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Things to do

You might just want to kick back, relax and read a book while you’re at Ballyvolane and who could blame you – it’s the perfect place to do just that. But if you’re looking for something a little different either on site or nearby, there are lots of options to keep you entertained …



  • Ballyquin, located on the Youghal to Dungarvan Road
  • Whiting Bay, located on the Youghal to Dungarvan Road
  • Ardmore, signed from Youghal to Dungarvan
  • Youghal Strand
  • Ballycotton, signed from Midleton Youghal Strand


  • Trabolgan Swimming and Sports Complex, Midleton
  • Splashworld, Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Aura Swimming Centre, Youghal, Co. Cork
  • Have a dip in the lakes at Ballyvolane House

For Children

Tennis/7-a-side Soccer at Ballyvolane House

  • Ballyvolane House has an all weather tennis court in the walled-garden. We have rackets and balls here which guests are welcome to use.
  • Next to the tennis court is a 7-a-side soccer pitch.


  • Croquet can be played at Ballyvolane House on the south top lawn. You can borrow mallets and balls from the porch. See us for rules, cheating essential!


  • We have a net set up on the lawn behind the dovecot. Rackets and shuttlecocks provided.


  • We have jogging trails in and around Ballyvolane House. Please ask for maps.


  • We have bikes available for your use at Ballyvolane House and can suggest a few good routes and provide you with maps.


  • For more information on salmon fishing on the renowned river Blackwater see the fishing pages on our site.

Horse riding

  • Fermoy Equestrian Centre Fermoy 025 36937/087 2941043
  • Ballybrack Riding School Glenville 087 2519405 15 mins


  • The point to point season in Ireland begins on New Years Day and finishes the last day in May. If you are lucky enough to be touring North Cork during those months, the point to point experience is a must. Ask us for further information on exact dates, times and venues.

Horse Racing

The first horse race meeting in Mallow dates back to 1777 when six consecutive days of racing were on offer in the Mallow area, “all to be run according to the King’s Plate articles”. The present race course which was refurbished in 1997 dates back to 1924.

  • Cork Race Course Killarney Rd, Mallow 022 50207 1 hour

Greyhound Racing

Every Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday nights – first race is at 7.50pm

  • Curraheen Park Stadium Bishopstown, Cork 021 4543095


  • Avondhu Fermoy 
  • Cloyne 
  • Doneraile 
  • Duhallow 
  • Kilworth/ Araglin 
  • Muskerry 
  • United Hunt 
  • West Waterford 
  • Killeagh Harriers 
  • Conna Harriers 


  • We can arrange driven game shooting at Ballyvolane House on selected dates during the shooting season. Ideal for shooting house parties. Please click here to view our shooting pages.
  • Clay Shooting and lessons at Ballyvolane House by arrangement.


  • By arrangement.

Day Trips

  • Jameson Heritage Centre Midleton, Co. Cork
  • Cobh Heritage Centre Cobh, Co. Cork
  • Fota House and Gardens Cobh, Co. Cork
  • Lismore Heritage Town Co. Waterford
  • Cahir Castle Co. Tipperary
  • Swiss Cottage Cahir (open March - November)
  • Charles Fort Kinsale, Co. Cork (open April - September)
  • Rock of Cashel Co. Tipperary
  • Holy Cross Abbey Thurles, Co Tipperary
  • Bunratty Castle and Folk Park Bunratty, Co. Clare
  • Blarney Woollen Mills Co. Cork
  • Blarney Castle Co. Cork
  • Barryscourt Castle Carrigtohill, Co. Cork
  • Mitchelstown Caves Co. Cork
  • Fota Wildlife Park & Fota House Cobh, Co. Cork
  • The Donkey Sanctuary Liscarroll, Co. Cork
  • Millstreet Country Park Millstreet, Co. Cork
  • Ring of Kerry
  • Dingle Peninsula Kerry
  • The Vee Lismore, Co. Waterford
  • Blackwater River Drive Co. Cork - Youghal to Fermoy
  • Waterford Greeway
  • Nire Valley Drive Co. Waterford
  • West Cork Coast
  • Waterford Crystal


There are stunning woodland and garden walks all around Ballyvolane Estate which take you through the walled garden, round the rock, the ponds and Tims’ woods.

Ballyvolane grounds illustrated

There are also many charming and highly recommended walks beyond the gates of Ballyvolane which take in fantastic views of the North Cork countryside. Maps can be provided.

