West Cork Video Travel Guides

Ireland

West of Cork City is one of the most scenic coastal areas in Ireland. The area is reknown for it's charming towns and villages such as Baltimore, Schull and Crookhaven and is ideal for family and the outdoor type of visitors.





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Baltimore Village

The village located on the shores of a very sheltered bay is popular with sailing enthusiasts. A number of sailing regettas take place throughout the summer. The area is also ideal for walking and cycling.

Baltimore

Baltimore Village

Learn to sail , ....

Learn to sail , visit the islands, explore the wild life. The village of Baltimore is located about 8 miles from Skibbereen and overlooks one of the finest harbours on the south coast.

Baltimore is a popular sailing location. It has a broad safe harbour and bay.

The bay is protected from the open sea by Sherkin Island.

The village has a number of good restaurants serving fresh food – would you expect less? Though of course you can dine on freshly baked piazzas.

The Beacon

Baltimore Village

From Baltimore ....

From Baltimore village, the walk to the beacon takes about twenty minutes. From the top, you have excellent views of the harbour, Sherkin Island and the south coast.

During May and June, the waters around the south coast abound with Basking Sharks.

On a ferry crossing to Clare island you maybe lucky to see sharks in the open waters. Inside Baltimore harbour dolphins are often seen.

On a clear day the Fastnet lighthouse is clearly seen in the distance from the beacon. The lighthouse is about 20 km off shore.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Baltimore

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Schull

The small town of Schull, with its numerous restaurants and pubs over looks an excellent and sheltered bay. The area is popular with cyclists, sailors and walkers.

Schull

Schull

With its fine sh....

With its fine sheltered bay, Schull is ideal for water sports. But you can easily visit the islands or the Fastnet Rock and in the evening enjoy the ceoil agus craic.

The village of Schullis named after the medieval monastic school of Scoil Mhuire, though it's church is in ruins.
Like quite  a few of  the bays on the south coast, Schull's harbour is safe and well protected from winter storms.

Fishing is still a major activity in Schull.

The town has a modern fish processing plant to cater for the local and international fishing fleets that work the waters off the south coast.

On the way to Schull

Schull

The winding twis....

The winding twisting road from Baltimore to Schull, takes you along a tidal estuary. At low tide the mudflats can be exposed for a number of miles in land.

When you reach Skibbereen, take the N71 left heading towards Ballydehob, and while away some time in another country village.

Some of the smaller roads are very quiet and good for cycling.

Schull Ferries
>Fancy a trip to an island ? Then hop on board a ferry at Schull and take the 40 minute trip to Cape Clear.

The ferry captain has a wealth of local knowledge and will keep you enthralled on the journey.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Schull

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Explore the islands.

Just off the coast there many islands worth visiting and exploring. The Fastnet - though the smallest is the most dramatic. Sherkin Island lies in Baltimore Harbour, while Cape Clear is accessible from Baltimore and Schull.

Fastnet Rock

Explore the islands.

On the horizon a....

On the horizon about 9 miles out from Schull lies the Fastnet lighthouse. At night you can clearly see its beam lighting the sky.

Fastnet Lighthouse
Construction of  the lighthouse commenced at the end of the 19th century and became operational in early years of the 20th century.

Construction
The lighthouse is built from granite originating from Cornwall in England.The tower has over 80 rows of solid concrete blocks.

Fastnet Cost
Construction work on the light house took approx. 7 years and the project cost 90,000£. The lighthouse became automatic in 1989.

Cape Clear Island

Explore the islands.

Visit Ireland's ....

Visit Ireland's most southerly island, just 25 minutes ferry trip from Baltimore or Schull.

The island of Cape Clear lies about 30/40 minutes ferry ride from Schull and Baltimore.
During summer months the ferries run a number of times daily. Winter storms can effect the crossings from late October to early spring.

The island is the most southerly of Ireland's populated islands, with a population of greater than 200.

The island hosts a number of festivals throughout the year – including the Cape Clear Island International Story Telling Festival in September.

Getting to Cape Clear

Explore the islands.

The Island is ea....

The Island is easily accessible from either Baltimore or Schull.

Cape Clear island is an important bird watching location and even has it's own permanent bird warden.

Whale and dolphin watching have become popular and the local boats do regular sea trips to locate these pods.

Diving
Due to an abundance of wrecks in the area, diving is popular both for the experienced and novice divers.

Sherkin Island

Explore the islands.

The island has a....

The island has a number of small beaches and rocky coves and is relatively quiet even in the busy periods of July and August. Sherkin Island is only about ten minutes by ferry from Baltimore. The ferries go regularly during summer months.

There are few cars on the island, which makes it excellent for walking and cycling.The island has accommodation, food and two bars, so you wont starve.

The island is also home to a number of artists. So maybe you will find the painting you have dreamed off.

Sherkin has the ruins of Franciscan monastery dating back to the 15h century. The ruins are managed by the Office of Public works.

Heir Island Ferry

Explore the islands.

Heir Island

Explore the islands.

Heir Island to Sherkin Island Ferry

Explore the islands.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Fastnet Rock

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Crookhaven and West

Crookhaven and West Mizen Peninsula is as far south west as you can go. The area is popular with walkers, cyclists and sailors and has some excellent beaches and a local caravan park

Crookhaven

Crookhaven and West

Make your way vi....

Make your way via Crookhaven and Barley cove and see the most westerly lighthouse in Ireland.

Crookhaven is Ireland's most south westerly village. The village comprises a number of pubs all serving good food, a restaurant, craft shop all on the harbour, along with a number of houses. The harbour at Crookhaven  is another safe harbour and frequented by the sailing community.

The harbour is well sheltered and provides protection from summer storms.

During the steam ship era, Crookhaven was the last point of contact for ships crossing the Atlantic to America.

Cockle Beach

Crookhaven and West

There are a numb....

There are a number of fine sandy beaches close to Crookhaven. Cockle beach is at the head of the bay and Barley cove lies facing the Atlantic. The area is popular with families during the summer.

Mizen Head is Ireland's most south westerly point. A lighthouse is perched on a tiny island at the tip of the head. The drive to Mizen head is about 4 miles from Barley cove and offers some lovely views of the bay.

Close to the lighthouse there is an interpretative centre which has some excellent exhibits and lots of information about the lighthouse.

The Bridge from the head to the lighthouse has in recent years been replaced and access was re-opened in 2011.

Dunmanus Bay

Crookhaven and West

The Bay lies bet....

The Bay lies between the Mizen Head Peninsula and Sheep's Head Peninsula.

The drive around the coast is rugged and the scenery wild. The area is fairly isolated.

Toormore Bay

Crookhaven and West


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Crookhaven

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Roscarberry to Skibbereen

Follow some of the smaller roads and visit the small hamlets such as Glandore, the fishing village of Union Hall and stop at Ireland's Stone Henge.

Glandore and Union Hall

Roscarberry to Skibbereen

Interested in sa....

Interested in sailing, good food, relaxing ? Then spend some time in Glandore and Union Hall

The village is small and overlooks a long safe bay with plenty of sheltered moorings and is an excellent location to learn to sail.

On the opposite side of Glandore Harbour lies Union Hall. This is a small working fishing village and home to some well painted colourful boats.

The village overlooks a small lagoon.It is a nice place to act as base when touring the area and has some good restaurants which open out onto the water front.

Drombeg Stone Circle

Roscarberry to Skibbereen

Leap

Roscarberry to Skibbereen

Tragumna

Roscarberry to Skibbereen

Tra Gumna is a s....

Tra Gumna is a small village located outside Skibbereen.

It has a beautiful small beach, and a tiny island located approximately 100 meters off shore.

Lough Hyne

Roscarberry to Skibbereen

Castletownshend

Roscarberry to Skibbereen

A small 17th cen....

A small 17th century castle built by Richard Townsend, gives the town it's name.

The descendants of Richard still live in the castle, which over looks the sea.

Some of the stained glass windows in the local church are by Harry Clarke.

Skibbereen

Roscarberry to Skibbereen

Skibbereen is th....

Skibbereen is the most southerly town in Ireland, and is located in County Cork.

During the Great Hunger, soup kitchens were set up in Skibbereen, which drew an influx of people from the surrounding areas. A printed copy of the 'rules for establishment of charity soup in Skibbereen ' dated 31 October 1846 still exists. Upto 10,000 victims of the Great Hunger (Irish Famine ) are buried in burial pits at Abbeystrewery Cemetry.

