Pedalling hard, I ride...through the town and the countryside

Tis’ the season to be biking!

If there’s one thing this past year of lockdowns has taught us (or at least reminded us) is how great it is to be outside in the fresh air.  Whether that’s enjoying a relaxing coffee at our waterfall, savouring a cocktail from Cask in our courtyard or exploring one of the city’s many wonderful walks- there is no doubt that Cork City has you well-covered for all of your outdoor adventure needs.  Allow us to introduce you to one of our newfound lockdown hobbies- cycling!  Don’t worry, we are very much beginners in this field so we’ll go easy on you with some suggestions of our favourite bike routes around the city.  

Fitzgerald’s Park and the banks of the Lee:  

Is there anything that screams summer louder than a bike ride to the park followed by a delicious picnic?  Less than 3kms from our boutique city-centre hotel, this route is perfect for families and beginner cyclists with flat terrain all the way including numerous benches and coffee shops along the North Mall.  Watch out for the resident otter!  Did we mention, Fitzgerald’s Park is also home to Cork City’s History Museum?  Exercise, history, food and nature all in one day!

Lee Fields:  

Located just beyond Fitzgerald’s Park, continue your journey further along the river banks into the Lee Fields.  As the name suggests, this riverside walk and cycle path encompasses a vast array of green space to while away an afternoon.  From here, why not explore the ridiculously pretty campus at University College Cork?  You may be fooled into thinking you entered the set of a Harry Potter movie.

Banks of the River Lee

Ballincollig Regional Park:  

For those that fancy going that little bit further, why not cycle the 10km out to one of Cork’s major suburban towns, Ballincollig and explore the Regional Park.  Comprising of several playing pitches, a skate park, numerous picnic areas and woodland trails, this is the perfect place to unwind after your cycle.  Don’t forget to check out the ruins of the old Gunpowder mills where gunpowder was manufactured from the 18th century.

Blackrock Castle and Marina:  

Just 2kms from our city-centre hotel, it’s hard to find a more popular cycling route than the newly pedestrianised walking/cycling track to Blackrock Castle.  Choose from cycling the old railway line itself or enjoy the refreshing breeze from the water on the marina.  Blackrock Village has a weekly market every Sunday.  Alternatively, the Marina Market is open daily (make sure you check out the Cereal Café) for all your refuelling needs.

Blackrock Castle near Hotel Isaacs Cork


For more experienced/energised cyclists, we challenge you to the 24.2km cycle to Crosshaven.  Follow the signs along the Blackrock Greenway to the charming coastal village of Passage West.  Stop for a spot of horse-riding at Hop Island before hitting the final leg of your journey from Carrigaline to Crosshaven.  A visit to “Chish n Fips” is a must once you reach your destination.  You’ve earned it!

So there you have it... five wonderful trails to explore on your next visit to Cork.  Don’t worry; we have bike storage at Hotel Isaacs as well as high vis jackets and helmets.  Don’t have a bike?  Check out the city’s Coca Cola bikes scattered around the city.  It’s super easy to sign up and our friendly reception team can offer you some tips and tricks too. What are you waiting for?

Family cyclying through the countryside with a blue sky

About The Author

Colette is a hotel receptionist working at Hotel Isaacs Cork. Her favourite part of the job is meeting the many guests coming from all corners of the globe and sharing with them all the wonders that Cork City and County has to offer. One of her great passions is travelling and exploring new places especially museums, galleries and castles. "One of the things I feel very strongly about is how so many people in Ireland are completely unaware of some of the hidden treasures right on their door-steps. When people go abroad, they push themselves to see all the cultural delights on offer but too often, they have no idea how great what is right in front of them, readily available every day is. I came to Cork as a student in 2008 and I too limited myself and didn't push myself to explore. It took a friend to take me off and show me how truly amazing this city and county is and this is what I want to share with my guests and readers.

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