Nestled in the South West of Ireland and bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the dramatic natural landscapes, rivers, harbours, bays and headlands of West Cork make it one of Ireland’s most beautiful and unique regions. ‘A Place Apart’ where adventure and excitement awaits around every corner.
From the ‘Gourmet Capital of Ireland’ Kinsale to the 8 West Cork Islands and Ireland’s most southernly point in Mizen Head this incredible natural setting of fertile farmland, scenic mountains and maritime seascapes lends itself to a strong culinary, musical and artistic vibe.
Let’s take a virtual look at some of those who make West Cork such a special destination:
A small family farm on the southwest coast of Ireland.
An Irish farmer with a very big dream.
The Scully family, the founders of Clonakilty distillery, have farmed this windswept coastal land for 9 successive generations. With the best resources that nature has to offer, prime land, pristine water and salt sea air, they had the perfect ingredients for a maritime distillery.
You can now take a fully guided sensory, immersive & cinematic behind the scenes tour of a working distillery, including tutored tastings with an expert guide.
Kinsale Mead Co was founded by Kate and Denis Dempsey in 2016 to rediscover the ancient art of mead making and to create a world-class range of light and refreshing drinks.
They make their multi award-winning meads at their meadery in Kinsale, the first in Ireland in 200 years. They source the best natural ingredients and finish their meads off-dry and wine-strength, hand-crafting each batch sustainably, with care and passion.
And you can now enjoy an online tasting session of their delicious Irish Meads from the comfort of your own home. Join Kate and Denis live from the meadery for a fun talk about mead history and a guided tasting of a selection of 4 delicious meads. To order some mead, the tasting kit or a Gift Voucher to join the tastings session go to:
West Cork Crafts
West Cork Crafts began as a pop-up shop in Skibbereen as an experimental enterprise for the 2011 Christmas season. They now have thirty-four individual artists and crafters; most of whom are based here in West Cork.
With a diverse range of beautiful products ranging from fine arts, textiles, homewares, jewellery, wood crafts, stained glass candles, skin care, ceramics, metal art, leather work, children's craft, embroidered bags, painted glass and knitwear.
You can now buy their artisan quality crafts from their online shop:
Ummera Smoked Products
For nearly forty years Ummera has built up an enviable reputation for producing some of the finest smoked salmon available. Originally concentrating on smoking the Wild Atlantic Salmon which was caught by fishermen as the salmon returned from their feeding grounds in the North Atlantic. Since 2006, when it was obvious that over-fishing was having significant effects on wild salmon stocks, Ummera has been smoking Irish organically reared salmon.
Their natural flavour and texture, blended with their careful curing, and gentle smoking over smouldering oak fires ensure that you will enjoy the finest smoked salmon. You can no purchase their delicious smoked products from their online shop:
Sally Ferns-Barnes began traditional smoke-curing as a means to preserve the bounty that she and husband at the time were catching from the Atlantic waters of the West Cork coastline. Working as a fisherwoman and commercial fisherman’s wife, she smoked her first fish in 1979 and through endless trial and error, supplying the local community with preserved fish, established a famously unique recipe that began winning awards and accolades, including the prestgious Supreme Champion at the Great Taste awards for her now legendary cold-smoked Wild Atlantic Salmon, and most recently the Eurotoques Craft award.
Working only and always with wild fish, Sally has remained a stalwort of small-scale independent business with a predominantly local client base, and dealing with genuinely sustainable quantities of real fish from local boats when the weather is good and the fish are in season. The Woodcock Smokey is now taking orders for Christmas:
You can now sign up for the Woodcock Smokery’s smoking masterclasses at: https://www.woodcocksmokery.com/shop-masterclasses
Clonakilty Black Pudding
The story of Clonakilty Food Co. begins in 1976 when Edward Twomey purchased a butcher shop in the centre of the West Cork town of the same name and with it came a secret recipe for black pudding. The recipe dated back to the early 1880s and plays a central role in the company’s success today.
Since the Twomey family took responsibility for the secret recipe in the 1980’s, the popularity of the Blackpudding has continued to grow in Ireland and now around the world. Over the years they have extended our product range to include sausages, rashers and most recently Veggie Pudding! You can now purchase their Black and White Pudding Cookbook from: https://shop.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie/
Toy Soldier Factory
One of Ireland’s best-hidden attractions. The family-owned Toy Soldier Factory has been established in Ireland since 1976. It is situated in the beautiful little village of Kilnamartyra, halfway between Killarney town and Cork City on the main N22 road only a short distance from Macroom town.
A trip to the newly renovated visitor centre is both an educational and fun experience for all the family. The factory produces hundreds of different black rubber moulds that allows you, the customer, to Make & Paint your own figure from a model soldier, fairies, seasonal ornaments, chess sets, animals and other figurines in metal as many times as you wish. These can be purchased from: