Midleton sits in the middle of a large agricultural section of Cork, just east of the city. It is popular for its whiskey distilleries among tourists, but it has also been an important gathering place as a market for a long time. There are lots of little shops that sell traditional Irish wares, and there is a shopping center in town with more modern conveniences (all within walking distance) as is the bus and rail station.
Outside of Midleton (but still close by) there is plenty to do. Cork is a short distance away, easily reached by bus or car or train. Barryscourt Castle is not far away, and is definitely worth a visit if you can get there, especially if you're a fan of castles. Restored to what it would have originally looked like when it was used (furniture and decorations all included), Barryscourt Castle offers a unique glimpse into life in medieval times. The only way to see the inside of the castle is by tour (it's free) and it takes about an hour to see everything. Stroll around the gardens and the apple orchard if you have to wait.
If swimming tickles your fancy, hop down to Garryvoe and jump in the water. The beaches are great and it is a safe place to swim, for those who are wary of tides and currents. For sea angling and some amazing views off the cliffs, head over to Ballycotton for the day -- it's a small but quite popular fishing village.
The town is quiet enough that you can just show up to a Midleton hostel without a reservation, but as always with any hostel, it's usually safe to call ahead and check to see if there is a free bed, especially on weekends.
Hi, I'm Emily Schreiber,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Midleton hostels. Welcome.