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Macroom is a small market town in County Cork, Southwest Ireland.

UnderstandEdit

Macroom is situated halfway between Cork and Killarney at a point where the fertile Lee valley around Cork City gives way to poorer (and more picturesque) uplands. The main road west leads over the mountains to Killarney, it's mountains and lakes. Another road west leads to Bantry, Glengarriff, Gougane Barra and Beara. Both roads pass through the Irish-speaking area of Muskerry.

Visitors can't fail to notice the handsome castle entrance dominating the town square. Unfortunately the castle has been largely destroyed and what is left is unsafe. By way of consolation there is a pleasant walk along the river.

Get inEdit

By BusEdit

  • Take the Cork-Killarney-Tralee bus route, about halfway between Cork and Killarney.

Get aroundEdit

SeeEdit

 
Gearagh at sunset
  • The Gearagh. This is the name given to an inland delta with the remains of an ancient alluvial oak forest. The area was flooded when the river Lee was dammed in the 1950's by the Electricity Supply Board. Thousands of stumps of oak trees and field boundaries illustrate the past. The area is also of interest to botanists and bird watchers, and was declared a nature reserve in 1987. Visitors can walk across the causeway when the reservoir level is low. Visitors are advised to remain on the paths, and not to enter the forest, due to the fast flowing river channels. Coarse fishing is permitted, but difficult due to the submerged branches. Note though that pike are a protected species in Ireland. It is 3km from Macroom on the N71 to Bantry road.
  • Carrigaphooka Castle. This is a small and quite well-preserved tower house 4km west on the Killarney road. It is on private land and access is not too easy. The name means Rock of the Fairy.

DoEdit

BuyEdit

 
Hardware shop, Inchigeelagh

A small Farmer's Market is held in the Main Square on Tuesdays. Excellent organic, locally produced vegetables and cheeses.

Prince August toy soldier factory [1] is located around 5km outside the town, in the village of Kilnamartyra, signposted from the Macroom to Killarney road. The factory was the first officially licenced manufacturer of die-cast, Lord of the Rings collectibles. If you call during mid-week, you may even get a factory tour.

EatEdit

  • Number 57, Main Street Macroom. Home-made cakes and coffee.
  • Café Recharge Fair Green, Macroom.

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DrinkEdit

  • Goldens (better known as Gerards) is on the main street next to the Briery Gap Theater, and is one of west cork's best known pubs, and for good reason - it's reputed to serve the best pint of Guinness in Ireland! Along with enjoying your pint you can purchase anything from a milking bucket,Wellington boots, holy picture, teapot, kids toys and many more everyday things.You are also guaranteed meeting some interesting characters including Gerard himself. (The colourful Gerard died in the summer of 2008)

SleepEdit

  • Castle Hotel, Main Street, 026 41074 (fax 02641505, [email protected]), [2], is a fine place to stay, or drop in for some food and a pint. The hotel also boasts a leisure center with facilities such as a gym and Macroom's only swimming pool. Expect to pay around e75pp including breakfast, or take advantage of one of the many package deals on offer.
  • Victoria Hotel, The Square, 026 41082 (fax 026 42148, [email protected]), is a small, friendly family run hotel. Situated in the heart of Macroom and boasting a fine bar restaurant, as well as a nightclub at the weekends, The Vic is an ideal base from which to explore west Cork.

Get outEdit

  • Beal na mBlath site of the fatal ambush on August 16th 1922, of Irish revolutionary leader, Michael Collins. Follow the N22 to Cork city and turn right at the R585 to Dunmanway. There is a monument erected at the side of the road, and an annual commemoration is held on the nearest Sunday to the anniversary.
 
Gougane Barra
  • Gougane Barra remains of a monastic settlement dating from the 6th century, now part of a forest park. The small church on the island dates from the 19th century. Look for the grave of Tim Buckley, subject of the book by Eric Cross "The Tailor and Ansty", banned in Ireland in the 1940's.
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