10 Reasons to Live in the South of Cork City

Thinking about making a move to Cork’s South Side? Homes in this area enjoy close proximity to every amenity a person could want while also providing easy access to the City Centre and beautiful countryside.

 

Take a look at our guide below to discover more about what it’s like to live in the areas of Douglas, Rochestown, Togher, The Lough and Ballyphehane.

10 Reasons to Live on the South Side of Cork City

 

 

1. Shopping 

There are plenty of options for retail therapy in the South Cork area. For homewares and electronics, the Kinsale Road has an unbeatable range of stores including Homestore + More, Woodies, Harvey Norman and Smiths Toys. 

 

Boasting two large shopping centres, Douglas is another good spot for shopping. Douglas Village Shopping Centre has a plethora of popular stores and cafés including Starbucks, TK Maxx, Born Clothing and Tesco. Just a short walk away, you will find Douglas Court Shopping Centre – a very well equipped facility with a diverse array of stores including Vera Moda, Boots, Arts & Hobby and Dunnes Stores. 

 

 

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2. Nature Spots 

 

One of the most popular walking spots in the city, the Lough is one of Ireland’s oldest protected wildlife refuges. The Lough is a small freshwater lake that is home to a wide array of waterfowl and fish. The Lough Loop walk is just shy of 1km and is ideal for jogging, walking the dog or even just enjoying a casual stroll with a coffee. Our advice? Make sure to pop by in the late spring to see all the cute little ducklings!

 

Known locally as “The Mangala”, Ballybrack Woods in Douglas offers a pleasant 1.2km looped trail for walkers and cyclists. This once dilapidated glen was recently brought back to glory by the local community. Renovations are ongoing and planned improvements include the creation of a wildlife meadow. During your visit, be sure to keep an eye out for herons and bats!

 

Blackrock, Co Cork

 

For a more substantial walk, why not try the Greenway from Harty’s Quay in Rochestown to Blackrock Castle? Clocking in at almost 5.5km, this scenic route will allow you to take in the sights of Cork Harbour as well as the Douglas Estuary. After your walk, do yourself a favour and take a well-deserved break at the beautiful Castle Café Restaurant.

 

3. Ease of Travel 

 

One of the key benefits of living south of Cork City is the ease with which you can get around. 

 

The N40, or South Ring Road, is a useful route that takes you from the Dunkettle Interchange outside Mahon all the way to Ballincollig. The road connects you to many towns including Ballincollig, Bishopstown, Wilton, Turner’s Cross, and Douglas. 

 

Another major advantage of moving to Cork’s South-Side is the proximity to the Cork International Airport. While many airports are a long commute from the closest city, Cork Airport is conveniently located close to the Kinsale Road Roundabout and is just a ten-minute drive away from the city centre. As such, this makes the area a great home base for frequent travellers. 

 

Recent years have seen major improvements to the bus network in the area. As such, Cork’s Southern suburbs now enjoy a frequent, cheap and reliable bus network. One particularly handy service is the 220 – Cork’s only 24-hour bus route – that takes you from Crosshaven to Ovens via Carrigaline, Douglas, Cork City, UCC, and Bishopstown. 

 

4. Food 

 

Highlights in Douglas include On Pig’s Back Café/Deli which serves up a tasty array of farmhouse cheeses, award-winning pates, charcuterie, and French specialities. Another local favourite is Haveli Indian Restaurant which offers up some of the finest Indian food in Cork. 

 

Lovers of Italian food must make a point of stopping by Sicilian Delights – a small deli tucked away on Magazine Road that serves up classic Sicilian fare including pasta, paninis, cakes and (this writer’s all-time favourite) cannoli. 

 


Another gem worth mentioning is the Cinnamon Cottage which is located in a charming Edwardian cottage on the Rochestown Road. Since its arrival in 1994, Cinnamon Cottage has developed a strong reputation for its mouth-watering baked goods and ready-made dinners.

 

5. Nightlife 

 

October 22 will hopefully see the lifting of remaining social distancing restrictions – meaning that nightclubs will be allowed to reopen their doors and that pubs and restaurants can remain open after 11.30 pm. With nights out back on the cards, you may want to learn more about your local options. 

 

Douglas is one of the liveliest spots outside of the City Centre. The village boasts many different pubs and bars. Local favourites include O’Sullivans (affectionately dubbed ‘Johnnos’ by locals), East Village and Barrys. What’s more, Douglas is on the 24-hour 220 bus route so you can cheaply and easily travel in and out of Cork City. 

