The stunning course is all on tarmac and starts with a 400m hill, this can be quite hard to start with, especially when pushing the buggy, but it is the hardest part of the run so it’s nice to have it over and done with at the beginning. There is quite a steep hill towards the end near the post office but it is fairly short.
The scenery is just beautiful the whole way around – you can take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Lonehort Viking Harbour and pass the military fort which was built in 1898. It is so hard on such beautiful runs like these to resist the urges to stop many times to keep taking photos, especially on a sunny day.
Facilties, cafes and playgrounds:
Bere Island parkrun was one of our favourite runs. Getting the ferry and the bus to and from the start was just another adventure for the kids and we used the time to enjoy the chats with some of the locals and other parkrun tourists. They hold the post run coffee and tea in the local cafe where you can enjoy a nice scone and coffee with all the other parkrunners.
We took the ferry from Castletownbere and arrived a little before 9am to get everything sorted – you will need cash for the ferry and bus fare too. There are toilets and dressing rooms at the start/finish of the run.
If you can get to this part of Ireland that I would absolutely 100% recommend this parkrun. The camaraderie, location and views make this one not to miss!
Tried and tested by Jess @the_buggy_runners_diary (IG)
Buggy friendly rating: 5/10
This is certainly the most difficult buggy parkrun I have done to date, it is also one of the most beautiful ones I have done too! The course is two loops with the first being through the woods on trails, over tree roots and stones – you definitely need an off-road buggy if you want to run (or walk) this part! Once you’ve finished with the first loop, you then continue past the start of the run and onto the second loop which is on tarmac roads. People may warn you about the big hill at the end of the route without mentioning that the whole of the second loop is undulating with lots of small hills throughout. This is okay for the average runner but when you’ve got a buggy to push, you feel every hill no matter how big or small.
Facilties, cafes and playgrounds:
As the parkrun itself is in the Glengarriff Nature Reserve there are many more routes to explore. We took the short drive to the main playground in Glengarriff and it was perfect for the smallies. There is also a fairy trail from the playground which is worth exploring if the legs aren’t too sore too. Although there are many places to eat in Glengarriff and the town is lovely, we were recommended cafe Organico in Bantry as it has a small children’s play area – it didn’t take us much convincing to go there for brunch and the food & coffee was great too!
There are no toilets near the parkrun start unfortunately but there is parking.
Definitely one to do if you want a challenge. A beautiful course in a beautiful part of Ireland.
Ballincollig parkrun starts at the the regional park car park – the one with the toilet. There are a few entrances to the park so it’s important to make sure you get the right one. It is a busy parkrun with numbers usually around 300 – 400 and it has quite a narrow start. This can make running with a buggy a little difficult as there is often no room to pass for the first few hundred metres and buggies are asked to start at the back. Continue reading →
Path: Great selection of Woodland paths. The Path around the lake is only suitable for a buggy approx 1-2km long. The longer path down to the river is not suitable for a buggy.
Parking: Parking €2 for the whole day but fills quickly on weekends.
Facilities: Coffee shop, toilets, water fountains and garden centre sales. Seating scattered throughout the walk, Picnic Benches, Drinking Water Fountain
Features: 40 Acres of gardens and woodland walks, lakes filled with wildlife. Peacocks randomly walking the lawns. There is a big tree in the middle of the lawn where children love to climb into the middle of the tree and its a nice place to have a picnic under it.