On The QT

The road from Inchigeela to Ballingeary

It is a late November Sunday afternoon as my wife and I leave Cork for a Sunday drive and I want to share with you all a beautiful area of our country in West Cork being the area between Inchigeela and  Ballingeary. Inchigeela is a quite village with a nice Park to visit in the summer. The Park is on the River Lee where one can swim on a fine sunny day.

As one leaves Inchigeela there is a nice pull in area for a picnic where a few lake fishing boats are moored. I notice some activity as a father and son enjoy the last of the sunshine and another young man works on his boat after spending the day fishing on the lake.

On we go towards Ballingeary which is about 10 km away. It would be a lovely cycle or walk in the Summer. The road has lots of turns and twists. The lakes and river are on my left all the way. I stop several times to take some photos. The views are amazing. The whole area is so peaceful. I see a few fishermen fishing from the lake shore and more from boats. It is nice to see this in late November. The trees have lost most of there leaves at this stage and there is a quietness about the place. A flock of sheep graze happily in a field. Cattle are now indoors for the winter and the fields will be well rested over the next few months. I often wonder do the people that live out here realize they live in such a lovely part of the world.

I arrive in Ballingeary. The Church is the center piece of the town with one shop and one pub. I remember it well from my days there as a student at the Gaeltach.  The swimming pool, the walks, the ceili each night, the Irish. A long time ago. Happy memories. At the end of the village there is another nice place to stop for a picnic. Not today though.

At the end of the village is an amazing house. Gardens are done to perfection. I would not like to have the heating bill for it.

I decide to head back to Inchigeela via the lake road by taking the left at the end of the village. It is just at that amazing house. The road here is much narrower and very quite. We did not meet a single car until we get back to Inchigeela. Some amazing spots along the way to view the lakes and take some photos. This is where the drinking water for Cork City comes from. When you see the area you know it is pure. We pass a herd of cattle happily grazing in a field and a few people out walking enjoying the last of the sunshine.

My last stop is when we arrive back in Inchigeela. I notice some swans in the water looking for food. The village is quite and peaceful on a Sunday afternoon. We head back to Cork after a very enjoyable afternoon.


  1. A journey I have made many times and taken twist and turns along the way . But has the cross on the mountain been taken away.

  2. This was a lovely read and sounds like a very enjoyable day.

  3. Lovely photos and commentary. And, yes, we do realise how lucky we are to be living in such a beautiful part of the world!

  4. lovely blog Pat, I’m looking forward to visiting again this weekend and will follow a few of your tips

  5. Lovely thoughts and photos of our beautiful parish, all our family learned to swim at that boat area!! So it sure holds alot of special memories for us.

    1. A beautiful spot. You are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

  6. wonderful article and lovely photos, being from the area myself i think this area is often neglected on the recommended tourist destinations,as for the cross on the hill ,being made of iron it began to rust at the base,and after one too many stormy nights and it collapsed, it was a favourite place for students from the Irish college to visit after climbing the mountain where it stood,Today’s students arent allowed climb the mountain, probably due to insurance/health and safety and there are 2 pubs in Ballingeary village,Shortens near the church and the newer Ard Na Laoi further west.
    thank you for a wonderful article and amazing photos

    1. Delighted you enjoyed the article. We completely agree. Our aim is to promote the places that as locals we fall in love with and return to again and again. We want to show tourists/explorers the real Ireland, not the tourist spots. Ballingeary is the perfect example of a hidden gem, a place we fell in love with and will return to all the time. The OnTheQT team

  7. I just love Inchigeela….where my new family is from

  8. I spent an idyllic summer in Ballingeary at the Irish College , swam in the ice cold Lee, climbed up to the cross on the hill. Thank God I grew up in the sixties when you had the run of the country, no f ing health and safety rubbish to stop you being a young boy. Danced every night at the ceili , fell in love for the first time, I still remember her smile, our teacher from the school I went to in Dublin was there, sean o thumagh brought us to Keimaneigh and Gougan Barra, magic days and the memory of it warms me still.

  9. Just spotted this article and it brought back so many memories of the three summers I spent with my best friend at the Irish College in Ballingeary. We stayed in Mrs. Quill’s house who I remember to be such a kind and warm hearted lady. We used to swim down near the stepping stones and looked forward every night to the ceili. These indeed were magic days and we hated coming home when the time came.

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