Castlemartyr saw a Rolling Stone

Castlemartyr saw a Rolling Stone

Castlemartyr is a beautiful village 20 minutes drive from Cork City and a 6 miles east of Midleton in the direction of Youghal on main Waterford road  the N25. It is also only 30 minutes drove from Cork airport. Primary roads allows access from Counties Waterford and Limerick.

Pat Shorts
  Pat Shorts Bar Castlemartyr

In recent years it modern fame was created by outside influences. The very famous and funny Pat Short purchased a pub in the village and established and excellent Gastro eatery of note.

In the past this Castlemartyr pub was owned by the local Barry family. In January 1965 out of the blue the Rolling stones landed in the villages Main Street. They were playing in the Savoy Theatre in Cork and took a break stopping off in Castlemartyr. It is said Cork was their last gig before heading off on their third tour of the US. While in Castlemartyr its reported Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones had a few drinks at Barry’s Bar before they set off again for the city.

Many years later in what was known then as the Carmelite College was purchased by a Cork Development company and it was transformed into a €70 million hotel and golf course. Which included self-catering accommodation which included  excellent lodges and houses.

When opened it was hoped to employ up to 120 people. The Capella Castlemartyr was the original name which later became the Castlemartyr Resort. The house itself is a 17th century manor house set on 220 acres. Which also included the ruins of an 800-year-old castle.

Castle Castlemartyr
Old Castle at Castlemartyr Resort

A number of famous historical names are associated with Castlemartyr Manor. It had a number of owners in the past including Walter Raleigh and Richard Boyle. To keep with its historical past one of Castlemartyr Resorts most famous room is the The Knights Bar. It has a fully restored ceiling which has a beautiful featured rococo plasterwork. Great care and attention was paid to the restoration of the Manor House. The Knights Bar in the past has received comment from the english travel writer Arthur Young.

Castlemartyr Resort
Voda Magazine photo of Castlemartyr Resort

The 18 hole links-style golf course is available to hotel guests and those that use the self-catering accommodation. The course was designed by golf course designer Ron Kirby who also created the Old Head of Kinsale golf course. The self-catering accommodation is located on the old walled garden area. Other self-catering accommodation are located at the main entrance on the Castlemartyr to Ladysbridge road.

On the old Manor grounds there is also an excellent self-catering apartment which is listed as  The Demesnes Castlemartyr.

Castlemartyr Resort Golf Links
                                                                                             Castlemartyr Resort Golf Links

Over the years this part of Cork has established itself an excellent location for a holiday or  short stay.  Visitor attractions are numerous Jameson Heritage Centre, Fota Wildlife Act among others. There is also a number of great golf courses. Some of the self-catering accommodation is ideal for wedding accommodation.


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Self-catering Paddocks Holiday Village

Self-catering Paddocks Holiday Village

Welcome to the Paddocks Holiday Village.

Once in a while you come across a place where you can totally relax and chill out.

One of those elusive locations that lets you get in touch with the inner self. If you have experienced it, you will know exactly what I mean. Strangely enough it was on wedding trips aboard that we last got that totally relaxed feeling. The feel you totally belong or maybe were even there before. One such wedding accommodation was Pastena on Amalfi Coast in Italy stayed in a beautiful family run hotel. A few years before that we stayed in a small Croatian town of Metkovic which was located on the border with Bosina and Herzegovina. Similarly is was a small family run wedding accommodation hotel. Metkovic was a wonderful place to stay very friendly people very welcoming well worth a return visit.

We have found a similar location in Ireland the Paddocks Holiday Village is located near the historical town of Midleton in the east of Co Cork. It is an ideal place to base yourself for a short holiday, family get together or self catering wedding accommodation. It less than five minutes drive from busy town of Midleton. Ten minutes off the N 25 and 30 minutes from Cork Airport The Paddocks was established, by John and Ber Twomey, a purpose built holiday village.

Set in glorious & tranquil countryside, this is a family run business offering guests a choice of 2 & 3 bedroomed self catering homes.

The Paddocks is the ideal location to discover East Cork & the surrounding county.

Guests can avail of a large, fully equipped children’s playground, as well as a picnic area for those peaceful family afternoons. Bring the putter East Cork Golf Club and Driving Range is a short drive away. With a purpose built Equine Arena is an ideal location for an Equestrian Holiday.

With an array of modern facilities and numerous attractions nearby, the Paddocks Holiday Village makes the ultimate choice for that perfect self catering holiday wedding accommodation or just a relaxing break, hosts the Paddocks Holiday Village. So if you are planning a self catering break, holiday or wedding accommodation they are just one click away.

