TV chef Rachel Allen and her Formula 4 racing son, Lucca, have backed a new drive to encourage visitors to turn east after landing at Cork Airport.

They helped launch a new East Cork visitors’ guide yesterday as part of a new regional tourism initiative which has been designed to blend with Fáilte Ireland’s soon-to-be-launched Pure Cork brand and its Ireland’s Ancient East route.

And the people involved say confirmation last week that a major international Ironman competition will be staged in Youghal for each of the next three years will help boost the region’s profile internationally.

Business and tourism interests in the East Cork region said they have always felt there was enough in their area to sell it as a destination, and to have it represented solely within the Pure Cork marketing initiative.

Rachel Allen, of Ballymaloe Cookery School, said she has long agreed, and was delighted to help promote the region, and its new visitors’ guide.

As an East Cork citizen, I am just so conscious of how many fantastic facilities and wonderful places there are to see and to visit, and so many wonderful places to stay and in which to eat, she said.

“This guide will help people navigate their way around, and experience all that is on offer from Youghal to Cobh and everywhere in between.”

Helen Cuddigan, who is involved in the project, said she hopes the new guide, coupled with a new website, will influence and encourage visitors landing at Cork Airport to head east.

With a rich history and heritage, with forts, castles, and cathedrals, great food, restaurants, pubs, and farmers’ markets, as well as many outdoor adventure experiences, they hope to capitalise on the success of existing attractions such as Spike Island and the Titanic Experience in Cobh, the improved tourism infrastructure in Youghal, Fota Wildlife Park, Castlemartyr Resort, and Ballymaloe.

The new guide has been published by Youghal-based Flanagan Print. Owner Ger Flanagan said: “The guide is a one-stop publication, incorporating all that East Cork has to offer, from food to festivals, shopping to excursions, amenities and activities, and everything in-between.” 

Meanwhile, Ballycotton’s Seafood and Shanty Festival will take place on the Sunday of the June bank holiday weekend.


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