The name in Irish means “meeting place of the followers of the god Crom” or “crooked plain.” The Macroom area was perhaps once a meeting place for the Druids of Munster. Today, is still a crossroads. Situated on the north side of the Carrigadrohid Reservoir along the N22, Macroom ties together all the major towns of the area. There is much to keep you here as well.
What to See and Do
The Gearagh, an ancient, post-glacial alluvial forest, is located one mile southwest of Macroom. The trees are on a strip of inland delta that is sliced by river channels. This area is believed to have been wooded since the end of the last Ice Age, and is the only spot of its type left in Western Europe. A gorgeous place that I highly recommend.
Take a guided walk with Lee Valley Walking, www.leevalleywalking.com. Our pick up your own guide a the tourist office, and explore nearby Castle Demesne or Masseytown Park on your own.
In town, catch the early bird’s country market on Tuesdays beginning at 7:30AM at the entrance to the castle and lasting for one and a half hours. Or go to the Thursday farmer’s market, which starts at 10:30AM. For shopping, check out The Webb Fashion women’s boutique for loveable classics in natural fabrics such as hemp, cotton, and wool.
For rainy weather, visit the cinema and library at The Briery Gap Cultural Centre. Also browse the Macroom Bookshop. See 17th century Macroom Castle, at the town centre. Or visit Bealick Mill Heritage Centre, restored in 1993.
Macroom has an 18-hole golf course.
Where to Eat and Drink
Veggie Thoughts is the organic/gourmet shop in town and a delight. It stocks fresh baked goods, deli items, coffees, chocolates and cheeses galore, and a full range of organic dry goods to concoct your own trail mix for a trek through the alluvial woods. Buns and Stuff is a newly opened bakery, creating homemade sandwiches to order and croissants and cakes baked on the premises. Cornucopia is the plentiful health food store. Vaughan’s Café is a place for tea and scones. And A Golden Pub has an amazing decor, like walking inside the trunk of a tree.
Where to Sleep
The Castle Hotel has been run by the Buckley family of over 50 years. Enjoy a spa package here. The Next Door Café serves cakes, tea, and coffees. The Dan Buckley’s Bar is right next-door.
How to get there
From Cork, take N22 west to Macroom. Or the more scenic R618.
From Killarney, take N22 east to Macroom.
From Bantry, take N71 north to Ballylickey. Take R584 to Macroom.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
When to go
From April to October, when the days are longer and the sun comes out. Street musical festival in June. A Drawing Exhibition at the Town Hall in June. Early June Arts and Craft Shows. Summer Arts Exhibitions in July and August. Ceol Agus Craic, a live summer music festival at The Castle Hotel in The Dan Buckley’s Bar, July – September.
Written by Liz O'Malley - Summer of Travel 2007