With the sun shining, and a light breeze blowing, there are not many better places in Cork to spend the day with your family than at the Clonakilty Model Railway Village and Inchydoney Beach. That’s exactly what I did yesterday!
Having never been to the Model Railway Village before, we figured it’d be a good place to check out during this long weekend here in Ireland. While the younger ones in the family (all train-mad!) were overly thrilled with the experience, as adults, so too were my wife and I.
Clonakilty Model Railway Village
It is quite an impressive setup that they have down there in Clonakilty. There are models of many of the small towns nearby, Kinsale, Dunmanway, Bandon and Clonakilty itself. Many of the landmarks of those towns are well represented with remarkably well constructed models (e.g. Charles Fort and James Fort from Kinsale), and much of the town of Clonakilty is modeled out also.
There’s far more to the place than just the model village. You’ll find plenty of reading material about the old railway line in the indoor interpretive centre which gives you some insight in to life as it was for the people who lived and worked along the West Cork Railway Line. There’s an indoor and outdoor kids play area, a gift shop, and an old train car converted in to a cafe. We bought the admission ticket that included the ‘Choo Choo’ tour which was a worthwhile experience for both young and old (not too old in our case). The Choo Choo tour takes you out around the town of Clon (as it is known locally) on a road train, giving you a little history lesson as you go, with tidbits of local knowledge thrown in here and there. Be sure to take note of the buildings around the town while on the tour, and when you come back to the model village see which ones you can find in miniature size.
If you’re planning a visit check out www.modelvillage.ie for opening times, prices etc.
Quite possibly the south coast’s most spectacular beach, Inchydoney Beach, is just a few minutes down the road from the Railway village (when you come out the gate, turn left). We were a little unprepared for the beach. I guess I wasn’t expecting it to be such a fine day. But regardless, the kids had a great time splashing around in the water, digging for sea shells, making sandcastles, and hunting for crabs on the rocks. The views from the beach, or from up above on the grounds of the Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Hotel, are simply breathtaking (rates here from Priceline.com).
One young couple who were having their wedding reception at the hotel, must have been so thankful to be blessed with such a fine day for photos.
I hope you enjoy the pictures I took of the railway village and Inchydoney Beach. I didn’t want to flood this page with images, so I’ve added some more from the model railway village in another post here. Enjoy!