Carrigaline derives its name from Carraig Uí Leighin, a nearby out crop of rock where a Norman settler, Philip de Prendergast built his castle, He called it Beauvoir (pleasant view) and there is still a house in Carrigaline bearing this name.
Carrigaline's main historical interest lies in the ruins of Carrigaline Castle, which is on high limestone, bluff about a mile outside town, just beyond the Church of Ireland. Take the road to the left beside the Catholic Church at the entrance to the town. The castle was built soon after the Norman occupation of Cork in 1171. The present ruins consist of a typical Norman Tower, another, probably later, building with a pointed roof and several outhouses, one of which is used by the farmer who works the farm and fields around it.
Carrigaline is the ideal base for exploring Counties Cork and Kerry. The town is 12km from Cork City and 5km from Ringaskiddy Ferryport or Cork Airport. Famous for its pottery, Carrigaline is one of three satellite towns built around Cork City. It is the largest in the Owenabue Valley, offering the visitor a very comprehensive range of services and facilities. Currabinny Forest Trail is just a short distance east of Carrigaline and represents one of many scenic walks in Carrigaline and its environs. St John's Holy Well on the outskirts of the town is a recognised historical landmark.
If you are interested in a very attractive walk continue down the Coolmore road following signposts for about 4 miles to Currabinny Woods.
On the road to Currabinny Wood you will see Coolmore, one of the finest examples of Georgian period in Co Cork, built in 1788 by W Newenham it is constructed to a design that consists of simple rectangular shapes with no unnecessary ornamentation.
The entrance to Coolmore is flanked by eight lodges built in 1815 in the "Gothic Cottage" style, forming a crescent around the magnificent wrought-iron gates with an archway above bearing the name Coolmore. Coolmore is the home of South Union Foxhounds. The owner, Mr Morth Newenham, is the Master for Hounds. The house unfortunately is not open to the public. There ia a walk along the old railway line which runs into Crosshaven so you are spoilt for choice for walking routes.
Currabinney Woods are largely deciduous woods and are sensational in autumn but make a pleasant walk at any time of year. They originally belonged to a private house, and there is a gazebo in the centre where the owners used to take tea. At the highest point in the woods is a pre-historic burial cairn in rather bad condition, known locally as the Giants Cave.
The forest trails here are unusual in that they were originally laid out for horse and carriage so that they are wide and airy, with none of the enclosed feeling that dense woodland can produce. The woods are situated on a peninsula which looks across the water to Crosshaven. In the distance on the other side is Spike Island, and beyond it Cobh and its Cathedral. It takes about 45 minutes to make a circuit of the woods.