Cheerful, brightly painted Clonakilty is a bustling market town which serves as a hub for the scores of beguiling little coastal villages that surround it. You'll find smart B&Bs, good restaurants and cosy pubs alive with music. Little waterways coursing through town add to the charm.
Clonakilty is famous for two things: it's the birthplace of Irish Free State commander-in-chief Michael Collins, embodied in a large statue on the corner of Emmet Sq; and it's the home of the most famous black pudding in the country.
Roads converge on Astna Sq, dominated by a 1798 Rising monument. Also in the square is the Kilty Stone, a piece of the original castle that gave Clonakilty (Cloich na Coillte in Irish, meaning 'castle of the woods') its name.