Ireland – Sheep’s Head Way (Walking)
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Although the Sheep's Head is the smallest of the south-western peninsulas, the walk around it has been described as the finest long distance path in Ireland. The peninsula is formed by a narrow finger of hills stretching nearly 25 miles into the Atlantic, but less than four miles wide.
Treks begin at Bantry at the neck of the peninsula. You climb up onto the hillside heading west past the stone circle of Ahakista. Follow the south coast to the small town of Kilcrohane, then around the dramatic headland to the Sheep's Head lighthouse. The craggy coastline of the northern shore is followed east to the Horseshoe Road and up to Finn MacCool's seat. You conclude by walking the crest of the hills affording spectacular views across the whole peninsula to the mountains of Beara and beyond as you wend your way back to Bantry.
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Travel to Bantry image 1 Travel to Bantry
Your first nights stay is in the bustling, colourful town of Bantry. Located at the top of Bantry Bay with views out to Whiddy Island it is a wonderful start point to any exploration of West Cork
Bantry to Durrus
The first day contains more tarmac walking than we would typically arrange. The lanes, however, are quiet and allow you to adjust to this corner of Ireland. There are splendid views across Bantry Bay and the route meanders through farmland and forests. (19km, 360m ascent)
Accommodation – B&B in Bantry
Durrus to Ahakista
The route heads west along the peninsula. You leave the village on an old military road pay Durrus Court and then climb up to a gap in the spine. The route then descends with fine views over Dunmanus Bay, and you will be passing Gorteanish stone circle on the way to Ahakista. (13 km, 210 m ascent)
Accommodation –B&B in Ahakista
Ahakista to Tooreen
Walk along the old military road then cut down to the shoreline walking past the old Bardic school to Farranamanagh. Pass through the village of Kilcrohane then follow the traditional funeral route from the church to the burial ground at the ruined Kilcrohane church. The route then meanders between the shoreline across fields, along old fisherman’s paths and back to the military road. The route then leads away from the shore to follow the course of the old road over the last hill of the peninsula, Ballyroon Mountain, 232 m, where there are ruins of an old signal tower built in 1632. (19 km, 430 m ascent)
Tooreen to Finn MacCool’s Seat
The route today hugs the shoreline and provides the finest coastal scenery of the whole walk. You begin by walking out to the lighthouse on the westernmost point of the peninsula before turning east to follow a cliff path along the northern shore. A choice of routes then gives an opportunity to follow a cliff path up to the old Gortavallig copper mine. You continue with good views across Bantry Bay along the Horseshoe Road to Finn MacCool’s seat. (18 km, 370 m ascent)
MacCool’s Seat to Glanlough
The route today follows the main spine of the peninsula reaching the highest point of the walk, Gouladane, 310 m. From the ridge, there are excellent views to the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the south around the Kerry Mountains to the north. (11 km, 420 m ascent)
Accommodation – B&B in Glanlough
Glanlough to Bantry
The trail again heads over the spine of the peninsula with fine views over Bantry Bay. The way finally descends as you follow a mixture of tracks and lanes back to Bantry House and town. (15 km, 250 m ascent)
Accommodation – B&B in Bantry
* 7 nights accommodation ( country homes provide accommodation in Bantry and two guesthouses are the base for four nights on the peninsula)
* All breakfasts
* Luggage transfer between your accommodation stops
* Full route details with a map of the tour
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2022 TOUR PRICE
€765 per person sharing
€50 per person high season supplement (July & August)
€255 single room supplement (if travelling with others)
€395 solo tour supplement (if travelling alone)
Self Guided Tour Information
Tour can start any day from April until October.
Travel details coming soon!
In Bantry town we aim to stay in the very well located Doire Liath B&B http://www.bantrybedandbreakfasts.com/
For the next few nights we hope to stay in Reenmore B&B, the ipitome of the best farmhouse accommodation. A stunning location with a warm welcome guaranteed!
Our guesthouse here is the beautiful Seamount Farm B&B