The leaves may be turning from green to gold as the sun sets on summer, but there are still loads of things to do in autumn in the Reeks District. Here’s our pick of five of the best.
Get a taste of the sea at Cromane SeaFest
In its first year for 2019, Cromane SeaFest celebrates food, family and fun. Held over two days on the weekend of September 14 and 15, the festival will be a celebration of some of Ireland’s finest local seafood with maritime market tastings where visitors will get the chance to meet some of the Cromane fishermen who bring ashore the finest Cromane mussels, oysters and salmon. The more active can take to the water with canoeing, paddle boarding and a water trampoline, and youngsters will love activities such as knot-tying and seashore safaris. The entertainment is set to go on until late too thanks to a series of live performances from the likes of Fallen Empire and DJ Donal.
Go leaf-peeping at Kilderry Woods
Around 1.5km from the village of Milltown on the N70 towards Killorglin lies this wooded area surrounded by lush farmland, that’s perfect for walking thanks to its much flatter profile than the Reeks District’s soaring peaks. Trees include towering old oak standards alongside birch and mountain ash, as well as Douglas firs, Scots pines and Japanese larch – so autumn is a great time to visit as the leaves change colour. Discover the woods thanks to a number of walkways and stop for a bite at the picnic site – which is also a geocache location. Parking facilities make access to the woods super accessible for all.
Spend the autumn equinox at Caherconree Fort
The Reeks not only have Ireland’s highest mountains, but we also have the country’s highest promontory fort at Caherconree. These stone structures were used for shelter in the toughest conditions and the one on Caherconree is a triangular refuge around two acres in size with a stone wall guarding the entrance and forbidding sheer cliffs protecting its other two sides. The fort is said to have been the domain of Cú Roí mac Dáire, one of Irish mythology’s most legendary figures – a sorcerer, magician and warrior said to possess super-human abilities. His legend means the fort takes on special significance for pagans at the time of the equinoxes. Find out how to visit it with our guide here.
Take a short-but-sweet cycle ride
Forget lung-busting climbs for a while, autumn is perfectly suited for genteel rides taken at a leisurely pace through gorgeous countryside – and we have just the trick for you. Mountain Lakes and Bakers Buns is a circular route that begins in Killorglin, passing beautiful Caragh Lake, over iconic Blackstone’s Bridge and onto a 5km climb to Lough Acoose for views of Caher, Beenkeragh and Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s three highest peaks. From here there’s a long downhill back into town before the route ends by another Reeks icon, Jack’s Bakery, a favourite haunt of local cyclists thanks to its iconic buns and cakes. Sweet!
Fly a kite at Inch Beach
Autumn’s arrival comes with a slight bluster to the weather. While temperatures remain warm (by Irish standards at least!), there’s no doubt that south-westerly winds from the Atlantic pick up from September onwards, making for great kite flying weather. Head over to the vast expanses of Inch Beach to launch yours – there’s space aplenty and the wide stretch of hard-packed sand makes for excellent photo opportunities. Feeling a little braver? Beg, steal or borrow a kite buggy to dash up and down the beach. End your day with a sundowner at The Seafront Inn at Inch Beach – its terrace has fabulous views over the sands to the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.
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