7 reasons to adore summertime in Cork

There's lots to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead, says Katriona Devereux as we welcome the arrival of summer in Cork
7 reasons to adore summertime in Cork

ENJOYING THE LONG STRETCH IN THE EVENINGS: Yoga In The Park is always a big summer hit in Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork city

AT the risk of the weather gods overhearing me and unleashing an unseasonal polar vortex in the middle of May, I’m going to boldly say that it feels like summer is coming.

In recent weeks, I’ve shed the winter layers, am appreciating the change of season, and am looking forward to what the summer might bring.

Is it premature to be getting excited about summer? I don’t care.

The Lough

There are few things that will stop a dedicated Lough-lapper from clocking up the steps as they continuously loop Cork’s urban lake, but the sight of proud parents parading their latest progeny can stop young or old in their tracks.

It’s baby chick time at the Lough and bundles of squeaky fluff squeeze out oohs and aahs from all passers-by.

My favourites are the baby coots - tiny, demanding, balls of black feathers urging their parents to keep diving underwater for more and more food. No sooner have they swallowed one morsel and they are looking for the next.

Watching them, I feel such empathy for the adult coots and relief that I don’t have to take care of those exhausting babies! 

However just like human offspring, the chicks grow fast, so visit the Lough quick while they’re still cute and fluffy.

Midsummer Parade

The Dragon of Shandon Halloween parade used to be one of my highlights on the cultural calendar, but since smallies arrived, with their 8pm bedtimes and propensity to cry at the sight of ghoulish creatures in the dark, I haven’t made it to the street celebration of Samhain in a while. In truth, the lashing wind and rain may have kept me away too.

I don’t know why someone didn’t think of this before, but the talented crew at Cork Community Artlink are going to bring their Dragon of Shandon experience to a Summer Solstice celebration as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

On the longest day of the year, Oliver Plunkett Street is going to be filled with parade floats, dance, music and performance.

There’ll be no scary masks or lashing rain (I hope!) and I can’t wait!

Yoga in the Park

You know it’s summer when Saturday mornings see the Mardyke dotted with Lycra-clad people clutching yoga mats and water bottles, ready to stretch it out in Fitzgerald’s Park.

The weekly donation-based summer event raises thousands of euro each year for the Cork Simon Community and participants get the feelgood start to their weekends while helping a worthwhile charity.

It’s been running for the past eight years and this year’s park classes will hopefully start up again in July. Namaste!

The community run outdoor swimming pool at Carrignavar (Carrig na BhFear). Picture: Eddie O'Hare
The community run outdoor swimming pool at Carrignavar (Carrig na BhFear). Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Outdoor pool

Another summer activity kicking off in July is Carraig na bhFear’s community-run outdoor heated swimming pool.

If you ever hang out with young children, you’ll know a sure-fire way to entertain them is to stick them in a pool, or in fact any body of water - a small basin can do. Even if they don’t know how to swim, the wet, floaty, splashy experience drives them to levels of elation and squealing not reached in any dry state.

Despite friends raving about Carraig na bhFear’s pool for years and encouraging a family trip there, I haven’t yet managed the 12km journey from my house. Well, this is the year to right that wrong. I’ve said it in the Echo so I’m booking in now!

Holiday makers heading to Cape Clear Island on the ferryboat Dún An Óir from Baltimore Harbour in Co. Cork, Ireland. Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger
Holiday makers heading to Cape Clear Island on the ferryboat Dún An Óir from Baltimore Harbour in Co. Cork, Ireland. Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger

Island hopping

While I’m making promises in print, I might as well go ahead and pledge to do something that has been on my bucket list for years. A trip to Cape Clear.

I’ve ventured to Sherkin, Heir and Long Islands, but have never made it to the biggest island in Roaringwater Bay and I think 2022 might be the year.

A stint on Bere Island is already booked in for this summer, but for some reason I always thought the 40 minute ferry to Cape Clear was too long, forgetting that I can spend the time admiring the coastline and spotting dolphins and whales en route, if we’re lucky!

Ed Sheeran on stage at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Picture; Eddie O'Hare
Ed Sheeran on stage at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

Big Gigs

The prospect of standing in a tent with thousands of other like-minded people enjoying the dopamine hit of a shared live experience is so exciting!

I missed Ed Sheeran’s take-over of Páirc Uí Chaoimh but am hoping to make it to something live at the Marquee. There is so much to choose from! From living legends like Tom Jones to new shooting stars like Olivia Rodrigo.

Dance, comedy, music, orchestras, DJs - all tastes are catered for. Deciding what to go to will be the hard part.

Summer Camp

Did you ever drop a child off at a camp and wish it was you who was staying for the five hours of fun activities?

I’d love a week when the only challenge in my day was how hard my opponents were going to pull in a tug-of-war competition?

I’m deeply jealous of kids’ summer camps, they seem to be even more fun nowadays than in my youth.

Last year, my seven-year-old was bowled over by the craic and camaraderie at the GAA’s Cúl Camps, which culminated in a water balloon fight and a Mr Whippy ice cream van! This is the magic stuff of childhood memories which will hopefully last a lifetime.

If anyone wants to start an adult version, I’ll be the first to sign up!

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