  • 1. Ballyvolane House – Britway - Ballymacsimon – Spaniel’s Cross Loop: Distance 13km Time 3 hours
  • 2. Ballyvolane – Britway – Ballymacsimon Short Loop: Distance 7km Time 1.5 hours
  • 3. Ballyvolane – Britway Church Short Loop: Distance 6.5km Time 1.5 hours

Hill Walking

  • We recommend downloading the All Trails App. It’s a fantastic way of discovering the best hikes and walking trails wherever you are in the world.
  • Coillte (State owned forestry) Walks. Click here to view and download walking maps.
  • Corrin Nature Reserve, Fermoy, Co. Cork
  • Glenseskin Wood, Kilworth, Co. Cork
  • Ballard Waterfall, Kilworth, Co. Cork
  • Glenbower Woods, Killeagh, Co. Cork
  • Kilbarry Wood, Fermoy, Co. Cork
  • Castleblagh Woods, Ballyhooly, Co. Cork
  • Curragh Woods, Midleton, Co. Cork
  • The Munster Way, from the Vee, Lismore
  • Waterford Greenway - Dungarvan to Waterford
  • The Blackwater Way
  • The Ballyhoura Way
  • Galtee Mór and Glengarra Woods, Galtee Mountains, Co. Tipperary
  • Dungourney Forestry


  • The Big Tree, Aghern - 3 miles
  • Peddler’s Rock, Abbey Bar Castlelyons - 3 miles
  • The Fisherman’s Rest, Conna - 6 miles
  • Lombard’s, Fermoy - 7 miles
  • O’Mahoney’s of Watergrasshill - 9 miles
  • Ted Keniry’s, Brideview Bar Tallow - 9 miles
  • Clancy’s Bar, Tallow - 9 miles
  • Foley’s, The Red House, Lismore - 14 miles
  • The Blackbird, Ballycotton - 16 miles
  • Cronin’s Pub, Crosshaven - 30 miles
  • The Bullman, Kinsale - 35 miles
  • Cork City Pubs - please ask for recommendations


  • Terre, Castlemartyr Resort, Castlemartyr
  • The Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore 
  • The White Horses, Ardmore
  • The Heron Café (until 5pm), Fermoy
  • Hannah’s Restaurant (daytime only), Fermoy
  • The Yellow Submarine (burgers), Fermoy
  • O’Mahoney’s, Watergrasshill
  • Sage, Midleton
  • Farm Gate, Lismore
  • Sea Church, Ballycotton
  • Cush, Ballycotton
  • Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry 
  • Aherne’s, Seafood Youghal 
  • Café Paradiso (vegetarian), Cork City
  • The Glass Curtain, Cork City
  • Goldie, Cork City
  • The River Club, The River Lee Hotel, Cork City
  • Jacques, Cork City 
  • Elbow Lane, Cork City
  • Thali Nepal Restaurant, Cork City
  • Market Lane, Cork City 
  • Miyazaki Japanese Noodle Shop, Cork City
  • Ichigo Ichie, Japanese restaurant, Cork City
  • Greene’s Restaurant, Cork City
  • Cask (small plates and the best cocktails in Ireland), Cork City
  • Issac’s Restaurant, Cork City
  • Liberty Grill, Cork City
  • Farm Gate (lunch only), English Market, Cork CIty
  • Bunsen Burger, Cork City
  • Coqbull, Cork City (good for kids), Cork City
  • The Cornstore, Cork City
  • Quinlan’s Seafood Bar, Cork City
  • Sun of a Bun, Cork City
  • Cronin’s Pub, Crosshaven 
  • The Tannery, Dungarvan 
  • & Chips (fish & chips), Dungarvan
  • Merry’s Gastropub, Dungarvan
  • The Black Pig, Kinsale
  • The Supper Club, Kinsale
  • The Bastion, Kinsale
  • Fishy Fishy Café, Kinsale 
  • The Bullman, Kinsale 
  • Finn’s Table, Kinsale
  • Max’s Restaurant, Kinsale 
  • Diva Boutique Deli & Bakery, Ballinspittle
  • Monk’s Lane, Timoleague  
  • Blair’s Inn, Blarney


  • Blackwater Valley Makers, Fermoy
  • Fermoy Books, Fermoy
  • Ballymaloe Shop Kitchen, Shanagarry
  • The Shop at Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry 
  • Brown Thomas, Cork City 
  • I am of Ireland, Youghal
  • Canvasworks, Kinsale
  • Granny’s Bottom Drawer, Kinsale
  • Giles Norman Photography, Kinsale
  • Blarney Woollen Mills, Blarney 
  • The English Market, Cork City
  • Magee Ireland - Irish handwoven tweeds and fabrics
  • Avoca - quality food and gift retailer
  • The Celtic Whiskey Shop, Dawson Street, Dublin
  • Stable of Ireland, Dublin
  • The Tweed Project, Galway

Food Markets/Cookery Schools

Meet some of our local artisan food producers:

  • The English Market Cork City Monday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm
  • Midleton Farmers Market Every Saturday morning
  • Mahon Point Farmers Market Every Thursday morning 
  • Bradley’s Off-License, Cork City
  • NeighbourFood Markets

Learn to cook:

Traditional Irish Music

Essential listening/ viewing and can be heard in some of the local pubs on selected nights and also during a variety of festivals throughout the year. Ask us for details.