Skibbereen is a good place to use as a base if exploring West Cork. Places such as Baltimore, Schull are within a short distance.

Beaches at Tragumna are nearby , while Lough Hyne is only 3 or 4 miles away. Further east is Roscarbery, while out west is Crookhaven and Bantry.
Lough Hyne
Only 6 km from Skibbereen, the lough due to its unusual habitats and natural beauty is worth seeing. The lough is almost an inland lake, but at the South East end, there is a narrow exit or gateway known as the Rapids, which allows the lough to be flushed with sea water twice a day. The lough is oxygenated by the rushing sea water and warmed by the lake waters, which give rise to habitats for sea life such as the purple sea urchins. The lough can be covered in Phoseresence at certain times in the year. Locals say the best time to see the lake sparkle is on dark September nights. The lough is also a good swimming area during the summer months.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Glandore

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East of Kinsale

East of Kinsale there are a number of small roads that run down to sandy coves or cliff paths. The road passing through the small village of Nohaval is typical, with numerous smaller roads leading to the coast and to hidden cliffs and coves.

Nohoval

East of Kinsale

Nohaval is a vil....

Nohaval is a village in County Cork not far from Kinsale, and is surrounded by stunning land and seascapes.


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Mizen Peninsula

Mizen Peninsula is at the extreme west end of South West Cork, further west than Barley Cove. The cliffscapes and remoteness of the lighthouse make the area a major attraction for tourists.

Mizen Lighthouse

Mizen Peninsula

Mizen Head West Cliffs

Mizen Peninsula

Mizen Head South Cliffs

Mizen Peninsula


Further Reading on Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizen Head

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Sheeps Head Peninsula

Sheeps Head Peninsula is west of Bantry. The north side of the Peninsula looks out over Bantry Bay, while the south side overlooks Dunmanus Bay. There is a light house on the remote western end of the peninsula.

Lighthouse

Sheeps Head Peninsula

Cliffs

Sheeps Head Peninsula

Loop Drive

Sheeps Head Peninsula



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Roscarbery

West of Roscarbery and along the coast there are some interesting villages and hamlets worth visiting.

The Village

Roscarbery

Rosscarbery is l....

Rosscarbery is located above a small lagoon on the Cork to Skibbereen Road. Above the lagoon, the road opens out into a small square or plaza about which are some restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

The lagoon is active with canoes, with surfers and paddle boats during the summer months. The lagoon is a reasonable size and the roads circling the lagoon make for a nice short walk, with lake and sea views and some glimpses. Of nature, such as swans with their young, herons waiting to catch the ever present fish or some migrating sea birds heading further north.

On the south side of the lagoon is a broad estuary which drains with the low time and slowly refills. There is a fine sandy beach looking out over a w ide sweeping bay, about a kilometre from the lagoon.

The sand dune along the beach is home to a god pitch and putt course. From the main road there is a walking track that takes you over the headland and down to the next cove and beach.

Warren Beach

Roscarbery

The small villag....

The small village sits on the edge of Rosscarbery Bay, its long sweeping estuary and soft sandy beach is popular with families during summer months.

The beach with backing sand dunes and views across the bay is a great place for a summer picnic.

Tidal Estuary

Roscarbery

As the tide ebbs....

As the tide ebbs and turns the water in the estuary is drawn out to sea, all that remains is a tidal mud flat and a small river.

The mud flats are popular habitats for wading birds.

Later as the tide returns, the flats fill , the water rises and the small lake now seems to extend way beyond the intersecting road.

The birds thrive on the incoming tides sifting through the sandy water or catching small fish and crustaceans.

The Lagoon

Roscarbery

The main road he....

The main road heading west separates the lagoon from the tidal estuary.

During summer months it is a centre for water sports.

Families of swans and moorhens are residence of the lagoon.


Further Reading on Wikipedia : Rosscarbery

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Bantry Bay

Bantry Bay is a long bay approx. 35km from the entrance to Bantry Town. The bay lies between Sheeps Head Peninsula and the Beara Peninsula.

Bantry House

Bantry Bay


Further Reading on Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bantry House


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Copyright Trav Vid Jan 13 2018

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