Gougane Barra was the first national park to open in 1966. The river Lee that flows all the way into Cork harbour rises here. The scenery is just stunning! You can take your car and drive into the forest park (that’s 5 euro) or just do one of the many walks through the park.
There’s a tiny island connected to the shore with a small church and an old monastery – or what’s left of it. It’s really scenic and therefor very popular for weddings. St. Finbarr – the famous patron saint of Cork – founded the monastery before moving on to Cork and establishing St. Finbarrs cathedral.
There is a hotel and pub as well but they are closed over the winter period and were still closed last weekend. But my lovely friend thought of everything and packed a beautiful pick-nick.
It’s a great day out. Next time, I’ll bring the kids along. The scenery is beautiful and you can make a day exploring the area by foot or by bike.