 

For those seeking spots for post-match celebrations/commiserations, Turner’s Cross is the place to go. This area features several popular watering holes including the Turner’s Cross Tavern and The Beer Garden.

 

6. Access the Coast

 

If you have the day off and are looking to do some exploration, why not go further south and discover some of Cork Harbour’s most scenic spots? 

 

For a relaxed day by the seaside, we recommend heading out to Crosshaven. In this writer’s opinion, there’s simply no better spot on a sunny day! Be sure to take in panoramas of the harbour from Camden Fort Meagher – a 400-year old coastal fort boasting a rich history. You can also take the bikes and cycle alongside the river on the picturesque Carrigaline – Crosshaven Greenway. Swimmers can take a dip in the local beaches – Fountainstown and Myrtleville. 

 

If you wish to go further afield, you can follow the Kinsale Road to Kinsale. A popular spot with locals and tourists alike, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied here. History-buffs can discover local lore at Charles Fort and the Old Head of Kinsale. Keen hikers can tackle the 6km Scilly Walk Loop which offers many pretty vistas of the town. You can also travel out to the nearby beaches at the Dock or Garrettstown to partake in a diverse array of water sports, including sailing, kayaking, surfing and more. And of course, the food! Kinsale is widely known as Ireland’s Gourmet capital for its staggering range of top-quality restaurants, takeaways, cafés and stores. 

 

Kinsale, Co. Cork

 

7. Sports/Fitness

 

Sports and fitness enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there is a wide variety of activities in the area. 

 

Dennehy’s Health & Fitness in Douglas offers a state-of-the-art gym, personal training and fitness classes. Alternatively, you can check out Obodo – a CrossFit gym located on the South Douglas Road. 

 

If you’re looking to watch a match, then Turner’s Cross is your spot. This area boasts two of the largest stadiums in the City – the Turner’s Cross Stadium (home of Cork City FC) and Musgrave Park (home to Dolphin RFC and Sundays Well RFC).  

 

Those living in the Togher/Pouladuff area can test their mettle and develop killer skills at the Krav Maga Institute Cork. Togher is also home to Olympian Rob Heffernan’s Athletics Club which offers training to people of all ages. 

 

Sports fans living in the Maryborough/Rochestown area are lucky to have the Garyduff Sports Centre on their doorstep. One of the best-equipped facilities in the county, Garyduff features hockey and football pitches, tennis and badminton courts, as well as a Pitch and Putt course and a Bowling Green. 

 

8. Beauty & Wellness 

 

The Maryborough House Hotel boasts one of the most luxurious spas in all of Cork. The spa is well-equipped with a vitality pool, rock sauna, steam room, ice fountain, lifestyle showers and laconium. The treatment menu has something for everyone including facials, massages, wraps, and more. 

 


If you fancy treating yourself to a trip to the Nail salon, then we highly recommend New York Nails on the South Douglas Road. Modelled after US-style nail bars, this stylish salon provides a range of services including manicures, pedicures, and brow styling. 

 

 

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Need to sort out your lockdown locks? If so, book an appointment at Amy Michelle Hairdressing – one of the best hair salons in the South Side. This salon is particularly well-known for specialising in extensions and even has its own range of products – Refine Hair Extensions. The salon is owned by Amy Shanahan, an award-winning stylist who has extensive industry experience including working backstage at London Fashion Week, styling the stars on X Factor, as well as many different celebrities.

 

9. Schools

 

The South Side of Cork is a popular choice for families due to the wide range of high-quality primary and secondary school options. Schools in the area include single-sex/mixed schools, religious/non-denominational schools, English-speaking/Irish-speaking schools. To learn more about schools in the region, visit the Department of Education’s website. See below for a comprehensive map detailing all of the primary and secondary schools in Cork’s South Side region. 

 

10. Cost of Renting 

 

Cork’s southern suburbs have a lower cost of rent than in the City Centre. Plus, lower housing density means that you are more likely to find a larger property with a garden. Cork’s suburbs have excellent amenities and strong transport links, meaning that you will enjoy all the benefits of city-centre living without the eye-watering cost.  To explore more rental properties in the area, visit HomeHak.com.

A Guide to Living in the West of Cork City

Kinsale, Co. Cork

Considering moving to Cork? Moving just west of the City allows you to enjoy many of the perks associated with city living while also enjoying close proximity to beautiful countryside. Read our guide below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the Ballincollig-Ovens area. 

