It’s summer – real summer; warm with blue skies. The perfect kind of day to get out of the city or try out a new hiking trail. Or maybe even one of those incredibly beautiful hikes you’ve done before. The lush, forested hike to the top of Knockomagh Hill near Baltimore in West Cork is one of those hikes. It’s not very demanding and offers dramatic views of green and blue. Over the hills and trees, you can see the blue expanse of the Atlantic, and down below is Lough Hyne, shimmering. If it’s spring, expect the woods to be sprouting beautiful bluebells.
If you’re hiking in winter, don your raincoat and fleece. As for any hike, it is advisable to wear comfortable, cool walking clothing with sturdy shoes and to remember the essentials.
- A hat
- A wind-breaker
- A hearty picnic lunch
Driving out to the lough from Cork City takes about an hour and half and is in itself beautiful. Get directions here. When you arrive at the small parking area in front of the signboard, start the hike by walking up through the woods to the right. As you walk to the top of the hill, stop to appreciate the sweeping views along the way.
Not more than five kilometres away is the town that was once sacked by Berbers: Baltimore. It is perfect for a spot to get a pint and a filling lunch in the sun. Ferry trips go out to Sherkin Island are also available. A small distance away from the main town is the odd-looking beacon known as Lot’s Wife, sweeping sunset views and steep cliffs.
If you’d like to explore the quiet waters of the Lough, it’s the perfect spot for beginners kayaking. You can rent kayaks from Atlantic Sea Kayaks – to be arranged in advance.