Walking is something that almost everyone can enjoy at virtually no cost and whether you are in the area for a few days or only a few hours, Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown offer one of the most pleasant walking environments in South Cork.
The scenic route of the old railway line from Hop Island in Rochestown to Passage West has been surfaced and is now a very popular walk along the shores of Lough Mahon. You will enjoy watching the waders at low tide in Lough Mahon and you will appreciate the peace of Upper Cork Harbour even though only a few miles from the south city suburbs. Two car parks serve the line: the first is opposite Ardmore House and the second is at Toureen, on the Passage end of the line. Roadside parking is available at Hop Island. This walk is some 3 km long, can be tackled by all age groups, is wheelchair and pushchair accessible and is a useful route for cyclists at the less busy times.
At Passage West, it is but a 15-minute stroll through the main street of the town before reaching Ferrypoint and Glenbrook. Here, the public footpath once again opens out to the sea, running alongside the West Channel of Cork Harbour. The Victorian terraces landward provide an elegant contrast to the sheltered mooring area off Glenbrook. Past Glenbrook, the walk follows the old railway line through the Cut and Cover and into Monkstown.
The public footpath at Monkstown continues alongside the water as it broadens out into Monkstown Bay. The 2 km walk to Monkstown Creek is a popular option for all age groups, whether strolling, walking or jogging. It is fascinating to watch the waders in the muds of Monkstown Creek at low tide. Alternatively, one can take the Monkstown Walking Trail starting at the Bosun car park. At the Sand Quay, cross the road and walk up past Castle Terrace, where all the houses were once shops. Continue on up Castle Road and then take the trail up the side of the Glen to Monkstown Castle. The route is wheelchair and pushchair accessible, but the climb to Monkstown Castle is steep. From the Castle, the walk continues through the Demesne to Johnson's Cross. At this point, you can take Scotsman's Road to continue across the top of hill and enjoy the scenic views right over to Roches Point at the mouth of Cork Harbour. Diamond Road takes a slightly circuitous route back to Monkstown village through the tall, stylish terraces of Victorian houses, while the steep Glen leads directly down to the Sand Quay.
Walking Trail Map (.jpeg 86 KB)
Walking Trail Map (.pdf 101 KB)