 

10 Reasons to Live on the West Side of Cork City

 

 

1. Excellent Employment Prospects 

Many of those living in Cork’s western region work at the Dell EMC facility in Ovens. This office is Dell’s largest manufacturing site outside of the US. In 2016, Dell acquired EMC leading to significant growth. Today over 5,000 people work in Dell EMC across its three sites in Cork, Limerick and Dublin. This site is multi-functional and employs people across a wide range of areas including technology, customer support, sales and more. 

 

Another major employer in the city’s Western region is VMWare – a US-born cloud computing and virtualization technology company. The company has a campus in Ballincollig which employs 1,000 people across various functions. 

 

The multinational medical device manufacturer, Boston Scientific, is one of the largest employers in Cork with almost 900 staff members. Their facility on the Model Farm Road was established in 1998 and is currently undergoing an expansion.

 

 

2. Stunning Nature Spots

Those living to the west of Cork City have a number of serene nature spots on their doorstep that offer the perfect break from busy city living.  

 

Farran Forest Park is a 25-minute drive away from the City Centre. Located on the southern shore of Inniscarra Lake, walkers can enjoy the scenic lakeshore walking trails while athletes can take to the water by joining one of the local rowing clubs. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to observe the park’s herd of red and fallow deer. While adrenaline junkies will relish the chance to try the Zipit adventure park which offers an activity-packed aerial trail and over 800 metres of Ziplines. 

 

Located just outside Ballincollig village, Ballincollig Regional Park boasts many fantastic amenities including playgrounds, a skate park, picnic areas, and several sports pitches. Dog-owners, joggers and walkers have multiple trails to choose from that allow them to take in the unique flora and fauna of the wet woodlands. 

 

Ballincollig Regional Park, Cork
The Woods at Ballincollig Regional Park in Cork

 

Those with an interest in water sports need only drive 20 minutes from the city centre to reach Inniscarra Lake. This man-made reservoir was created in the 1950s when the Electricity Supply Board built the Inniscarra Dam. Today, this picturesque lake has become a popular spot for angling, sailing and kayaking. Inniscarra is home to the National Rowing Centre (NRC) where many Irish Olympians have trained including the O’Donovan brothers. 

 

National Rowing Centre - Inniscarra

 

3. Ease of Travel

One of the major benefits of living within the Cork metropolitan area is that everything is within easy reach. The N40 (known locally as the South Link Road or the Ring Road) means that commuters can quickly travel from Ballincollig to the City Centre and even out as far as Mahon – the location of Cork’s largest shopping centre.

 

Non-drivers can benefit from Ireland’s first-ever 24-hour bus route, the 220, with a frequency from every 30 minutes to every 15 during peak hours and every 30 to 60 minutes between midnight and 6 am. The route links Ovens, Ballincollig, Cork City, Douglas, Carrigaline and Crosshaven. This is an extremely useful option for shift workers or party-goers enjoying the city’s nightlife. 

 

4. Excellent Sports & Fitness Amenities 

People looking to live west of Cork city with an interest in sports and fitness will have a wealth of activities to choose from. 

 

  • No matter where you are in Ireland you’re never too far from a GAA club providing sporting opportunities for Juveniles, Men and Women.  Notable GAA clubs to the west of Cork City include Ballincollig GAA, Eire Og GAA, Bishopstown GAA.
  • For rugby enthusiasts, there’s Ballincollig RFC and Highfield RFC who cater for all ages.
  • The best football teams in the League of Ireland Premier League visit to play Cork City FC at their 7,365 seater stadium in Turners Cross.
  • LeisureWorld is one of the best leisure centres in the county and has facilities for all ages including multiple swimming pools, a gym, fitness classes, a teen gym, and astroturf pitches.
  • Dennehy’s Health & Fitness is a popular spot in Ballincollig that offers personal training, group classes, high-performance equipment and personal training. 
  • Located on the Western edge of Cork City, the Mardyke Arena forms part of UCC’s campus. Facilities include a gym, an athletics track, a climbing wall, a pool, sauna and steam room, squash courts, and an aerobics studio. 

mardyke arena website

 

5. Enjoy a Taste of Cork

Cork is a foodie hotspot, and the west of the city is no exception. Founded in 2019, Good For The Soul Cafe is a relatively recent addition to Ballincollig village. This cafe has made a name for itself in the years since as a top spot for coffee, an amazing brunch menu, delicious vegan options, and supper clubs.

