Fota House & Gardens are a wonderful family day out, with a Wildlife Park on Fota estate and there are Golfing opportunities also close by at Fota Island Golf Resort. Fota is located just a short 16 - 20 minute car journey from Cork City, 15 minutes to Midleton or 10 minutes from Cobh. Fota House has a small entrance fee to take a guided tour of Fota House and take in the Smith Barry Family history. There is a small fee to enter Fota Gardens, a wonderful place to enjoy the acres of tropical gardens, wall gardens, fern area, Italian garden and the beautiful Orangery.
Cork Parks & Gardens
Fitzgeralds Park a short walk from Cork City is a little oasis of calm, just stroll around this lovely family friendly public park, with a riverside walk area, Cafe, the park is beautifully laid out with flowering gardens in different sections, wild garden area, rose garden and wonderful fountain area. Fitzgeralds Park is also where you will find Cork Museum open free to the public with many exhibitions on display, displaying some of old Cork's history, including glass and silverware from olden times along with clothing worn long ago. If you would like to walk across the bridge and across the road and a 10 minute walk will see you across and up to the old Cork Gaol or on the opposite side near the main entrance Park gates you will find the impressive building and grounds that are UCC.
Bantry House & Gardens a privately owned home and gardens, open to the public, take a tour of the House and enjoy a stroll around the magnificent gardens afterwards, the House & Gardens offers stunning views out over Bantry Bay. Bantry House & Gardens is open generally from the end of March to October, but just check the times in advance. The House & Gardens play host to a number of Festivals & Events in West Cork through out the year such as the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and lots more. Bantry is just a 1hr30minute drive from Cork or it is also services by the local Bus Eireann service.
Ilnacullin Island more commonly known as Garnish Island is an island located in West Cork, home to some tropical plants and wildlife! A short 15 minute ferry trip will take you out to Garnish Ilnacullin Island from Glengarriff Pier, running from April - October, subject to change. On Garnish Island Glengarriff, you can enjoy a range of tropical trees, shrubs and flowers and take a self guided tour around the island, the area is also home to seal colony so you may be lucky to spot some seals on the ferry out to the Island. Glengarriff is just a 95 minute drive from Cork, and 20 minutes from Bantry, whether you are using a rented car or taking the bus, it is a beautiful part of West Cork to visit and continue on the Beara Way and on to Kerry.
Liss Ard Estate & Gardens, Skibbereen
Liss Ard Gardens Skibbereen, are a delight, 100 and more acres of gardens, little ponds, streams, and areas to stroll around and lots of special garden features to enjoy. The Gardens are open usually April to November, an added extra to view is the Irish Sky Garden, for all the world similar to a crater, so lots for the family to explore in this hidden delight a short distance from Skibbereen town in West Cork. Skibbereen is just under 1hr 30minutes from Cork so ideal if you are flying into Cork Airport or coming into Cork Ferry Port you can pick up your hire car and drive to lovely West Cork or alternatively take the local Bus Eireann Bus Service to Skibbereen and taxi it to Liss Ard. It is just 30 minutes from nearby Clonakilty town well worth the visit!
Barryscourt Castle Gardens
Barryscourt Castle in Carrigtwohill has a beautifully laid out garden/herb area and apple orchard on the castle grounds and converted coach house is now a lovely tearoom. Blarney Castle grounds is wonderful to stroll around and take photographs with Blarney Castle in the background and enjoy the garden area. Griffins Garden Centre in Dripsey offers a lovely setting with a chance to purchase an array of plants and shrubs and household items and gifts while enjoying tea or coffee by the riverside. Millstreet Country Park where the family can enjoy many different style walks such as garden and lakeside walks, and lots of set trails with interesting features, the deer farm, visitor centre and lots more. Glebe Gardens & Restaurant Baltimore a pure delight. For something a little different with many delightful creations and sculptures try Ewe Sculpture Gardens in Glengarriff.