The Paddocks Arena

The Paddocks Arena was also established, by John and Ber Twomey, to cater for everybody from the professional competitor to the leisure horse enthusiast.

Paddocks Arena hosts numerous events throughout the year, catering for all disciplines of equestrianism as well as other more versatile events such as vintage motor shows, rugby and soccer training and private parties and functions to name just a few.

It is adjacent to The Paddocks Holiday Village which will cater for all yourself catering accommodation needs.

Their aim is to make your experience as enjoyable and successful as possible.


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A Few of The Best Places for you to eat in Cork

A Few of The Best Places for you to eat in Cork

As usual our blogs are written in conjunction with promoting our website From time to time you’ll see us mentioning keywords like self catering holidays, holiday rentals, holiday accommodation.

Think of these as the advert break or commercial on the telly . It’s the keywords that pay the bill for us so I’ll pop a few in every now and then.

Our main aim or mission to supply helpfully information to people planning or intending to spend a self catering rental of a holiday home in one of our many sought after locations. We write about specific items we also look at reviews posted on various websites.Collate this information and let you judge for yourself.Reserve the right to make tongue and cheek remarks would want to be taken too serious.

Today we are taking a looking at a few of the many wonderful premises serving food in the general Cork area.

Starting with Midleton lets take at Finins. Its located on the Main Street in Midleton Co Cork Ireland. The proprietor Finin O Sullivan is hands on person from morning to late evening. He has been that way for as I remember and at this stage that is over 34years. Finins is all about quality food and quality favour. Which he sources from suppliers and producers based locally . He personally trains all staff himself to a very high standard, and it shows. He has different lunch specials but he rarely varies his main menu and it is consistently of a high quality served professionally in a relaxed atmosphere.

Taking a look at Tripadvisor Finins is ranked #21 out of 47 Don’t think this a fare reflection but again not sure the position would worry him too much. He was producing excellent food long before Tripadvisor in existence.

Farmgate Coolbawn, Midleton


Next on our list the the Farmgate Coolbawn, Midleton. Like Finins the Farmgate in Midleton was started in Midleton by Marog O Brien a native of Youghal. Which is another splendid holiday rent location.

Now a days the Farmgate is capably run by Marog daughter Sally. Kare Hart Marogs sister was once involved in the Midleton Farmgate. Before she founded the now famious Farmgate in Cork City English Market. The Farmagate in Midleton is open 9am to 5pm daily. Serving teas and coffees and a selection of homemade cones and cakes. Lunch is served daily from 12pm to 15.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.

Specials change daily and are displayed on the blackboard.

Evening Meals served on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In the evenings the dining room is transformed with crisp white linen, lit by candlelight and becomes a magical place.

Originally the shop at the entrance to the Farmgate was well stocked with local vegetables, bread and cakes cooked in the kitchen and locally sourced cheeses. Had an old world feel to black interior walls lots of timber and strong lighting. Interior tecture colour has stayed the same. Lighting has somewhat changed. The fabrics colours and lighting are similar but the produce has some what changed. It is now known as The Farmgate bakery with a fabulous array of cakes, tarts, scones and tea bracks, and also to stock the bread basket in the shop with fantastic fresh baked crusty bread. The whole store has become more modern more chic keeping with the times. I honestly preferred the old wholesome approach with vegetables and eggs on display. More in keep with the name Farmgate.

Tripadvisor: Ranked #4 in Midleton out of 47.Young proprietor you would expect her to be driving her business and using the internet as a marketing tool.

Not very far from Farmgate has a splendid riverside short stay property at Cois na hAbhann, which can be Booked Online.

Raymonds Restaurant


Now we look at another Midleton restaurant known simply as Raymonds, located at Distillery Walk quite near the entrance to the world famous Jameson Experience.

Stephen Lee is the head chef in Raymonds nowadays. On there website, Stephen states ‘I grew up in a small village on the outskirts of Midleton called Ballinacurra. My earliest memories of food would be when I visited my Grandmother. She was always making bread and tarts in her old-fashioned stove.

The also pride themselves in the fact that they are part of the local community and their produce is sourced locally.

Seafood Ballycotton Seafoods Richard Guerin, Ballycotton

Butchers Crowley’s Craft Butchers, Midleton O’Brien Butchers, Carrigtwohill

All our Beef & Lamb is sourced from East Cork Farms. Our poultry and ducks are sourced from The Chicken Inn, Old English Market and Cork East Ferry Farm, East Ferry, Midleton.

