Nestled away within the environs of the island is one of Cork’s hidden treasures - Fota House, its Arboretum and Gardens. A magnificent example of the work of famed Irish architect Sir Richard Morrison, the House was re-opened to the public in 2009 and while developments continue to improve the building to this date, many of the House’s 70 rooms and fine art displays are already accessible to visitors.
The Arboretum and Gardens have received international recognition over the years for their collection of rare trees and shrubs, all contained with a fantastic visitor-friendly setting. The Smith-Barry family, previous owners of Fota House, is largely responsible for the incredible assortment after realising that the island’s mild climate – Fota is derived from ‘Fód te’, which is Irish for ‘warm soil’ – was suitable for such a purpose.
For more details, see fotahouse.com
If it’s a pampering and relaxing break you’re after, then look no further than a stay at the Fota Island Hotel & Spa. One of a handful of truly luxurious destinations in Cork, the Hotel has over 130 ensuite rooms and suites – all of which are decorated and looking after to the highest standards.
Located in the beautiful woodland setting of Fota Island, visitors can sample some of the finest local cuisine at the hotel’s Fota Restaurant or select from a range of beauty and relaxation treatments at the Resort’s very popular wellbeing Spa. For more active travellers, Fota Island Golf Club – and its Championship standard courses – presents the perfect challenge.
For more, see fotaisland.ie
The island is also home to one of the local campsites of Scouting Ireland. Fota Scout Centre has been established in the area since groups were first allowed to scout the land by the then estate owner Mrs Bell in the 1920s. The Scouts’ link continues to this day despite UCC buying the estate in the 1970s – as the cottage and campsite are still leased to the governing body by the Irish Heritage Trust to this day.
For more details, see fotascoutcentre.org