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Life at the Top of the Rock in West Cork, Ireland

Sweeping green hills, the smell of freshly baked scones, and the sound of a donkey singing (yes, singing) greeted us upon arrival at the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc in West Cork. After glamping in Scotland earlier this year I’ve been itching to get back out there and try it again. The pods at the Top of the Rock, inspired by ancient Christian structures in County Kerry, sounded like the perfect chance to escape back to nature and it didn’t disappoint. 

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

True Irish charm at the Top of the Rock

Since moving to Ireland earlier this year we have been enamored with the livelihood of the Irish people. Culture and family heritage are at the crux of the Irish and the Ross family, who have farmed the land at the Top of the Rock since the 1920s, are no different. David, and his wife Elizabeth, are two of the friendliest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and take an immense amount of pride in their sanctuary at the Top of the Rock. 

Upon arriving we were greeted with freshly baked scones paired with locally sourced jam and butter from the farm next door. 

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

Still a working farm you’ll be surrounded by green pastures and the most loving farm animals. From cows to singing donkeys (you have to hear it to believe it) to ducks to the cutest little goat(s) – I was absolutely obsessed with the animals. 

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

Pods at the Top of the Rock

The pods at the Top of the Rock were inspired by the ancient Christian structures in County Kerry and are the first of their (modern) kind in Ireland. With both luxury (contains a mini-kitchen and your own toilet) and standard (contains a bed, heater, and lighting) pods you’re sure to find one that suits your fancy. We stayed in the Muscovy (a standard) pod and with the heating turned on and the sound of the rain dancing on our rooftop we were lulled to sleep right away. The toilets were a few steps away in a common area under the walking center. 

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

The next morning we were greeted by the singing donkey and headed up to the walking center for more scones, coffee, tea, and fresh yogurt (also from a nearby farm!). While sipping on my coffee I took this opportunity to take a sneak peak of a fellow travel blogger’s new travel journal detailing her year traveling around the UK and Ireland. I was inspired to visit the Top of the Rock after reading Emma’s, from Gotta Keep Movin’, detailed description of life here and I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy of this beautiful journal. 

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

Walking along an ancient Pilgrim Path

If you keep up with this blog, you probably know by now that I like to pretend I’m a hiker. Really, I just like long walks, but I’m trying to build up my skills so I can hike the Azores with Walk Hike Portugal next year. So, when David told us that there was an extended network of walking trails starting from the Top of the Rock we were sold. For two days we walked along a pilgrim path known as St. Finbarr’s Way and the acclaimed Sheep’s Head Way and my goal of getting back to nature was more than fulfilled (more to come on our two days of walking/hiking soon!). 

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.
View of St. Finarr’s Way from the porch of a pod at the Top of the Rock. Picture courtesy of my fellow traveler, Kyle Torres.

Glamping at the Top of the Rock was the perfect weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin. The views alone were enough to satisfy my need for some nature. Combined with the hospitality of David and Elizabeth and long walks each day this weekend couldn’t have been any better. We’ll be back, that’s for sure. 

Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

Thank you to David and Elizabeth for hosting us at the Top of the Rock. While the stay was complimentary, the gushing is all my own. I mean who really could spend a weekend with THE singing donkey only ONCE in their lifetime? 

Happy Trekking!

– Boots not Roots

Oregon Girl Around the World
Glamping in West Cork, Ireland is the most relaxing way to spend a weekend. With sweeping landscapes and friendly farm animals it doesn't get better than this.

 

  • I lived in Galway for about 5 months back in 2011 (I’m American) so this was like a romantic walk down Irish memory lane. Thank you for that! #FlyAwayFriday

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this! We LOVE Ireland (also American!). Ireland is such a beautiful country with the friendliest people.

  • I love camping and I would totally love clamping there too! The animals are adorable! Every time I see cows or sheep or any other animal we consume, my stomach turns and I immediately feel sick. Love that you are into hiking! I have recently discovered the beauty of that too and am training for my Everest Base Camp trek in April. Can’t wait to read more about your hiking adventures!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thanks Adventuroustrails! 🙂 I feel the same way about livestock. I still eat some meat, but can’t muster up the guts to eat cows, pig, sheep, etc. Just birds and fish for me every once and a while! I’ll be posting about a pretty epic hiking trip in this region of Ireland this weekend! Hope you enjoy!

  • I’ve always wanted to try glamping, and this looks like the perfect place to do it! All of the scenery looks simply incredible. I really want to explore more of Ireland!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Ah thanks Courtney! The fact that you are on top of a hill in the middle of West Cork provided the best vantage point. If you are ever back in Ireland this is a must-do!

  • I love this. Those pods look adorable and the scenery is #swoonworthy. Cheers from Copenhagen and thanks for sharing this corner of the world with #FarawayFiles

  • Untold Morsels

    Honestly I think Irish hospitality cannot be beaten. The pods look so cosy. I can just imagine myself snuggled up in one of them listening to the rain overhead. A special stay for sure. Thanks for sharing this wonderful find with us on #FarawayFiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Ah so true (about the Irish hospitality). I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  • Ahila Thillainathan

    Loved reading about your glamping experience and interaction with the farm animals, especially the singing donkey. Beautiful photos. Would love to visit the top of the rock, Cork, someday!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thank you Ahila! 🙂 That singing donkey was the friendliest donkey I have ever encountered that’s for sure. This is a must-do if visiting Ireland!

  • Young And Undecided

    Looks absolutely beautiful!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thank you! 🙂 It is breathtaking that’s for sure.

  • Those pods are lovely, as well as those animals. 😊 I love hiking and camping as well. But when I move here in Singapore, I got busy with work and seldom take hiking adventure.

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Hiking really is the best medicine. 🙂 I have to force myself to do it sometimes with work + blogging + family life, but it’s so worth it!

  • Clare Thomson

    What a fantastic Irish experience…home-made scones, stunning countryside and singing animals. Sounds just about perfect – and it didn’t even rain! Thanks so much for sharing it with us on #FarawayFiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      It was grand Clare! It did rain… haha we just got lucky and took these photos when it wasn’t raining. 🙂

  • Whoah what a fun experience! The accommodation looks so relaxing, surrounded by all that nature! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, see you again this week! xo P.S Don’t forget to add the badge!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thanks Kana! For some reason the badge isn’t popping up, but I’ll work on making sure it’s there again when I check out Fly Away Friday this week. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Aww how fun!! The animals looked so cute! I’d love to do something like this!!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      It was great Chloe! Definitely worth trying out at least once!

  • Emma Higgins

    Lovely post!! I’m so chuffed we inspired you to go on this trip and really happy you enjoyed it so much. Made me a bit nostalgic to go back! Love the shot of the cow too, what a cutie. Thanks for sharing your experience and linking back to us – really appreciate it. Hope Santa brings you a copy of the journal!! 😉

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thanks Emma! 😀 We really had a grand time. I’m pretty sure (giving the hubs a hopeful stare right now) that a journal shaped present will be under the tree very soon. hahaha. 🙂 Hope Portugal is treating you well!

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