Dog-Friendly Activities in County Cork

Updated On: February 04, 2024 | Published On: May 28, 2021

Dog lovers across Ireland are putting paws to the pavement, and County Cork is a great place to enjoy the day with your best friend. With a whole host of dog-friendly places that are giving a warm welcome to dog owners and their furry friend. We have been taking a dive into how dog-friendly Cork is. We have sniffed out the best dog-friendly accommodation, be it pet-friendly Hotels on a Budget, Glampsites, B&Bs, and Guest Houses, or 4 and 5-star Luxury Hotels. We have also taken a look at some of the most dog-friendly Irish restaurants, food trucks, cafes, and pubs where pet owners can find the perfect place to enjoy some good food and drinks with their canine friend.

Today we are looking at the best things to see and do with your pup in County Cork. Whether you are planning a dog-friendly holiday on the Wild Atlantic Way, or if you live in Cork and want to find something for those rainy days or some new places to go for the warmer months, we've got you covered! Here is a list of some of the best dog-friendly activities in County Cork, from dog-friendly beaches and long walks along the cliffs where the Atlantic Ocean crashes into West Cork, to meeting the local cork hounds in the dog parks of Cork City centre.

The Titanic Trail Guided Walking Tour in Cobh

One of the best ways to learn about a new town is to take a long walk with a local tour guide, The Titanic Trail guided walking tour runs every day of the year (with a minimum of 2 human participants) at 11 am from the Commodore Hotel in Cobh. With spectacular views across Cork Harbour, these scenic walks are steeped in history, including that of the Titanic and the Lusitania.

The tour welcomes dogs but asks that they remain on the leash and are well behaved. They also told us that they advise guests to bring drinking water and waste bags for the dogs.

The Titanic Trail also runs evening Ghost Tours of Cobh, where you and your pup will be trembling at the story of the Dog Ghost!

Next time you are in Cobh, be sure to check them out!
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Finbarr Murray Photography in Cork

That's right! Why not immortalize your happiest memories with your furry friend by spending an evening with Finbarr Murray, a fantastic photographer who is mad for dogs! This professional Dogtographer will give your favorite family member the rockstar treatment and capture beautiful images you will both cherish forevermore. You will get to chose the perfect spot with Finbarr's help and they will provide water bowls and treats throughout the shoot. Small dogs and larger dogs are welcome and there are no breed restrictions. The best part... Finbarr Murray Photography is offering a 10% discount to all PawsFriendly readers throughout 2021!
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Garnish Island in Glengarriff

Take a day trip to Garnish Island, a magical and beautiful island located in the sheltered harbor of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay. This small island is known to horticulturists and has a wide variety of shrubs and trees from all over the world. Take a meander on the winding paths that will lead you from garden to garden building. All visiting dogs must remain on a lead at all times. There is a small cafe on the island but it is also important to note that all businesses on the island only accept cash. Harbour Queen Ferry is a dog-friendly ferry company that can ferry you and your pup to the island. Due to social distancing and space in the boat, at the moment, only small dogs are allowed on the ferry to the island. They depart from Glengarriff Pier every 30 minutes (quarter past and quarter to the hour) from April 1 - October 31.
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Dursey Island

Experience Ireland's only cable car, which departs from Ballaghboy, at the top of the Beara peninsula and arrives to Dursey Island. The journey in the cable is about ten minutes and you and your pup can enjoy the views from above. While on Dursey island, all pups must stay on the lead and not leave the public roads. There are no cafes, hotels, or gift shops on the island, so make sure you pack plenty of water, lunch, and treats for the pooch.
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Mizen Head Visitors' Center in Goleen

Ireland's most Southwesterly point and a signature discovery point along the Wild Atlantic Way, it is a sight not to be missed during your visit to West Cork. With breathtaking sea views and the smell of salt in the air, it is a truly unforgettable experience. Along the path, looking over the rugged rocks, you can hope to see seals and their pups in the swell as you cross the dizzying bridge over the gorge, and if you are lucky you may even see whales and dolphins out towards the horizon.

Commissioned in 1906, the fog signaling station was built on the Mizen due to the number of lives lost off this treacherous coastline. Nowadays the signaling station is automated so the keepers' quarters have been repurposed into a visitor's center. The Mizen is very happy to welcome dogs of all sizes and breeds and only ask that you keep them on a lead. Mizen Head is a great spot whatever the weather, enjoy the beautiful views on a clear day, or appreciate the solitude and majesty of such an iconic spot as the fog rolls in! (Please note that the bridge may be closed in high winds.)
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Doneraile Estate in Doneraile

Although dogs are not allowed inside the Doneraile Court, this impressive home, built-in 1645, is surrounded by a 400-acre estate of beautiful gardens which are very much dog friendly! These fine parklands are designed in the naturalistic style of the famous Capability Brown. They include many beautiful water features, plus a parterre walled garden and gardeners’ cottages. There are numerous pathways and graded walks suitable for any level. Lucky visitors might just spot some of the red deer, fallow deer, sika deer, and Kerry cattle that live on the estate.
All sizes and breeds of dogs are welcome and they must remain on the lead during your visit.
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Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens in Cork

Fota House is another impressive example of a stately home just outside of Cork city. This 19th Century home is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Dogs are welcome to walk around the gardens (on a leash) of Fota House and during the summer months, you can take a guided tour of the working Victorian Garden.
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The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland in Mallow

With over 1,800 donkeys and mules in their care, the Donkey Sanctuary has been providing a loving home for neglected and abandoned donkeys across Ireland since 1987. Having loved and cared for over 5,600, they are huge animal lovers. Bring the whole family and pup, and take a stroll along the beautiful walkways and meet their very friendly donkeys. There is also an onsite picnic area, where you can enjoy watching the donkeys play. Please make sure you keep your dog on their lead the whole time and that you always pick up after them. 

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Hiking and Walking

If you are looking to just get out into the lush green countryside, have a look at Myla's Walks' Instagram page. Here you will find a list of 115 dog-friendly hikes and walks, that not only breaks down the distance, time, and difficulty of each walk but lists the different amenities available; parking, wheelchair or buggy-friendly, public WC, bins, freshwater, and camper friendly. She has also recorded each of the walks on a shareable google map, making them super easy to find.

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Are you planning a dog-friendly holiday? Be sure to tag @PawsFriendly on your next trip out with your pup.

While you are enjoying your vacation with the family pet, enjoy the local culture by eating and drinking out in dog-friendly restaurants, cafés, and bars, all of which, and more, you can easily discover on our website
Thank you to Ballymaloe's Dog's Day Out (April 2, 2023) for sponsoring this dog-friendly guide to dog-friendly activities in County Cork.

Visit the Ballymaloe's website for more information on this exciting day out

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