 

good for the soul cafe, ballincollig

 

For something a little more filling, you have to visit Jackie Lennox’s on the Bandon Road in Cork which has enjoyed legendary status as the best chipper in the county (if not the country) since 1951. In good weather, why not stroll down the Lough and enjoy your fish and chips while watching the ducks. 

 

For a taste of Mediterranean luxury at an economic price, Gallo & Galletti in Wilton is the place to go. Under the direction of multi-award winning chef Brendan Cashman, this delightful spot serves up top-notch Italian fare using only the best local ingredients. Depending on your mood, you can avail of their dine-in or takeaway options. 

 

gallo & galetti, wilton

6. Education 

Another major benefit of settling to the West of the City is that you can enjoy close proximity to two of Ireland’s top-rated third-level institutions – University College Cork (UCC) and Munster Technological University (MTU). This is ideal for families with college-aged children or if you are interested in making a return to education. 

 

University College Cork

Founded in 1845, UCC is one of the most lauded universities in the country. It is the only university to have been awarded “Irish university of the year” five times by the Sunday Times. UCC offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, CPD and adult continuing education programmes across a diverse array of areas including the humanities, business, law, medicine, science, engineering, and architecture just to name a few. UCC has produced many well-known alumni such as the actress Fiona Shaw (you may better know her as Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter movies or as the wily Carolyn in Killing Eve), current Taoiseach Michael Martin, and Samantha Barry – the sitting editor of Glamour magazine. 

 

university college cork - the quad

 

Munster Technological University

MTU was founded in January 2021 through the merger of the Cork and Tralee Institutes of Technology. While MTU has six campuses throughout Munster, the main campus is located in Bishopstown. MTU, with 12,000 registered students in Cork, has distinguished itself as a provider of high-quality programmes across the areas of IT and technology, engineering, sports, business, music, art and design. The Cork Campus is particularly well-known for its health and leisure facilities with Olympian rowing champion Gary O’Donovan among its notable alumni. 

 

 

7. Retail Therapy 

Cork’s western area offers plenty of options if you are looking to indulge in some retail therapy without having to venture into the city centre. 

 

The CastleWest Shopping Centre in Ballincollig features a diverse array of stores and eateries including clothes shops, book shops, homeware stores plus much more. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was also a celebrated Farmer’s Market with a wide range of stalls providing local, organic and homegrown food. 

 

With over 67 stores, you can find everything you need and more in the Wilton Shopping Centre. Wilton has a particularly strong fashion offering and stylistas can discover the latest trends at New Look, Born Clothing and Penneys. After a day of shopping ‘til you drop, you can recharge with a freshly-made smoothie from Jump Juice Bar or treat yourself to an artisanal chocolate treat from Leonidas. 

 

wilton shopping centre

8. Pamper Yourself

For a day of pampering, you can’t beat Mark Vincent Hair & Beauty in Ballincollig. The largest salon in the area, Mark Vincent’s provides a full range of treatments including hair care, nail care, hair removal and cutting-edge facial techniques.  

 

Nothing says self-care like a spa day, and if you ask us you can’t do much better than the spa at the Kingsley Hotel in Victoria Cross. Their elegant impressive thermal suite offers everything you could possibly need to unwind including an aromatherapy steam room, Finnish sauna, spa pool, whirlpool tub plus much more. There is a wide range of treatments available for individuals and couples alike including massages, facials, body scrubs, pedicures and more. To cap off your day of relaxation, why not book an elegant Afternoon Tea with a cheeky glass of bubbly! 

 

9. Gateway to West Cork 

One of the best things about living on the Western edge of the city is that you are on the doorstep of one of the most beautiful regions in Ireland (if not the world!). If you have a free weekend, we recommend taking off for a road trip around West Cork. Follow the coast roads and you can’t go wrong. As a resident, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to discover one of the region’s many gems whether it’s the colourful gastro-town of Kinsale, the ancient stone circle at Drombeg, the opulent Italian Gardens at Garinish Island, or the serene shores of Lough Hyne.

 

exploring county cork

 

 

10. Cheaper to Rent than in the City Centre 

One of the major benefits of living in the Cork city outskirts is that rental prices are cheaper than in the city centre. For example, Daft’s 2021 Q1 rental report reveals that the average monthly rent for a double bedroom was €502 in the city centre versus €442 in the suburbs. With the region’s wealth of amenities, you’ll have everything you need in easy reach. Plus the well-developed transport network means that you will be able to travel to the city centre quickly and easily if need be.