Music, Theatre & Dance Venues

  • Cork Opera House, Cork
  • Everyman Palace Theatre, Cork
  • Triskel Arts Centre, Cork
  • The Grain Store at Ballymaloe House
  • Sea Church, Ballycotton

Spa, Health & Beauty Treatments

  • Escape Spa, Aveda Salon & Spa Imperial Hotel, Cork
  • Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore
  • Castlemartyr Resort, Castlemartyr

Art Galleries and Museums


  • SalvageM, Cork City
  • Mother Jones Flea Market, Cork City (every Friday and Saturday)
  • Woodwards Auctioneers, Cork City
  • Linda Antiques Main Street, Kinsale
  • The Store Yard, Portlaoise
  • Pete’s Antiques, Dublin
  • Eurosalve, Kilkenny

Deep Sea Fishing

  • Available from Midleton, Ballycotton, Youghal and Dungarvan

Boat & Sailing & Canoeing Trips


  • Old Head Kinsale 18 Kinsale 021 4778444 1 hour
  • Cork 18 Little Island 021 4353451 30 mins
  • Harbour Point 18 Cork 021 353094 40 mins
  • Fota Island 18 Cobh 021 4883700 20 mins
  • Fermoy 18 Fermoy 025 32694 15 mins
  • Lismore 9 Lismore 058 54026 20 mins
  • East Cork 18 Midleton 021 631687 20 mins
  • Mallow 18 Mallow 022 31145 1 hour
  • Mitchelstown 18 025 24072
  • Castlelyons Pitch & Putt Castlelyons 025 36840 5 mins
    • 10 other Golf Courses within 30 miles

Golf Ranges

  • Rockmills Kildorrery 022 25222 1 hour
  • Harbour Point Cork See Above 40 mins
  • Ivory Park Driving Range Fermoy 025 31371 15 mins

Recommended Travel Guides to Ireland

  • John & Sally McKenna’s Guides
  • Good Food Ireland
  • Great Fishing Houses of Ireland
  • Georgina Campbell’s Ireland
  • The Good Hotel - Guide, Great Britain & Ireland
  • Ireland’s Blue Book
  • The Hidden Ireland
  • Hip Hotels
  • The Lonely Planet Ireland

Road Bowling

Unique to Ireland, and there is unique style of road bowling specific to this part of East Cork. The ancient game of road bowling is as exhilarating and competitive today as at any period in a very long, illustrious and colourful history. Forms of bowling can be traced back to the Pharaohs of Egypt. However, the exact origins of Irish Road Bowling are uncertain. The game itself in its present form began to emerge in the 17th and 18th centuries. Stone bowls and iron bowls were used during this period of transition.

Prior to the structured rules, the game of road bowling was not played over a particular distance, but instead the winner was decided by who could throw the furthest over 20 shots. You may run into groups of men road bowling on the road between Castlelyons and Fermoy.

Hurling & Gaelic Football

Hurling is the fastest and possibly the most dangerous field sport on earth, and here in County Cork, the Hurling tradition runs deep. Our local team, the Bride Rovers, won the Munster intermediate championship last year and Cork itself have been all-Ireland champions many times over. Many hurling legends, such as Timmy McCarthy of Castlelyons and the Bold Christy Ring, Master of Cloyne of whom many songs and poems are written, both reign from this part of Cork.

Excerpt from RTE sport by Bryan McMahon, Kerry playwright and novelist: “How oft I’ve watched him from the hill move here and there in grace, In Cork, Killarney, Thurles Town or by the Shannon’s Race, “Now Cork is be’t, the hay is saved” the thousands wildly sing They speak too soon, my sweet gossoon, for here comes Christy Ring!”

“Christy Ring from Cloyne, Co Cork, is regarded by many the length and breadth of the country as the greatest ever hurler to take the field. His mastery of the skills of the game was equalled only by his dedication to the cause of his fabled Cork, for whom he played for in excess of 20 years. Of course others have too been lauded as the best hurler of all time, but Ring applied his range of talents for greater reward than any other, and much of this was due to his own efforts. He took much responsibility on his shoulders and his ‘feats of derring-do’ grow with each telling. Ring won 8 All-Ireland medals before retiring from the inter-county scene at the age of 43, a record only later equalled by John Doyle of Tipperary. His last appearance on the national scene saw him earn his 18th Railway Cup medal with Munster in 1963.

Christy Ring died suddenly on March 2, 1979, at the age of 58. Shortly before he died, Ring said this to RTE interviewer Donncha O’Dulaing of his scoring feats ‘I always tried to achieve the impossible’. There is no doubt but of all those to grace a hurling field he has yet to be surpassed in coming closest.”

Gaelic football is also played widely and both Hurling and ‘Gaelic’ are highly entertaining spectator sports. There nearest GAA where local teams can be seen playing is in Castlelyons village, behind the community centre, but most towns and villages in the locality have their own GAA pitch. Check ‘The Avondhu’, our local paper for fixtures. Alternatively, [please click here to see all the local GAA fixtures