Looking to Explore Rural Ireland? Start your Journey with a Feeling in Ballyhoura Country
Rural Ireland beholds many hidden gems for explorers beyond the well worn tourist tracks. Situated at the crossroads of Munster, on the borders of counties Limerick, Cork & Tipperary Ballyhoura Country is an area of undulating green pastures, woodlands, hills and mountains. The ancient and unspoilt landscape, an abundance of significant heritage sites, thrilling outdoor activities and friendly people make it the perfect place to discover rural Ireland. Whether you are a couple looking for adventure or a family looking for something for everyone, The only difficulty may be choosing where to start!
You might start with a feeling…Feeling adventurous? Ballyhoura’s Mountain Bike Trails are nestled between counties Cork and Limerick, the most extensive network of its kind in Ireland, each section of the 98km of trails winding through lush forests, over hills and mountains with a route for every level of experience. Or if water based activities are more your thing, learn a new skill at Ballyhass Lakes Adventure Centre, home to Ireland’s largest wakeboarding cable park.
Looking to feel calm? The breathtaking landscape of Ballyhoura Country alone brings a sense of calm and is a key to many of the amenities to help visitors relax and unwind. Known as the Mindful Farmer, Patrick Mulcahy, holds unique mindfulness and meditation weekend RetrEATs at Ballinwillin House & Farm to nourish the mind and body. Guests at the luxury 18th-century country house on the edge of Mitchelstown are encouraged to roam the 80 acres of rich pasture land in between meditation and mindfulness sessions and his handcrafted artisan meals.
For those Feeling Nostalgic for the past, Ballyhoura Country’s rich cultural history spans centuries. Walkers on the Blackrock Loop will scale to the highest point in the Ballyhoura Mountains Seefin (Suí Finn) or ‘Finn’s seat’ in Irish. This mountain is said to have been the spot where the giant Finn McCool would sit and wash his feet in the River Shannon, an impressive feat as the nearest point of the River Shannon is approximately 50 kilometres from Seefin! More recent history enthusiasts can walk in the footsteps of one of Ireland’s most famous statesmen, former president Eamon de Valera [1882-1975] with a visit to the village of Bruree in County Limerick where he was born and spent his childhood.
Visitors frequently remark on the friendliness of Ballyhoura residents and the area’s wide range of hospitality and accommodation options from self catering and B&B with Park South Accommodation in Co.Cork overlooking three mountains ranges, the Ballyhouras, the Nagles and the Galtees, to the entirety of the historic Longueville House with onsite falconry and fly fishing the area caters for every preference. Gastronomists can indulge in the superb menu at The Mustard Seed Country House in Co. Limerick or a post cycle refuel at Spruce and Willow, as well as many more local gems just waiting to be discovered.
“Visitors have a huge appreciation for the outdoor world, particularly since Covid-19, and ‘Ballyhoura Country’ is the perfect place to connect with the outdoors offering a rich experience of nature in this beautiful, unspoiled countryside. It is home to Europe’s largest mountain bike park and walkers can enjoy a range of waymarked trails and walks and many other outdoor activities. The sensational natural beauty, vibrant culture and warm welcome makes it the perfect place to take stock, to slow down and to reconnect with the people and things that really matter. With restrictions lifting in the coming period, people can’t wait to get out and explore the countryside and to meet their family and friends and Ballyhoura is the perfect location for a staycation this summer with its magnificent landscape, outdoor activities, fantastic accommodation options and wealth of amenities for visitors.” – Shauna Cunningham, Fáilte Ireland.
There is something for everyone to enjoy in Ballyhoura Country, where will your feeling take you?