, and all your other sports activities.
Learn how to snack in ways that build your strength and endurance.
Ditch some of the health myths that put your fitness plans at risk.
The Ewe Gallery & Sculpture Garden is a world apart in a magical riverside setting by a forested mountain waterfall. No matter your age, an afternoon spent exploring the Gallery and Gardens will result in days of disputes over which was the best bit! A unique combination of nature and art – amazingly this is an artist’s home and Ireland’s only interactive sculpture garden. The colourful gallery and fantasy filled garden take you on a journey like no other. Located on the Kenmare Road, Glengariff, for further information visit their website at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +353 (0)27 63840.
Star Outdoors Adventure Centre
Located in Kenmare, just a 40 minute drive from Bantry, Star Outdoors Adventure Centre has an abundance of activities to keep even the most active of families entertained. Enjoy an afternoon filled with activities such as Archery or Laser Combat. Or if you prefer to take to the waters, then see our “On The Water” section for a further list of activities available at this fantastic fun-packed adventure centre. For further details visit www.staroutdoors.ie or telephone +353 (0)64 6641222
Take to the Road
Mizen Head & The Beara Peninsula
Both Mizen Head and The Beara Peninsula are two spectacular family days out. At the end of the mizen Peninsula, the cliffs of Mizen Head rise high above the Atlantic Ocean, where the currents meet from the west and south coasts. Ireland's most southwesterly point, Mizen Head was named in 2003 in the Reader's Digest Top 100 'Amazing Places of Britain and Ireland'. For further information on Mizen Head visit www.mizenhead.net.
The Beara Peninsula is the wildest and most romantic of the peninsulas in the South West. The peninsula stretches for a distance of 48km (30 miles) from Glengarriff to Dursey Island and back to Kenmare, with an unspoilt and magnificent landscape which sweeps from the spine of the Caha hills down to the shores of Bantry Bay. Take time to enjoy a trip on Ireland's only cable car, running daily to Dursey Island. For further information on the Beara Peninsula visit www.bearatourism.com.
Life truly is like a box of chocolates! And who would know this better than critically acclaimed Chocolatier, Benoit Lorge. Originally a native of Lorraine in France, he has now set up home in Bonane. Only a short drive from Bantry, this is one journey that will certainly have everyone asking “Are we there yet?” With an extensive variety of chocolates to suit every tastebud, the only problem will be which ones to choose. Located at O’ Connor’s Shop, Bonane. For further details visit www.lorge.ie.
Stone Circles and Monuments
As well as megalithic, neolithic and monolithic stones, Bantry and the surrounding areas abound with old castles and more recent monuments. Why not visit Carriganass Castle at Pearson’s Bridge, the Air India Memorial in Ahakista, or the old mine buildings at Crimea on the Sheep’s Head Way. Whilst some of these monuments are located in easily accessible areas, more are located a trek over crags and moorlands, which may appeal more to the walker and explorer!
West Cork Model Railway Village
See the hand-made model towns of Clonakilty, Bandon, Kinsale and Dunmanyway. In scale 24:1, it's possible to tour all four towns in one hour. Watch the G-scale model trains in motion or take a ride on the unique road train from teh model village to Clonakilty Town and district. Then finish off your tour with a cup of tea in an authentic dining car. The village also has a children’s indoor playroom and outdoor play area. For further information visit www.modelvillage.ie or telephone + 353 (0)23 33224.
Stuck on a rainy afternoon with nothing to do – or just fancy checking the latest films out? Located just 200 metres from The Maritime Hotel, Bantry’s Cinemax Cinema offers all the newest cinematic releases. For a full list of releases, times and even a chance to watch a preview, visit www.cinemaxbantry.com or telephone + 353 (0)27 55777.