Rosscarbery is a picturesque town that is tucked around a lagoon. It grew up around St. Fachtna's monestary, established in the late sixth century. Now, this is a great spot for bird watching, horseback riding, or sailing.
What to See and Do
Doswell Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in town, exhibiting primarily paintings. Hubert's Crafts has loads of Irish-made handicrafts for the folks back home: baskets, ceramics, and sweaters. Visit the Farmer's Market, every Saturday from 10AM to noon. Rosscarbery Pitch and Putt is a local golf course to get your swing on. Visit St. Fachtna's R.C. Church, on the edge of the lagoon. Check out the community notices board in the town square for information about local happenings, such as music at Ross Cathedral. Visit Drombeg Stone Circle, off the R597 west toward Glandore. Laze around on the sandy beaches on the Galley Head peninsula - take the coast road toward Castletreke. Warren Beach, Ownahincha Beach, and the Long Strand are good bathing spots with lots of velvety sand. For the more adventurous, rent a paddle boat or canoe at the Marine Leisure Centre; sailing lessons are available as well. The Dromillihy Forest Park is a good place to get out of the sun and to get the blood flowing with a brisk walk, on the N71 road to Leap.
Where to Eat and Drink
If you want to cook up some of the local vegetables, farmers are set up at roadside, selling fresh potatoes from their fields. O'Callaghan Walshe is a fine seafood restaurant in town, and it looked really good. Open for dinner only, Wednesday to Sunday from 6:30PM to 9:15PM. Entrees such as "Whole Roasted Rosscarbery Lobster" (45 euro). A bottle of house red wine is 19.70 euro. And for desserts, they leave it up to your imagination - I am curious about the "Boom Chick A Wow Wow" (7 euro). Steven's Bistro has an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, specializing in steaks, soups, and sandwiches. Roc's Traditional Fish and Chips is pretty self-explanatory and looked good. The Pilgrim's Rest caters to tired travelers, serving homemade cakes and scones, fresh coffee, breakfast, and lunch.
Where to Sleep
O'Rioron Caravan Park, if you're pulling your own shelter for the night. The Celtic Ross Hotel is a three star accommodation in town. Or Rent a Celtic Cottage on the beach for your entire family (www.celticcottages.ie). You'll also find hotels all along the beach on the coastal road toward Castletreke.
How to get there
From Clonakilty, take the N71 west to Rosscarbery.
From Skibbereen, take the N71 east to Rosscarbery.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
When to go
April through October, when the days are longer and the sun more likely to show. Rosscarbery Annual Regatta in August. Rosscarbery Family Festival in August. Rosscarbery Annual Horse Fair in August. Rosscarbery Walking and Heritage Weekend in November.
Written by Liz O'Malley - Summer of Travel 2007