Riverbank House is ideally located to explore this stunning part of West Cork . We are just off the Wild Atlantic Way on the banks of the River Bandon. The location offers a great base for walking, cycling, kayaking, exploring, golfing and for those looking to relax and enjoy the breath-taking scenery that Cork has to offer.
Riverbank House is just outside the village of Innishannon ‘The Gateway to West Cork”. The village has two pubs, two small supermarkets, chemist, post office, a lovely tea-room and a country market shop selling local produce that transforms into a pizza restaurant in the evenings.
From the House
With every window in the house looking out at the river, there is plenty of opportunity to watch the amazing wildlife from the comfort of your room, the sitting room, or the balcony. Take a stroll around the quayside or follow our woodland tracks up to the summer-house at the top of the hill – the rocking chairs make a great spot to watch the birds from! Binoculars are dotted all around the house, please feel free to use them.
On the river, regular visitors are the mallards, teals, swans, herons and egrets. At low tide, the waders appear and at high tide we have our daily visit from Seamus the seal, chasing the salmon up the river. Rarer, but precious sightings are the kingfishers and otters that live on the river.
In the garden we have families of great tits, blue tits, siskins, blackbirds, thrushes and many, many more. We have nesting sites and birdboxes around the grounds, and love watching out for the fledglings leaving their nests.
Look out for the red squirrels that have made the woods their home.
There is an abundance of wildlife in the area. There are 450 bird species currently on the Irish list, so plenty of opportunities to spot something of interest.
West Cork is full of wonderful places to walk and enjoy the wonderful scenery that is on offer.
Right on our doorstep, just before you get to Innishannon there is a small carpark which is the start of the walk for Dromkeen Woods. Not a long walk, but a pretty woodland and lovely place to stretch your legs.
Not far away from the beach, along the road to Ballinspittle, there’s the entrance to Garretstown woods. There are a couple of marked trails that will guide you around. The forest was part of an estate and there is evidence of old estate walls.
Just six kilometres from Baltimore, few places capture the magic of West Cork better than Lough Hyne. The lough is entirely landlocked, except for a narrow channel in one corner, the Rapids, where water races in or out according to the sea level outside. At first sight Lough Hyne has all the appearance of a tranquil freshwater lake, which it probably was once before it was flooded by the rising sea. Woods fringe the water’s edge along the western shore and the forested slopes of Lough Hyne Hill, or Knockomagh, rise up to the north. It’s definitely worth the climb to the top – the view of the coast and surrounding islands is stunning.
The unique environment is home to an incredible variety of invertebrates, fish and plants — including more than 100 sponges, 24 kinds of crab, 18 species of anemone and 72 kinds of fish — some of them found nowhere else in Ireland. It has been the object of scientific study for well over than 100 years and in 1981 was designated Ireland’s first and only Marine Nature Reserve.
If you have your own kayak and safety equipment, then bring them along, you can launch from our quayside into the river (be aware, the river is tidal)
Or, hire a kayak from the friendly team at Oysterhaven Bay. A beautiful spot for a gentle paddle.
The great people at Atlantic Sea Kayaking offer a number of different adventures, but our favourite is the night kayaking at Lough Hyne. This is a salt water lake located between Skibbereen and Baltimore, and provide an magical experience.
This trip provides a unique experience of being on the water from dusk into darkness. There is always something to make you gasp on this trip, the sounds of seabirds coming in to roost, the sunset, the rising moon, the aromas of honeysuckle and gorse on the breeze, the panoply of stars overhead, the astonishing bioluminescence, and the deep, dark peace and serenity of night. It is a trip which feeds body and soul.
We are very lucky to have our own stretch of river bank, from which you are very welcome to fish.
The River Bandon is a most scenic and prolific game fishing river flowing through some of the most picturesque country side in West Cork. It’s source is a few miles north west of Dunmanway, it passes through the town of Bandon. Here there is a weir which is a feature of the town. A modern fish pass is installed on this weir which allows migrating salmon and sea trout to pass on up river. One can observe salmon jumping this weir in high water conditions and is indeed a magnificent site if one happens to be there at ‘the right time’.
From Bandon the river follows the main Cork road to the town of Innishannon where it passes under the Cork road and on to us at Riverbank House. At this point the river is tidal. The river widens from here on and the estuary widens dramatically, with an increase in the variety of fish.
You will be fishing in competition to our local seal (Seamus), who makes a daily visit on the high tide, and is a very successful salmon fisher (we hope you are too!)
Ireland is justifiably famous for it’s amazing golf clubs.
The course is set over 130 acres of fertile land in the Bandon River valley. It is nestled in the grounds of the old Castlebernard Estate and bounded by the original estate walls which date back to the 1700s.
Kinsale Golf Club is a championship course which has a long and distinguished history, tracing its origins back to 1880. It is situated 5 kilometres from the Historic town of Kinsale. The course is in a rural setting and has stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It measures 6,935 yards and consists of two nine hole loops finishing at the Clubhouse. The Club has a full range of practice facilities including, 6 bay driving range, putting and chipping greens, Pro Shop and Catering facilities.
Occupying a stunning and unique headland reaching out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, the Old Head of Kinsale is home to the most spectacular world-class golf course. Located in County Cork on the South West Coast of Ireland, as the incredible brainchild of the late John O’Connor together with his brother Patrick, the Club has developed into one of the most recognised and sought after golf experiences anywhere on earth. It is a sanctuary for those seeking the finest in personalized service.
Kinsale Equestrian Centre offers horse and pony trekking around 60 acres of grassland, overlooking the Bandon river, and around the Kinsale area. Whether you are an experienced rider or a beginner, they have horses and ponies to suit all ages and abilities.
West Cork is a gastronomic delight. From Kinsale (known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland) to Schull, there are wonderful restaurants, gastropubs and even beach shacks selling incredible seafood with real passion. Speak to Heather and Adam about your plans for the day and they will be very happy to recommend somewhere special to eat on the way or on your way home.