Olive Oil & Cheeses Ardsallagh Goat’s Cheese Carrigtwohill Carrig Foods, Carrigtwohill

Eggs Midleton Eggs

Vegetables & Herbs

The Village Green Grocer, Castlemartyr Horizon Farms, Kinsale

John and Ber Twomey of The Paddocks Holiday Village our accommodation partners for holiday rentals and short stay accommodation would be regular clients of Raymonds.

Taking a quick look at Tripadvisor Raymonds is #8 out of 47 in Midleton The reviews in the most part tend to be very positive. I note Raymond or staff make no reply to good or bad comments.

Sage Restaurant Midleton


I move now effortlessly to The Sage Restaurant and The Greenroom Wine Bar and Cafe all at the Courtyard Main Street Midleton Co Cork Ireland. It might not be correct to tag Kevin Ahern as “the new kid on the block” as he is a very experienced chef. But in a short number of years he has created a restaurant that continues to win accolades from esteemed critics within the food industry yearly. Midleton was always well renowned for fine dining. Kevin and his team have broken onto this very competitive scene very quickly and left others in his wake. Kevin had set a very high standard and gained the respect of all around. His simple and artistic use of fresh produce has meant he continues to win awards and build a loyal following of customers.

His 12 mile culinary expression of sourcing produce from within 12 miles of their front door, has captured the imagination of most people conscious of the environment and people just conscious of eating good food at a realistic price. Their12 mile ethos is simple. They source the vast majority of their produce from within 12 miles of the restaurant. The lush farmland and dedicated farmers of Midleton and its hinterland and the local fishermen supply the majority of their produce.

Tripadvisor: Rank #3 out of 47

Comment: Having a strong local knowledge of the area I think I would go by Tripadvisors ranking Finin at #21 would make sense to me. My advice would be choose carefully before you decide to dine.

Once again all these restaurants can be located near our self catering holiday short stay apartment. Book online at


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Visitor attractions in East Cork Ireland

Visitor attractions in East Cork Ireland

Cork as a place to visit if your from Ireland or visiting from overseas has many locations and ancient sites that are well worth a few hours of your spare time.

If your enjoy a leisurely self catering break in East Cork our accommodation partners will meet your needs. We can book you a place The Paddocks Holiday Village or Fota Holiday Resort or Barmabrow House or Ballymaloe holiday homes. From there you can explore:

Jameson Experience

The Jameson Experience which is located in Midleton, Co. Cork on the site of the old Cork distillery. It is well worth a visit if staying in Midleton or the surrounding area. It is a place where you will experience modern technology that manages to blend ancient architecture and craft into a modern setting. It has of course a goal of marketing and ultimately sales. But this is achieved in a subtle manner that doesn’t take anything way from the whole experience of the art of whisky distilling. They have kept the old distillery intact and well preserved. The whole Jameson experience is created is this ancient place that demonstrates the industrial heritage of the area coupled with the ability of the farming community to grow fist class grain.

Fota Wildlife Park


Your next stop on this tour of visitor attractions in East Cork has to be Fota Wild life Park. This joint venture the Zoological Society of Ireland and University College Cork (UCC) was opened as a wildlife park in 1983. Originally the park closed during winter months but nowadays it is open all year round. With yearly visitor numbers in their thousands it has become one of Ireland’s top ten visitor attractions. There is ample car parking in the grounds of Fota House the charge nowadays is €3 and you can park all day. Be prepared to do a bit of walking because the park has extended over the years and takes a while to complete. But it is well worth it, stop and read about the various species of animal and the breeding programs that are conducted in line with other parks and zoos.

St Colman’s Cathedral


St Colman’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Cobh, Ireland. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Cloyne. The cathedral is a large, elaborately detailed neoGothic building that overlooking Cork harbour, is prominently sited and visible from quite a distance. Cobh itself is a very history town and has a strong historical link to a number of world events. One which was the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage as Cobh was its last port of call. Construction began in 1868 and was not completed until over half a century later due to increases in costs and revisions of the original plans. Cobh was a very prosperous town in the 1860s as it was Ireland’s principal emigration outlet. More than five million people emigrated from Ireland in the nineteenth century mainly to the United States, Australia and Canada – and a large proportion of them left from Queenstown which it known then. A huge amount of these emigrants would have said a prayer in the cathedral before boarding their ships.

Youghal Co. Cork


Our final recommendation today is a visit to the historical town of Youghal Co Cork Ireland. The town is famously associated with the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. But has many other heritage attractions to see. The Youghal Heritage Trail takes in the most historic buildings and sites in Youghal. Along the way, take in the magnificent town walls, St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, Clock Gate, Alms houses and Tynte’s Castle. Taking approx. one hour to complete, it is advisable to budget more time than this to allow you soak in all the history and heritage on offer! Bearing in mind Youghal has some of the finest beaches in Ireland that are just a stones throw from the South Main Street.

