County Cork, Ireland

Includes Cork, Kinsale, and other top visitor destinations. See Also Our Guide to County Kerry

Flickr: Ron Kroetz

This is a guide to running in County Cork, the largest and the southernmost county of Ireland, named after the city of Cork. One challenge for runners is that some of the most scenic roads lack a shoulder or sidewalk so they aren’t safe for running. We’ve chosen routes in some of the most visited spots in County Cork, with a focus on scenic and safe waterfront runs and some off-road options.

Some of the best places to run in County Cork are along the River Lee in the city of Cork, including a route incorporating Blackrock Castle. In the colorful town of Kinsale, there’s a pleasant route along the River Brandon. We’ve also mapped waterfront routes in Timoleague, Clonakilty, and Schull, which is the gateway to the clifftop trails at Mizen Head. For some easy trail running, enjoy Ballincollig Regional Park near Cork, and the Glengarriff Woods Nature Preserve.

There’s a multitude of scenic roads in County Cork — runners should use caution as most are narrow and lack a suitable shoulder/sidewalk. Also, this being Ireland, always come prepared for damp & windy weather.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in County Cork, Ireland

See All Routes
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Schull – Waterfront Run

County Cork, Ireland

Quiet waterfront path and road in this picturesque harbour town on the peninsula that ends in Mizen Head. Nice views of the water and Mount Gabriel on this 4.75 mile out and back. Can add with some quiet country roads in the area.

Glengarriff Woods Nature Preserve

County Cork, Ireland

A 740-acre old oak woodland opening out into Glengarriff Harbour. There are 7-8 km of scenic walking trails that are lovely for running. It's a mix of woodland, a River Walk, and some grassland. For a climb, take the the steep footpath to Lady Bantry’s Lookout.

Sheep’s Head Cliffs

County Cork, Ireland

There are many trail running options on Sheep's Head Peninsula -- one of the most scenic spots in County Cork. A popular trail run is the 4 km Lighthouse Loop, which leads to the tip of the peninsula. Good add-on options.


There are no independent running stores in County Cork, but there are lots of outlets of sporting goods stores such as Sports Direct that sell running gear.

Running in Cork is a good resource for group runs, events, and all things running in the Cork area.


There are a number of parkrun events in County Cork. See Running in Cork for a list!

Good running calendar for events in southern Ireland.