5 May 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Ballycotton Sea Adventures has launched its summer season 2023, coinciding with the inaugural Ballycotton F.A.T Fest of Irish Folk and Alternative Trad music over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
Established in 2018, Ballycotton Sea Adventures runs bespoke maritime experiences. One of its main offerings is a boat trip from Ballycotton Pier to the iconic Ballycotton Lighthouse, which can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. The crossing is approximately 15 minutes each way in duration, and visitors will experience panoramic views of Cork from the island, as well as enjoying a tour of the lighthouse; learning about its fascinating history with expert guides. Ballycotton Sea Adventures also offers tours of the lighthouse in the Polish language.
Ballycotton Lighthouse has been operating since 1851 and the last lighthouse keeper left the island in the early 1990s. It’s now automated and still serves an important purpose in terms of warning of danger at sea. Designed by prominent engineer and lighthouse builder George Halpin, It was built following decades of campaigning from the mid-1820s to construct a lighthouse that would help keep ships safe as they travelled between Cork and Youghal. Lighthouse keepers and their families lived on the island for almost 50 years, and their children were rowed across to the mainland for school. From 1899 onwards the families left the island to live in Ballycotton where they became central to life in the village. Nowadays the lighthouse is operated remotely by Irish Lights HQ in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. The island itself has stunning wildlife with a variety of plants and birds, and is even home to a large number of goats!
Ballycotton Sea Adventures also provides other coastal experiences such as fishing trips off the bay and private charters off the coast of East Cork that includes whale and dolphin watching. It’s one of many tourist attractions in the picturesque village of Ballycotton, which is also home to the Michelin Guide listed restaurant and guesthouse Cush, and the stunning Sea Church, a restored church which provides casual dining and an event space all year round, and is home to the ‘Ballycotton Sessions,’ which has aired for two seasons on RTE.
The Ballycotton Lighthouse Tour is suitable for those aged 3 and over. Children must be accompanied by an adult and bookings can be made through www.ballycottonseaadventures.com