It’s best to start early on a day trip to Youghal – so much to do.
Arrive in Youghal at 10.00am – park at the large Car Park at Nealon’s Quay. Its time to stretch your legs, take a comfort break and have a nice refreshing cup of tea/coffee. We recommend that for this purpose you visit “Moby Dick’s” bar, location and local headquarters of the 1954 John Huston film of the same name. Its easy to locate this establishment – Its straight across the road from the newly erected Captain Ahab statue, he also of the 1954 film fame, you cant miss him. Here, at Moby Dick’s you can browse through the wonderful collection of old photographs of the activities dating back to that time and enjoy the unique hospitality, while sipping your favoured tipple.
Nicely refreshed and with some social history on board we recommend that you pop into Youghal Visitor Heritage Centre, which is just a few steps away from you. The staff here are very knowledgeable and helpful and will answer any of your queries. Visit the adjoining Heritage Centre – entry is FREE. Here you will get a pictorial profile of Youghal over the centuries – how it looked, how it traded and who the defining characters were. To appreciate the exhibition allow yourself about 30 minutes. While there pick up the 3 D Heritage Map of Youghal – this map indicates the many interesting heritage sites in Youghal and gives you a brief history of each location. You can’t help but notice the iconic Youghal Clock Gate Tower while you are in this area – Youghal Clock Gate Tower is more an experience than a Visitor Attraction and is a gem in Fáilte Ireland’s Ancient East brand. It is an experience in “Time” with the best storytellers journeying with you through 4 floors of stories, stories, stories about people, place and time under the constant of Youghal’s ticking clock. Log on to Youghal Clock Gate Tower to get a preview of what to expect on a tour of this unbelievable building. Booking is available at the Clock Gate Office, just 30 doors up from the actual tower. You cant miss it!
Outside the Visitor Centre you will probably meet our Town Crier, Clifford Winser – Clifford conducts walking tours of Youghal Heritage Town- pointing out all our significant historical landmarks, each with it’s own story. You may of course tour Youghal Heritage town at your own pace with the aid of your 3 D Heritage Map. The finale of this Walking Trail takes you to The Raleigh Quarter.
Once the stomping ground of Sir Walter Raleigh, courtier, landed gentleman, soldier, explorer and one-time mayor of Youghal, The Raleigh Quarter is a very special area. Here you step into a piece of Youghal’s, indeed Ireland’s, unique history. Within the Raleigh Quarter you may visit the 13th century St. Mary’s Collegiate Church (the oldest Church in Ireland still in use), and experience the “Voices of St. Mary’s Collegiate Church” interpretive centre – the amazing self guiding audio tour is beyond words. You join an imaginary family who explore the history of the church and its significance in their own lives. It is part theatre, part tour and is totally absorbing. This tour takes approximately 35/40 minutes, however, exploring the Church and surrounding area can take as long as you like – which is exactly what you need on your day out. A Medieval Graveyard Trail is also available, weather permitting – an experience which may be topped off by climbing Youghal’s Medieval Town Walls and a visit to the stunning Medieval Gardens. Don’t forget your camera – the views from these walls are spectacular.
By now you are very hungry and getting a bit foot weary so we suggest you take yourself down the cobbled Church Street and facing you is The Red Store. The Red Store provides a very fine lunch to suit all tastes. Sit by the window and watch the world go by.
How about a little cruise – Cruise the Blackwater – is an exciting trip on board the “Maeve Og” the sailing north on the majestic River Blackwater. “Maeve Og” embarks from the jetty adjacent to your car-park. Captain Tony Gallaghar with steer you out under the arches of Youghal Bridge and all the way up to Lismore, Co. Waterford. It is a light-hearted trip through history and most enjoyable. Allow 90 minutes for the trip.
Nothing like the breeze from the Blackwater to work up an appetite – On docking you are a mere just 10 paces away from The Quays Bar & Restaurant, serving delicious steaks and fresh fruit of the sea. Pop-in and dine.
In July & August, Ceolta Si, Youghal Branch of “Comhaltas Ceoltóirí” (Society of the Musicians of Ireland) provides lively group performances of traditional music, song, dance and storytelling at their purpose built theatre, “Brú na Si”, on Magner’s Hill, (“51°57’14.04, -7°51’38.52”) at 8.30 every Monday & Thursday. This is a wonderful way to round off your day filled with the cultural heritage of Youghal.