Cork’s Hidden Gem

 

As the weekend quickly approached I looked at the weather forecast with its never-ending litany of grey clouds and I thought here we go again. Another weekend of rain. What’s that saying? Ireland would be the best country in the world if we could put a roof over it! My expectations are never high for the Irish climate but a bit of sunshine goes a hell of a long way in my book. So last weekend, after a serious case of cabin fever and a glimmer of sunshine I decided to grab my umbrella and set off on an adventure. So if you are looking for a little adventure in Cork then keep reading.

The adventure started on Sunday when I woke with an insatiable urge for doughnuts. Has anyone noticed how popular doughnuts have become in Cork lately? Freshly made doughnuts in all flavours imaginable can be found in Ali’s Kitchen, Huckleberry’s and Oh My Donut! It was lashing out of the heavens (surprise surprise) so getting the doughnuts was proving to be a problem. As I stared disappointedly out the window I wondered if my Sunday treat would have to be a write off. Luckily in the afternoon the sun broke loose and I ran straight into Huckleberrys on South Terrace in Ballintemple all the while praying that they would still have a decent selection left.This place sells out fast! I chose a selection of four doughnuts and an Americano with the Bastard being my favourite doughnut, (yes you read that right!)  The Bastard is filled with peanut butter and topped with crushed Oreo. Next on my doughnut bucket list is the Malteaser and Ferrero Roche flavours!

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After the quest for doughnuts came to an end; the afternoon had brightened up considerably so we decided to take a spin and explore the wild beauty of Nohoval Cove.  Nohoval (Irish: Nuachabhail) is a little village located in County Cork. The exact location is Reaniesglen, Co. Cork about a 40 minute drive from the City (out past Carraigaline).  Although the route is well sign posted it’s no harm to pop the location into google maps because as you get closer you will find yourself driving down many meandering country roads that might lead you astray.

On arrival to Nohoval Cove you will drive down a very narrow road with thick vegetation on either side which eventually opens up to the waves of the Atlantic ocean gently lapping the shoreline. Be warned- parking is very limited here but any time I have visited its been a non-issue due to its secluded nature. The best route from here is straight up the hill by foot as there are two spectacular viewpoints to be found. I would recommend wearing decent footwear as this hill is pretty steep and depending on the weather conditions it can be a bit slippery. These wind-whipped view points give a mesmerizing and unforgettable view of the south coast of Ireland.  In my opinion, the first view point is the best as it gives you a bird’s eye view of the entire cove from left to right.  To the left is the true secret of Nohoval Cove – the hidden bay – completely inaccessible by foot. If your brave enough then you can keep climbing to the second view point at the top also! This little corner of  Ireland is my hidden gem; remote and rocky it’s a true example of Ireland’s inherent beauty. Nohoval Cove gives a sense of escapism that I don’t find any where else in Cork.

This piece of coastline is the perfect spot for many activities. On a warm day the first viewpoint would be a great location for a picnic – great food and great views – what more could you ask for? To the right of the viewpoint the water is deeper and provides an excellent location for a spot of kayaking, swimming or even snorkelling. If it’s a beach you prefer then a beautiful beach in close proximity is Rocky Bay.  Rocky Bay is approximately 300m wide from end to end.  It is an open beach surrounded by lush green fields and is very popular during an Irish summer. So if you want to escape the City for an afternoon then why not head on down to Nohoval; because sitting on top of this ruggedly beautiful cliff can make you feel like you’re at the edge of the world.

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Thanks for reading!

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