All worth exploring or is the weather is nice bring a picnic and just relax the day away.

House wine is also excellent served in an earthenware carafe.


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Self Catering holiday and attractions in Midleton Co Cork

Self Catering holiday and attractions in Midleton Co Cork

There are numerous places of natural beauty and attractions to be seen.

The Paddocks Holiday Village or Fota Island Resort Lodges in Midleton Co Cork area are a great base for a self-catering holiday in East Cork. There are numerous places of natural beauty and attractions to be seen.

The Jameson Experience is located in Midleton, Co. Cork situated in the Old Cork Distilleries Company distillery just of the Main Street in Midleton. This distillery operated for 150 years, from 1825 until 1975, when the workers clocked off on a Friday in July, to start work in the new Midleton Distillery the following Monday. A decision was later made to turn the original distillery into a heritage centre known today as the Jameson Expereince.

A tour of the Jameson Experience is a journey through the story and making of Irish whiskey. If for any reason you are in Midleton and have some time to spare this is well worth a visit. If your having a self-catering holiday here for a few days it is a must see experience. Guided tours are available throughout the year a number of different languages are spoken and all tours commence with an audio-visual presentation, retracing the history of whiskey in Ireland. The tour takes in all aspects of whiskey distilling ending up with the cooperage make and repairing barrels and the warehouses where the important task of blending takes place. Of course at the end of each tour volunteers get the chance to take part in a comparison whiskey tasting, learning the differences between Scotch, American and Irish whiskey.

Once completed, guests are rewarded with a much coveted Irish Whiskey Taster Certificate, as well as a complimentary glass of Jameson with a mixer of their choice.

The village of Cloyne is another place of historical significance. In has a huge connection with George Berkeley 12 March 1685, 14 January 1753, also known as Bishop Berkeley (Bishop of Cloyne), was an Anglo-Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called “immaterialism” . This theory denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the minds of perceivers, and as a result cannot exist without being perceived. Berkeley is also known for his critique of abstraction, an important premise in his argument for immaterialism.

Cloyne is a lovely place you can still see the front of old commercial stone building and stone houses on the side of the street , the old round tower that was once part of a medieval monastic settlement, thought to have been established by St Colman in 560. The structure is one of only two such towers existing today in County Cork.

In recent centuries, the tower underwent renovations after lightening struck, destroying the original conical roof.

All there attractions are within easy reach the Paddocks Holiday Village and Fota Island where 2 and 3 bedroomed houses are available as self-catering accommodation. See for further details.

Fota Wildlife Park is a joint project between the Zoological Society of Ireland and University College Cork (UCC), an idea originally conceived in the 1970s by former Director of Dublin Zoo, Dr. Terry Murphy.

The Park was officially opened in 1983 by the then President of Ireland, the late Dr. Patrick Hillery, and has gone from strength to strength since – welcoming record visitor numbers in the years after a significant redevelopment of facilities in 2010 and 2011.

It has been listed as one of Ireland’s Top Ten visitor attractions and is the most popular tourist destination in Cork.

Fota is a non-profit organisation, limited by guarantee, and is also a registered charity. It is completely self-financing, relying entirely on gate receipts and membership fees for its income, and any financial surpluses generated are reinvested in order improve infrastructure and promote the company’s core objectives of conservation, education and research.

Fota house is next to Fota Golf Club where this years Irish Open was played and the golf club is part of Fota Resort the location for the self-catering accommodation that can be found on our website

Another place you should put on your itinerary is Garryvoe Beach is located just off the road from Ladysbridge to Shanagarry in County Cork. It is a mixed pebble beach and a great destination for families. The beach has a public car park, toilet facilities and wheelchair access is provided.

It is lifeguarded during the bathing season and more information can be found on the notice board located at the beach.

Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens has a wealth of things to see and do. The arboretum has a renowned collection of tender and exotic trees and shrubs from the southern hemisphere. These were discovered and brought back by the intrepid plant hunters of the 18th and 19th centuries. You can also visit the fragrant rose garden and pleasure grounds and the atmospheric Victorian fernery. The delightful and tranquil gardens at Fota were laid out by James Hugh Smith-Barry in the first half of the 19th century and are a must see when visiting this area. Entry to the arboretum is free.

Guided tours of the house, arboretum and the beautifully restored Victorian walled kitchen garden are available by appointment for a small charge. Self-guided tree trails of the arboretum can be purchased from Fota House from April to September.


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