MACROOM IS THE CENTRE
Macroom may not be the centre of the universe but it can certainly be regarded as a great centre from which to visit the attractions of North and West Cork and Kerry. Besides, you won’t have crowds of tourists on your door step, the people are extremely friendly and there is at least one great place to stay: the Castle Hotel, as I found out recently.
Must admit, I’m more used to passing through Macroom but this time I stayed and I’m glad I did. There are some lovely walks in the area, the nearest being the town park. Here you may walk along the banks of the Sullane. The sun came out as I was there but it will get even better as the weather warms up and the flowers come into bloom.
The Castle walls, well the remains, are a feature as you drive through the main street. Behind the walls, you have this lovely park and good use has been made of the former demesne as a multitude of outdoors sports, including golf, are catered for in the spacious grounds.
But, you’ll no doubt ask, is Macroom that central? Yes it is. I usually use viaMichelin when I’m checking out places to stay when in Europe and I used it again for this exercise. Cork city is 37 minutes away, Killarney 40, Millstreet just 25, Bandon is at 31 minutes while Bantry takes 61.
Back to the town itself and its attractions. If you like your walks, there are many around here, many of them easy going. Perhaps the most intriguing is the Gearagh (right) where you pick your way through the flooded remnants of alluvial forests, a strange landscape. I did this walk recently, or at least a bit of it, and you may read about it here. I reckon this should be a national attraction, much better known that is the case currently.
Fed up of walking? Then get into the car and pick from trips to the legendary Gougane Barra, the Michael Collins memorial at Beal-na-Blath, the site of the 1920 Kilmichael Ambush, the ruins of KIlcrea Abbey, the Gaeltacht area of Cuil Aodha (home of Sean O’Riada) and much more. These are all in the Lee Valley, all pretty close to the town.
And that’s not all. The town website suggests:
For a rewarding day out, try some of these attractions -
- A visit to Ireland's only Toy Soldier Factory at Kilnamartyra
- A round of golf at Macroom Golf Club
- Fishing on the River Lee (salmon and trout) and in Lough Allua (pike and coarse fishing)
- Lowland and mountain walking with an experienced guide
- Waterskiing and wakeboarding at Iniscarra Lake.
I think you can see now what I mean by central. So next time, don’t just pass through. Take a break, for a few days, relax and enjoy.