What we are and where we are
With the foothills of the Knockmealdown Mountains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean some 15 miles to the South, Ballyduff is a sleepy hamlet on the banks of the Blackwater River about 10 miles east of Fermoy and about 6 miles west of Lismore. Sleepy, that is, unless it has to do with drama, hurling, salmon fishing, music, song, story-telling, or devilment. Yes, devilment! 'Cause, we are convinced that you cannot have passion for any of the others without a modicum of devilment thrown in. This is a place with a huge tradition of community endeavour and a firm belief in the concepts of doing things together and doing them for ourselves. The village motto is: "Ní neart go cur le chéile". That just about sums it up
What to do and what to see
If you are here for the All-Ireland Finals, then you probably don’t have a huge amount of spare time and it is winter after all. But don't let either the early evenings or the weather put you off. This is a beautiful neck of the woods so do get to enjoy some of it. There are any number of web-sites and guide books which you can give you direction but, in my opinion, you shouldn’t leave for home without doing at least one of the following:
Just a few miles away, this town is an absolute gem of architecture, history and design and a multiple and consistent award-winner in Tidy Towns. See the splendid Castle, visit the Cathedral on The Mall, call to the Heritage Centre, enjoy the views from the Bridge, traipse the streets, sip a coffee in Summer House, soak in the joys of the Millennium Park. See the Lismore Heritage Centre web-site for more
Go for a walk
There are wonderful walks of all types and sizes around here. But at this time of year the very best, in my mind, are:
- The Towers Walk (Half-way between Ballyduff and Lismore. About 2 km in length, takes about 30 minutes and is about 3 miles from Ballyduff. Lovely woodland walk with a number of gothic follies thrown in for good measure)
- Lady Louisa’s Walk, Lismore (2 km in length and taking about 30 mins, this is a pleasant woodland walk partially along the banks of the Blackwater River but also encompassing some of the more excellent features of Lismore’s history and architecture)
- Glenshelane Walk, Cappoquin (Just outside the town. A number of loops of various lengths and duration and of easy or medium difficulty, these are an excellent selection of woodland and riverside walks. From 2.5 km to over 10 km, these are well laid out and attractive walks)
- Cliff Walk, Ardmore (Especially when a wild Atlantic storm blows, and well secured in boots and jackets and hats, there is no better place to feel alive and to de-cobweb than this wonderful walk along the cliffs above Ardmore. About 5km in length, it will take about an hour. Thrown in you will get shipwrecks, holy wells, round towers, beaches and, maybe, even a cup of tea at the luxurious Cliff House Hotel)
Details of all these walks and others can be found at www.discoverlismore.com [.pdf file]
Go for a drive
The Blackwater Valley has a great selection of good quality roads, sparse in traffic and with many wonderful vistas and interesting sights. You could slip into Fermoy to do a spot of shopping; nip over to Tallow, home of the 19th century sculptor, John Hogan, for a bite to eat; call to wonderful Lismore just to be surprised by its beauty; call to Cappoquin and maybe take in the Hindu-Gothic Bridge at Dromana, swing north and maybe visit Mount Melleray Abbey high in the Knockmealdowns and maybe travel further along the mountain road to wonder at the beauties of the Vee Gap and of Bay Lough of lore and legend.
Play a round of golf
There are a host of excellent 18-hole golf clubs in the vicinity such as Fermoy, West Waterford, Dungarvan and the Gold Coast but maybe none better for its proximity and brevity at this time of the year than the 9-hole parkland Lismore Golf Club.