A beach town that is interesting to navigate by car. It has two roads running parallel to the shore. One road is commercial (N. Main St.), one is cultural (Grattan St.) - I won't tell you which of these roads runs smack through a building. Like the roads in the Redwood Forest in Northern California that tunnel through great logs, one of these road tunnels through The Clock gate, completed in 1777.
After driving through the tunnel, we cruised town on foot. Lots of people where ducking for cover from the unpredictable weather in The Rendezvous café by The Clock gate - it looked good. We stayed dry in the Eco-Toy Shop - populated by charming wooden puppets, handmade in the Czech Republic.
I bought a loaf of bread at Collins Bakery. It was the last loaf on the shelf, so this bakery must be popular. The bread had a delicious, cinnamon-sprinkled crust, but the inside was very dry. I was disappointed because it was not worth the expensive price of 4.20 euro.
We ended up with a takeaway pizza, eating it by the pier, under cover from the rain inside our car. Once the skies cleared, we set up camp at the south end of the lovely 5km beach. This beach is definitely Youghal's main attraction - an ideal setting for shore angling and dog walking.
Youghal is also known for being one of the few remaining medieval walled towns in Ireland.
What to See and Do
To get view of the coastline, book a trip with Maeve on Blackwater Cruises, (0)87 9889076. They leave Youghal Jetty on a 28ft vessel and sail past Rhincrew, Temple Michael Castle, Ballinatray House, and Molana Abbey. Or, if you are slightly more adventurous, rent a canoe from The Big Canoe and paddle The Blackwater River - Youghal is the spot where this river meets the sea. Dive from the town diving board when the tide is high (do not attempt this at low tide) - look for the sign off Lighthouse Road that says "Diving Rocks." Here street musicians playing the fiddle. Visit 15th century Tynte's Castle. Browse Alan Prim 2nd Hand Books for a great selection of Irish authors. Visit the Youghal Heritage Centre and read about the history of the town. At the centre, meet a guide who will take you on a historic walking tour of old town Youghal, every morning May-October, any other time by appointment. See those doggies fly at the Youghal Greyhound Racing Stadium, with races every Friday at 8:02pm.
Where to Eat and Drink
Via @ The Priory is an artisan food and wine shop specializing in Irish and Italian produce. They make fresh sandwiches and coffees. Stocking Italian foods from Tuscany and a wide selection of regional Italian wines, this is the place you want to hit up for your gourmet beach picnic. All kinds of salamis, local Gubbeen cheese, and fresh cakes from Tara's cupcakes - you'll find it all. If you are looking for gifts for the folks back home, they have Typhoon teapots and cups from the UK and organic teas. The Rendezvous café is a place for breakfast, lunch, or tea. Horan's Health Food Store and its companion fruit and veggie shop next door for your daily garden intake. The Coffee Pot serves traditional Irish far for breakfast, lunch, and tea.
Where to Sleep
The Evergreen House on The Strand is Youghal's sole hostel: www.evergreenireland.com.
How to get there
From Cork, take the N25 to Castlemartyr. Take the R633 to Youghal.
From Waterford, take the N25 to just east of Kinsalebeg. Take R634 to Youghal.
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. Third week of July for the Visual Arts Festival at Town Hall. Ceolta Si evening of music, song, dance, and story in July and August.
Written by Liz O'Malley - Summer of Travel 2007