6 things to pack for the perfect West Cork staycation (from breakfast to beach essentials)
Brought to you by Clonakilty Whitepudding.
It’s the summer of the staycation.
After a long year of lockdowns and restrictions, new research from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has confirmed that seven in ten people plan to hit the open road for a holiday in Ireland before November.
With some of the most spectacular coastline in the country and a reputation for great food, it’s no surprise that many of them will be headed to West Cork.
Whether you’re pitching a tent, touring in a camper van, or checking in to luxury hotels and cosy B&Bs, there are some essentials that will ensure you have the best time possible during your break.
Here are six things to pack before you set out on your West Cork getaway:
1. Rain gear
Let’s be honest, navigating the Irish weather can be tricky but once you plan for all eventualities, you can ensure that not one precious holiday day is wasted because of a downpour. Good wellies and decent raincoats are all you need to brave the elements and keep the adventure going. An umbrella and a generous supply of dry socks are a wise choice too.
At the same time, don’t skimp on the SPF – the Irish weather is notoriously changeable so be prepared for glorious sunshine after a shower.
2. A mobile charger
Once you venture onto the Cork coast, the photo opportunities will come thick and fast; packing a good charger will ensure your phone doesn’t run out of juice just before you reach Mizen Head.
Whether you’re whale watching off Kinsale or taking the ferry to Garnish Island, you’ll need plenty of memory for video too so consider bringing a portable hard drive.
3. A wetsuit
Sea swimming might be all the rage these days, but the water isn’t getting any warmer. While Cork and Kerry boast the most comfortable water temperatures for swimming (it can be as warm as 16C during the summer months but it generally hovers around 10C), packing a wetsuit will ensure you dive in more often and splash about in the waves for longer.
Make sure to rinse your wetsuits in clean water nightly to remove the salt and keep them in tip-top condition for longer.
Pro tip: Bring a flask of tea or coffee for afterwards to help you warm up fast.
4. Ingredients for a pure Cork breakfast
Whether you’re camping in a forest or pitching up in a fancy Airbnb, no staycation breakfast is complete without a proper breakfast and no brekkie is complete without Clonakilty Whitepudding.
Simply slice up your Clonakilty Whitepudding and grill or fry on both sides, then serve with fresh crusty bread. It’s also glorious cooked alfresco on a campfire so why not give it a go!
Contactless payment is the norm these days, but if you’re planning on exploring the road less travelled, it’s always best to carry a small amount of cash to cover coffees from a beachside snack trailer or local crafts, books and artisan treats from a village market stall.
6. A bag for souvenirs
Your holiday in Cork might be over, but you’ll be reminded of the best memories from your trip every time you drink your coffee from a mug made by a local potter or look at a painting by a local artist.
Seaside villages are excellent places to find second-hand bookshops and curios shops and you’ll need a bag to carry all the jams, pestos, local cheeses, and artisan breads that will tempt you from every market stall.
Clonakilty Whitepudding is made to an original Twomey family recipe using wholesome ingredients supplied by Irish farmers. A delicious blend of pork, oatmeal, onions and spices, the texture and the spicy taste of Clonakilty Whitepudding have made this delicacy an Irish breakfast favourite, available in all good supermarkets across Ireland. To find a stockist, visit the website.