On The QT

Gougane Barra

Gougane Barra is well known for the small church which lies on an island of it’s own, reflecting like a mirror in the lake. It must be the most photographed church in Ireland but it is surrounding by a magical place. Gougane Barra is located in the South West of Ireland and is about an hour and a half drive from Cork. OnTheQT paid a visit recently and discovered there was a lot more offered throughout the surroundings of Gougane Barra. Walking, Fishing, cycling to name a few.  A great way to spend a day with plenty of adventurous options. As we explored, childhood memories of visits to Gougane Barra came flooding back.  Another featured we loved is the fact that is lies within a Gaeltacht area(for those who dont know, a Gaeltacht area is a region where the Irish language is spoken and only a few of them still exist in Ireland).  Gúgán Barra is the Irish name for Gougane Barra.

Fishing is something we wouldn’t have even thought about before we visited. We spotted some rowing boats in the lake fishing and a local told us that the Gougane Barra Hotel supple rowing boats, life-jackets, complimentary fishing permits and an unspoilt lake with a natural stock of brown trout at our front door. (QT Tip: They will even cook your catch in the evening for you to enjoy after your day’s fishing).

Gougane Barra was Ireland’s first national park. Get those hiking books ready, pack a picnic and have a day out walking the 142 hectares of forest floor(QT tip: There are lots of picnic tables throughout the forest so perfect for a Sunday picnic with the kids). You can also bring your car in if your feet get a little tired(there is a €5 entrance fee for the car). Drive in and have a picnic with the kids and let them explore the forest. There are lots of walking trails and each one is different and enjoyable. You might even spot some of the wildlife in the forest – deer, badgers, foxes, stoats and even the shy pine marten can be seen occasionally.

 (NOTE: Gougane Barra National Forest Park is closed from the 8th of January 2014 for up to 6 months for the felling and removal of the Japanese Larch trees but there are still lots of walks in the area).

 If walking isn’t your thing, why not bring your bike or even rent a bike at the Gougane Barra hotel? There are marked cycle roots all around and it is a popular place to go for a cycle at weekends. Explore the off the beaten track roads and enjoy the fresh air as you forget all your worries.

 Gougane Barra is much more then meets the eye and is the perfect place for a walk, some adventure or even some family fun. Create memories to last a lifetime.


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